Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

Normally I wouldn't follow a book review with a review of the next book in the series since variety is the spice of life but the The Parasol Protectorate Series is an exception to this blunder. I have been waiting on baited breath to read the third installment, Blameless, to the point that I would stop at every bookstore I passed to see if they had the book for sale when I heard a rumor from Gail herself that the book was available early in Texas. I finally found it at a Barnes & Noble, which was the last place I expected since when I had heard the same rumor about Changeless, they told me that in no way would they place a book on the self before the publisher's release date. Funny how that works out for me sometimes. So I have the book in my possession and what happens? I get so slammed between work and school that it takes me close to 3 weeks to read it. Not my style or to my liking. I finally finished it last night and all I can say is wow!

As previously stated in the Changeless review, Gail Carriger has created a world set in Victorian England which includes Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghosts, oh my! In this installment, Lady Alexia Maccon finds herself in a delicate condition while it is widely known that her husband, a werewolf of considerable age, could not possibly father children. The whole idea is absurd according to all desirable social circles. Poor Alexia is rejected by her husband and the pack, asked to leave not so nicely from her mother's home, and discovers the one person she thought she could always count on, the vampire rogue Lord Akeldama, has up and disappeared. What is a somewhat well bred lady to do? Go to Italy, the land of coffee and pesto, of course!

Blameless continues Carriger's tradition of the perfect amount of action, controversy, and good ole British humor. The characters each handle the disastrous scandal of unknown paternity in the exact way you would imagine. Alexia decides to travel, Lord Maccon gets drunk even though that should be impossible, and Floote decides it would be an excellent time to carry two petite single shot handguns. All the characters you have grown to love or tolerate, the case may be, make cameos through out the story including Ivy and the wicked half-sisters. The story is well written and slightly complex just like the previous novels in the series. There is also excellent character development while you watch Alexia wrap her head around a pregnancy that should never have come to be. By far, my favorite aspect of the book is the use of language. A wonderful aspect of historical novels is the opportunity to hear a familiar language used in a way that seems foreign. Carriger does the magnificently. At some points I had to stop, re-read the section in question, and laugh hysterically at the ingenious phrasing. Most enjoyable is the name Infant-Inconvenience for the baby who has stirred up a whole lot of trouble in London.

I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys British humor wrapped in a fun, intellectual story. The saddest thing I can think of right now is the fact that I have to wait until July 2011 to read more on the antics of Lord and Lady Maccon and their friends. Excellent work Ms. Carriger! I give Blameless and the series as a whole 5 out of 5 Stars.

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