Timeless by Gail Carriger
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #5
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Dates Read: March 2-10, 2012
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?
I must first note that I am sad to see the Parasol Protectorate series come to a close. While it may be argued that there is not much substance to these books, I have found them to be greatly entertainingly fluff reads. The novel featured a little bit of a lot of things: steampunk, Victorian, werewolves, vampires, humor, romance, absurd situations, mystery, intrigue, adventure, and more. Alexia Tarrabotti is a preternatural, a “soulless”, whose lack of soul leads to her touch cancelling out the powers of those with excess soul. In other words, she can make vampires and werewolves mortal and exorcise ghosts. She is married to an earl, Lord Maccon, who also happens to be a werewolf alpha. At the end of the last novel, their daughter, Prudence was brought into the world. Unlike her mother, who merely cancels out supernatural power, Prudence steals it. This leads to some entertaining toddler mayhem scenes, as this novel is set a few years after Heartless.
I think Timeless did a good job of tying up many of the loose ends of the series. I enjoyed the exploration of the relationship between Lord and Lady Maccon and their daughter, and their daughter’s adoptive father, Lord Akeldama. It is interesting to see how they have settled into their domestic roles in adjoining households. However, this doesn’t last long. Loyal readers of the series know that Alexia cannot stay out of trouble for too long. She receives a summons from the vampire queen of Alexandria which she cannot ignore. Thus, Lord and Lady Maccon and their daughter see off to Egypt under the guise of accompanying Ivy Tunstell’s theatre brigade. Of course, this can only end…well. While these characters are away from London, I enjoyed seeing the maturation of Biffy. I rather enjoyed what transpired between him and Professor Lyall. The mystery elements of the story were well played — the reader was only privy to the information that the main characters had, so it was hard to predict the answers ahead of time. The novel had a good bit of adventure, some thrills, and a copious dose of Gail Carriger’s signature style of humor. And through all this, Carriger manage to continue the development of her characters, not allowing them to become stagnant.
While I can’t say that Timeless was my favorite novel out of the five, I enjoyed it all the same. I’m sad to see the series end, but I think it left off on a good foot and closed in a satisfactory way.