Review: Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger

Well everyone I am sad to say I just finished my last Alexia Tarabotti novel until July 2011.

Blameless by Gail Carriger is the third book in the Parasol Protectorate series. I don’t know that I am going to be able to wait that long!

I have become so enthralled with the series over the last week that I have managed to devour the entire series in a matter of eight days…that’s how you know a series is good, when you think of nothing else but getting home and reading that next book!

I love all the characters in this series–Alexia is a kick. She is witty, smart, independent, and it seems like she just can’t manage to stay out of trouble. I love Professor Lyall, he reminds me of the typical Englishman–slightly stiff but yet horribly dry and witty which makes him all the more likable. And I simply love the arrogant bastard Major Channing Channing Of the Chesterfield Channings simply because his name is the most ridiculous name I’ve ever heard LOL.

I read this book as part of the 2011 Steampunk Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Ardour. My review of Blameless will be fairly brief partly because most of the series groundwork/background I discussed in my previous postings for Soulless and Changeless.If you haven’t read the other books, beware there are some spoilers ahead in this review.

This last book picks up where Changeless left off with Alexia realizing she’s pregnant with Lord Maccon’s baby and he accuses her of cheating on him since he doesn’t think he can father children as a werewolf and her a curse-breaker. So he more or less throws her out into disgrace and in order to clear her name and prove he is the father of her child she sets out to find someone who can help which leads her to Italy and the Templar Knights. Here is the summery from Shelfari:

Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season. Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead. While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

While Alexia sets out to prove her innocents with her small entourage in tow (Madam Lefoux and Floote), Lord Maccon becomes the worse for wear—drinking formaldehyde till he can’t see straight. Deep down he knows Alexia would never betray him like that but now that he’s acted like a first class ass he knows it will take more than an apology to win her back.

His Beta, Professor Lyall, becomes acting pack master during Lord Maccon’s drunk stupor so the audience gets to learn more about him which is great because we hardly get to know him in the previous books. Eventually Lord Maccon comes to his senses and he sets out to find Alexia who in the mean time has been humiliated, attacked by mechanical lady bugs, fired from her job with the Queen, and forced to travel to (shock, the continent) in search of answers. Madam Lefoux and Floote (who we also get to learn more about) travel with her to France and Italy in search of the Templars who will hopefully be able to explain her pregnancy and clear her name.

On this trip they are repeatedly attacked by vampires as there is a price on her heard now that the pregnancy is public knowledge in the supernatural (and London society) world–other supes see her pregnancy as a threat and want her dead. During their trip Alexia must determine if she–A) could ever have an intimate relationship with Madam Lefoux, B) love the ‘infant inconvenience’ and grow maternal instincts, and C) if she will EVER forgive Lord Maccon for his distrust. Durning the journey, Madam Lefoux, in a bold move, kisses Alexia and though she likes it–she knows her preferences lie else where.

The ‘infant inconvenience’ eventually grows on her (no pun intended) and she reasons she might be able to learn to love motherhood though she never planned on having or wanted any kids. As for Lord Maccon, she tentatively forgives him, though he has much to prove to her. Over all the book was great, I really enjoyed reading it and I thought this book had more or the cheeky whit like the first book. I didn’t think the second book has as much humor as the first so I was glad this one incorporated more of the ‘old’ Alexia of Soulless. The only complaint that I had was the ending for me was too rushed–I was hoping for more of a build up and I thought Alexia forgave Lord Maccon a little to hastily.

I didn’t think it was characteristic for such a strong, independent woman like Alexia to more or less take him back without a fight—love or not. Things seem fine now between the two, but I suspect the fall out of this will fiasco will rear its ugly head in the next book. Plus there was a lot left up in the air so I think Carriger is keeping some things a secret for the next book–Heartless–due out in July 2011.

As for the Steampunk elements of the novel, as with the previous books this one contained much of the same themes–glassicles, blimps/air ships, air travel, mad scientists, steam technology and–of course as the Steampunk genre itself is rooted in the Victorian/Gothic genre as well as para-romance and supernatural lit– it contains sexual identity issues and gender role questions.

I love the futuristic fantasy inventions that Carriger uses in the book. All the different devices such as the mechanical/robotic killer lady bugs are so ridiculous that they are funny–all the contraptions and inventions are correct for the era which is perfect–it would be hard to accept super advanced technology like an iPhone randomly popping up in the Victorian era so all her inventions and such as dead on with the era. All the little clocks, weapons, and the dirigibles fit in with the genre and time period—excellent choice of Steampunk flair!

The cover of the book was yet again amazing.

I am sad that this series is more or less at a stand-still until July, but I have marked my calendar and since its release date is only about 6 months away, I see light at the end of the tunnel! I will not have to go to much longer without my favorite soulless!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger

  • ebook, 254 pages
  • Published September 1st 2010 by Orbit
  • ISBN 0316082562 (ISBN13: 9780316082563)

This book counts toward: 2011 Steampunk Challenge

Recommendation: 5 out of 5 (EXCELLENT, read it!)

Genre: Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction, Para-Romance.

Memorable lines/quotes: NA


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8 Comments

  1. Excellent! I can’t wait to read this series now, especially knowing that it’s not just the first book that is awesome, but the rest.

    And to answer the question you asked me about the links (sorry, I really thought I’d already answered you!) – yes, go for it. Add a link to each one so we know what books you’ve read and can find them. I’m sure more people will be getting in there and adding links too if that’s what you’re worried about, we’ve already got another one there. Congrats on doing so well with the challenge!

    Reply
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