Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: fiction, fantasy/”horror” (alternative historical fiction?)
Year Published: 2010
Source: personal collection
Reason for Reading: 2010 Resolution (read 5 books published in 2010)
continuing the Parasol Protectorate series (my review of PP #1, Soulless, found here and PP#2, Changeless, found here)
Book Description (back cover):
Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon is 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.
My Thoughts: Not quite as gripping as the second novel, Blameless falls more into the just under perfect category of 4/5 stars from me. I was expecting quite the story and adventure, what with the way Changeless ended. However, it was just sort of blah for me. Carriger didn’t write Lord Maccon to be quite deserving to win Alexia back. When all was said and done, he didn’t really arrive in the story as a “hero” until Alexia no longer needed rescuing–I can understand if perhaps this was to make Alexia a stronger heroine. However, the fact that Alexia yells at Lord Maccon for probably five minutes and then caves into his sexy doings without so much as a peep sort of has me feeling a little aghast. The fact that Carriger wrote Alexia this way just makes me sad–I mean, she’s supposed to be strong and logical. And while Alexia can also be emotional, I think it’d take a bit longer than five minutes for me to get over it if had ever Nick accused me of adultery and carrying another man’s child and it got out in public. Alexia’s caving in to Conall like this just makes me angry, as a woman, I guess. (And trust me, I never thought I’d say something offended me, “as a woman”.)
However, I love that because Alexia traveled to Italy, I now know more about the preternatural state and the history of them and their interactions with supernaturals (and yes, I understand this is all make believe). But this soul-stealer that the “infant inconvenience” will likely become has me greatly interested. Does a soul-stealer actually steal the soul away completely or just neutralize it like a soul-sucker? Here I thought maybe a preternatural and a supernatural would cancel out and the baby would just be normal. But I’m getting the feeling that the baby will be much more important than any other character.
Oh, and I’m also very curious to find out what happens between Lord Akeldama and Biffy. Technically Biffy could become a loner (meaning he would desert the Woolsey Pack) and spend his days with Lord Akeldama. I mean, that makes sense: a rove and a loner, both neither belonging to a hive/pack, loyal to no one but themselves. It would be weird, a vampire and a werewolf together (note how I don’t find anything odd about the fact that both are men 🙂 ). But, a preternatural and a werewolf is just as weird, I think.
My Thoughts on the Cover: Just like the previous two, the covers have no real hidden meaning and can be taken pretty literal. There is an ornithopter (aka a primitive helicopter) to represent the new mode of travel introduced in this story. And the backdrop is not England/London, but another city. I honestly don’t know what city this is supposed to be. It looks Parisian, but the majority of the story was in London or Florence. And I don’t see that ever-present landmark of Paris–the Eiffel Tower–but that could be because it wasn’t built by the time the story takes place. Anyone know what city it is?
A favorite quote of mine from the book:
“‘B-b-b-bastard,’ blubbered Alexia.
Madame Lefoux was clearly at a loss.
Alexia, taking pity on her, tried desperately to control herself and explain. ‘I was doing so well, being angry at him.’
‘So you are crying because you cannot be angry at him anymore?’
‘No. Yes!’ Alexia wailed.” (p237)
I like this quote because I often find myself in the same predicament. Not that Nick and I ever fight to the extreme as Alexia in Conall in this book, but I still find it hard sometimes to stay angry at Nick. That makes me even more upset, not being able to stay angry at him. I totally understand Alexia in this instance 😀