Friday, December 10, 2010

Review - Blameless: The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Third

The Parasol Protectorate, by Gail Carriger
1. Soulless, 10.19.2010, * * * *
2. Changeless, 11.02.2010, * * * *
3. Blameless, 11.22.2010, * * * *

Warning! - It is impossible to comment on Blameless without minor and major spoilage occurring for the previous books in the series!  If you have not read Soulless and Changeless, stop reading this, go buy the books, and read them IMMEDIATELY!!!
(Don't forget to come back here when you are done!!)

From the Back:

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 Templar's.  Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse that the vampires - AND they're armed with pesto.

My Thoughts:
So, after the revelations that occur at the end of Changeless, Alexia wastes no time leaving Castle Woolsey.  Unfortunately she has nowhere to go except home.  Things are all right at first - other than having to deal with her wretched half-sisters, of course - but somehow the news of her inconvenient condition leaks to the society pages, and suddenly her life is even more of a scandal than it already was!  After the attack by the previously mentioned mechanical ladybugs with their poison-tipped antenna, Professor Lyall and Madame Lefoux urge her to leave town.  Alexia does one better, and leaves England altogether in search of answers.
First stop, Paris, where she is almost immediately attacked by vampires at the home of Madame Lefoux's inventor friend, and the trio (you didn't think Floote would let her go traipsing off across Europe without him, did you?) barely escape by fleeing to the roof and flying away in their host's Ornithopter.
From there they head to the coast and stop briefly in Nice to consult with a member of the Order of the Brass Octopus who may know something that will help explain Alexia's condition and why the vampires are so desperate to kill her, but before they can learn anything they are forced to flee again, over the mountains and into Italy, and straight into the welcoming arms of the Templar's, who wage an eternal war against the supernatural vampires and werewolves.  Alexia and gang find themselves comfortably (if closely) held at the Templar HQ, and Alexia discovers the joys of pesto sauce.  But she begins to suspect that not all is as it seems, and goes digging for more information, discovering much more about her heritage and how the Templar's have used her kind in the past.  Deciding at last to flee the Templar's the Trio find themselves trapped, and Alexia must use all her skill and wits to remain safe - and in one piece.  If only Lord Maccon would leave off the formaldehyde and make himself useful!

This was probably the most enjoyable of the three novels to date - a light quick fun read, with just enough suspense and danger to keep things interesting.  The little reveals about the Templars view of the supernatural set and their many abuses of the preternaturals were interesting - Carriger has obviously spent a lot of time with her world-building and following the effects of supernatural entities out to their logical conclusions - including the invention of pesto sauce!  I give Blameless 4 out of 5 stars, highly recommend it to anyone, and anxiously await Heartless: Book the Fourth, which will be released in July 2011.

Have you read Blameless?  Leave a comment and tell me what you thought!!  Or if you haven't, tell me what you are reading now - Curious minds want to know!!


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