Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

September 6, 2010 Books, Reading, Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review: Blameless by Gail CarrigerBlameless by Gail Carriger
four-stars
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 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.
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #3
Published by Orbit on 2010-09-01
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
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Buy the Book at: Amazon

 

I’m beginning to wonder if Gail Carriger is capable of not hitting one out of the park. Soulless, the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series (reviewed by me here), was incredibly unique. Book 2, Changeless (reviewed by Stacy B here), improved on the unique setting of the first book, introducing more of the supernatural world and the fascinating steampunk technology.

Blameless picks up right where Changeless left off (which means if you haven’t read Changeless yet, beware spoilers in this review!), with a pregnant and shamed Alexia who has moved out of her husband’s house and back in with her lovely family. When she discovers that Britain’s vampires (with the exception of Lord Akeldama, who has gone missing) want her dead, she goes on the run with Madame Lefoux and faithful Floote, her late father’s valet.

I think I was most impressed by Alexia’s continued judicious use of spine. She’s found herself in quite a shameful position–pregnant and cast out by her husband, and in Victorian England’s snooty and prudish society, that’s probably the worst thing that could possibly happen to a woman. Alexia is more irritated by this than anything else, and despite the physical woes of early pregnancy, she still keeps her head high and kicks some ass when necessary. I absolutely love this character.

Carriger’s prose is, as usual, laugh-out-loud funny and elegant in its mimicry of Victorian fiction. Most of the story is a cross-continent chase during which Alexia tries to figure out both how she was able to get pregnant and what her child might be when it is born. The scenes in which Professor Lyall attempts to find out why the vampires are after Alexia are very welcome. I liked Lyall in the other books, but he gets his chance to shine in Blameless, and he proves himself to be an excellent beta to Lord Conall Maccon’s pack as well as a good leader in his own right.

My only complaint about Blameless (and admittedly, it is kind of a major one) needs to go under a spoiler cut, since it deals with something that happens at the end of the novel. Beware Blameless spoilers below!

View Spoiler »

Other than that complaint, though, I enjoyed the heck out of Blameless and count myself as a devoted reader of the Parasol Protectorate.