Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Review: Timeless

And I finally, after several years of trying to achieve this, have finally read all of the Parasol Protectorate series, wahoo! So, same drill as before, talking about the summary of this book involves some good sized spoilers for the first few so only continue reading if you've read the first few or just plain don't care, although considering just how large this one is I'd recommend against that.

Timeless by Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia and Conall’s daughter, Prudence, has been born and as predicted she has the ability to borrow a vampire or werewolf’s abilities which causes a whole slew of trouble given her surroundings. So its not without misgivings that Alexia accepts an invitation from the oldest vampire queen of them all in Alexandria, near the God-Breaker Plague of Egypt, and heads south hoping to resolve the mysteries of her family once and for all. 

The Good: In retrospect, Carriger started seeding many of the subplots that would appear in Heartless and Timeless rather early on and I’m impressed. I’m sure some might find the ending overly neat but considering how many of the characters in the series actively try to create neat endings for the people around them this shouldn’t be surprising. As for the actual book, I had always been worried how Alexia’s pregnancy, and subsequent offspring, would be handled but it all worked rather well here. Alexia still acts like herself, she and Conall truly love Prudence (which is in line with their characters), and the child is important to the story but not a plot device. Considering that I was expecting her to be left on the sidelines while the adult characters went on more adventures this is much, much better than I had hoped and for me that’s why the series ended so satisfactorily, it was smarter than I expected and that makes the story work for me better than almost any other ending could have. 

The Bad: In the end I do wish we had gotten a bit more information about both Alexia’s father and Floote. That storyline was also foreshadowed fairly early on but I think it needed not exactly more foreshadowing but more details revealed earlier on, especially considering how important it ended up being. Also, I feel like Madam Lefoux’s character ended up changing quite dramatically through the story, and well, it felt a little uneven by the end. Granted there is a timeskip between this book and Heartless, plus considering how Heartless ended a change in relationship makes sense (and she was changing in Blameless as well), but I almost feel like the Lefoux of Changeless is a completely different character from the one of Timeless. I’m not sure what I would have liked done differently but something does feel off and I feel like it could have been handled in a smoother fashion.

So I'm giving both this book and this overall series a 3.5 out of 5 which might be a bit low but there were just enough rough spots in the series to bother me yet despite those it's rather solid fun and I'm glad that I now own the books and would recommend them to a number of friends. Well, after making sure that my friends are okay with the implied sexytimes in the books but frankly considering how, uninterested and easily bored I am by sexytimes usually if I don't mind them then no one else I know will. With that in mind, if you like supernatural urban fantasy in Victorian London with some romance then give these a shot, hopefully you will have a better time finding the books than I did!    

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