Thursday, January 17, 2013

Timeless, by Gail Carriger

Title: Timeless
Author: Gail Carriger
Release date: March 2012 - available now!
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Steampunk
Source: Christmas present
Notes: #5 in the Parasol Protectorate series

Description: Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

My thoughts: I've been a fan of this series and the world Gail Carriger has created since I read Soulless (the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series). So it was a little bittersweet to pick this one up knowing it's the end of the series, even though we have other books set in the world to look forward to.

In 'Timeless', the questions about the God-Breaker Plague come back again, and this time the characters need to look deeper. Conveniently for that investigation, after a few adventures in London, Alexia & her family are summoned to Egypt. Meanwhile back home, the werewolves are dealing with another problem we had seen in an earlier book (I forget which one) which had been sorted out at the time - that Professor Lyall had engineered Lord Maccon coming down to take over the Woolsey pack. It turns out they have other repercussions to deal with from that.

The short version is, I loved this. I think Gail joins the people like Keri Arthur and Ilona Andrews in my head where I know that I'm going to like the book, regardless of which characters it includes, or what adventures they get up to.  We get to spend a lot of time with the werewolves in Timeless, who I always love reading about. A relationship that I was really hoping for did develop, and I'm so happy for the characters involved, and hope we'll see more of that in the spin-off books. Lord Akeldama also gets plenty of page time, and it's interesting to see how, even as an old vampire, he is being affected by changes, and the developments of the world. Akeldama is another person who I hope will be there in the future spin off books, because I think there is more to him, more facets of his personality, than we've seen so far.

As a whole, I felt like the book was.. heavier, than some of the others. There seem to be a lot of things here that are setting up for future things (ie, seeing Prudence's powers, and the restrictions on them), and a lot of things that are tying up this series. It was a very filling book, I finished it feeling pretty contented about everything, and the way it had ended.

Overall, 'Timeless' is another example of Gail Carriger's humorous, engaging style, a good conclusion to the Parasol Protectorate series that also leaves readers eager for the upcoming spin-off books.

I give Timeless 9 stars



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