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Gail Carriger – Blameless

October 19, 2011

127. Blameless by Gail Carriger (2010)
The Parasol Protectorate, Book 3

Read my review of book:
1. Soulless
2. Changeless
3. Blameless

Length: 384 pages
Genre: Historical Steampunky Fantasy

Started: 01 October 2011
Finished: 03 October 2011

Where did it come from? Downloaded from Amazon.
Why do I have it? I originally downloaded the three-book bundle, which is a good thing, since I’m totally hooked.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 13 September 2011.

The subject of where
babies come from is tough when
hubby’s a werewolf.

Summary: Alexia Maccon is pregnant, and since supernaturals are known to be partially dead and thus incapable of siring offspring, her werewolf husband – and most of London society – is treating the news as proof of her scandalous infidelity. Dismissed from her post on the Queen’s Shadow Council, forced to move back in with her horrible family, and under increased attacks from vampires who suddenly want her dead much more than usual, Alexia decides enough is enough, and retreats for a visit to the Continent. She hopes to track down some information about her pregnancy, which surprised her as much as anyone which is, so far as she knows, the first of its kind. Her only hope is the archives of the Knights Templar… a religious order that notoriously fears and distrusts preternaturals like Alexia. Back in London, Lord Maccon is existing in a state of constant inebriation over his wife’s presumed infidelity, and so it’s up to his Beta, Professor Lyall, to hold the pack together, and to determine the cause for the sudden disappearance of the vampire Lord Akeldama.

Review: These books are just wonderful, silly, addictive fun. Actually, I thought Blameless was a little less silly and a little more serious than the previous two books, but I still tore through it like no one’s business. The pseudo-Victorian prose is just as good as ever, and in some ways, it turns out third time’s the charm; Blameless managed to hit just the right balance of having enough steampunk elements to give the book a fun edge without them completely dominating the story. I also love the continued worldbuilding regarding the preternatural/supernatural split. As much as my dad rolled his eyes when I tried explaining it to him, I think it’s a clever idea, and I love the way Carriger continues to explore its implications.

There were a number of elements in this book that surprised me, both in and of themselves, and in how much I liked them. For one, it turns out that I’ve got a big ol’ crush on Professor Lyall, and found his POV chapters much more engaging than I was expecting to. The end of that plot thread was also a lot more emotional than has been typical for the series thus far, and I actually got a little misty – way more than usual for a subplot involving secondary characters.

Unfortunately, Professor Lyall’s narration meant a comparable absence of Lord Maccon, which was a shame. Although I understand the dramatic necessity behind keeping him and Alexia apart for most of the novel, a lot of the charm of this series is in watching them flirt and fight and banter. Alexia on her own just doesn’t have quite the same spark, no matter how dangerous her adventures or how quirky her companions. Still, this book had enough interesting developments that I’ll definitely be reading the next one. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Start at the beginning, but I definitely recommend the series as a whole for historical fantasy fans who are looking for some solidly entertaining and giggle-worthy reading.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: So very many of them. Check them out at the Book Blog Search Engine.

First Line: “How much longer, Mama, must we tolerate this gross humiliation?”

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • Location 12397: “Not only was the vampire himself missing, but so were all of his drones, assorted sycophants, and poodle-fakers.” – A man who seeks out female society, especially for social or professional advancement.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 1:05 pm

    I love the idea of a giggle worthy read. I now want the whole series. :-) I need to see if I can download them to my Nook.

    • October 21, 2011 9:46 am

      Amy – I’d say try the first few chapters (Nooks let you do that, right?), and if you like them, go for it!

  2. Chris permalink
    October 19, 2011 1:47 pm

    I love Professor Lyall. He’s much more interesting than shouty Maccon. Have you gotten the 4th book yet? There’s more Floote, who I think is my favorite character out of them all.

    • October 21, 2011 9:47 am

      Chris – I’ve got the 4th book checked out of the library, and I think I’m going to read it tomorrow during the readathon. I do like Floote, although at this point, he’s still too enigmatic to call him a favorite yet.

  3. October 19, 2011 4:27 pm

    So may people love these books, but I don’t think they’re for me. I just love the covers, though.

    • October 21, 2011 9:48 am

      Kathy – I like this cover a lot, although based on the cover I was expecting them to spend a lot more time in Paris than they actually do.

  4. October 19, 2011 8:43 pm

    I am trying to read this and it is not grabbing me. It makes me sad because I really liked the first two books! I have decided it is timing and am going to hold off.

    • October 21, 2011 9:49 am

      Kailana – I can see that; I think there’s enough interesting stuff that happens by the end that it’s worth finishing, but it is a little less compelling than previous books. Here’s hoping #4 will be back up to speed!

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