Monday, 20 September 2010

Blameless Review

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate 3)
- Gail Carriger

Publisher: UK – Orbit

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, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all the London 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.

This book arrived in the post recently from my preorder and jumped to the top of my TBR pile. Alexia Tarabotti, a half Italian in Victorian England where her foreign blood and extra-ordinary ways is more frowned upon than Vampires or werewolves. She has such a strong character it really comes to live as does the effort Gail Carriger has put into her steampunk Victorian world blended with the Supernatural – where the state of your soul has an impact on whether you will survive the change to an immortal state or not. The world seems slightly familiar but at the same time with the emphasise on manners and society so different. The world is one I would happily spend a lot of time in and I thoroughly enjoyed time here.

Having said that, it’s not a great book for new comers to start with as so much of this novel is a direct continuation of the cliff hanger at the end of Changeless. In part this book doesn’t answer all the questions raised – there are loads of loose ends hanging. This is something you expect from a lot of series now where the overriding arc is spread over a collection of books and doesn’t impact my enjoyment – although it makes me impatient for the next in the series! This novel like Souless and Changeless is a lot of fun and very readable. The pages just fly by and if you’ve read the previous books you’ll enjoy this as well.

Recommended for KE Mills fans and Terry Prachett fans. 8 out of 10

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