Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger is a novella set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School and Custard Protocol books. I have reviewed many other books set in this world, which you can browse here. This novella doesn't require reading any of the other books, although other books will lend some (unessential) background on the characters and world. If you do want to read it chronologically, it takes place after Imprudence, with a prologue that ties in with the events of Timeless (and I thought also one of the earlier Parasol Protectorate books, but I read those too long ago to remember the chronology clearly, so I might be wrong). The book (and perforce this review) does contain some spoilers for earlier books, however.

Biffy, newly minted Alpha of the London Pack, is not having a good Christmas. His Beta abandoned him, his werewolves object to his curtain choices, and someone keeps leaving babies on his doorstep.

Professor Randolph Lyall returns home to London after twenty years abroad, afraid of what he might find. With his pack in chaos and his Alpha in crisis, it will take all his Beta efficiency to set everything to rights. Perhaps, in the process, he may even determine how to mend his own heart.

In this novella we really see Biffy being the Alpha of the London werewolf pack for the first time. He's still coming into his own as an Alpha and is a bit uncertain on some fronts. It's also naturally a time of upheaval for the pack, which doesn't help. Biffy's point of view is split with Lyall's, who returns to London after a twenty year absence at the start of the novella. We also get to know some of the minor members of pack a bit better, who we hadn't seen in much detail in the earlier books. Really, Biffy, Lyall and Channing were the only major side werewolf characters in the main books, but here Channing is in the background, leaving room for the rest of the pack to step forward.

The structure of the novella is pretty standard for romance, with the alternating points of view. The romance is split with some amusing other events — centred around the mysterious delivery of babies to the werewolf residence. I don't generally read for the romance elements but I was surprised at how much the other plot took centre-page. I mean, the novella does have "Romancing" in the title, so I was expecting more romance. That said, the culmination of the Biffy/Lyall was nice, and satisfactory. I could have done with less of the "oh no, he doesn't like me that way anymore" angst on both sides.

In any case, I certainly recommend Romancing the Werewolf to fans of Gail Carriger and manner-punk. There was much to delight and amuse the reader in this story, from the discussion of curtains to waistcoats and the main plot. I am always happy to read more stories set in this universe, be they novels or novellas, and I look forward to more coming out in the future (there should another novella and the next Custard Protocol novel in 2018, whoo!).

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: November 2017, self-published
Series: Supernatural Society 2 of 2 so far (but more planned)
Format read: ePub
Source: Purchased from Kobo

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