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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Timeless  - Gail Carriger My dear Ms. Carriger, Follows is a list of exclamations and most improper utterances that were said in the reading of your book:‘Omg yay!; AWESOME; Aww….; holy crap; wait, what?; HOLY [redacted]; What? WHAT NO; NO NO NO NO; HE’S A WHAT?; OH- [list of expletives] YOU DID NOT!; NO! I…NO!; of course it is; oh thank God; and SHE’S WHAT?’ And furthermore.Suffice to say, THIS SERIES. The Parasol Protectorate is now joining the ranks of Discworld and Harry Potter for the sheer amount of detail, world-building, wit and plotting in it. The whole series is so tightly plotted; the world-building, while initially weak, is vast, varied and detailed, and the characters are so well-done and rounded you want to sit down to tea with them all. While I know there’s an upcoming sequel series, I’m still sad to see Alexia’s adventures end.But enough about the series as a whole. Timeless does a fantastic job at capping off the Parasol Protectorate, as all of the plot threads slowly come to a head in this volume, along with several twists and turns and few moments of “Now what?” Most of the plot reaches back to Changeless, with the team heading to Alexandria to investigate preternatural mummies and the God Breaker Plague. And furthermore, the mystery of Alessandro Tarabotti is largely solved. I like that not every plot point in the series gets solved and that there are a few answers still to be explored. And it works—what answers are there give enough explanation to the plot at hand. For example, we finally learn Floote’s motivations for the entire series (amongst other things). We don’t get page-long explanations, just enough to know what we need to know. I’ve neglected to mention this in my other reviews, but Carriger’s handling of history and the nods she gives is fantastically well done. There’s very few cameos by historical personages, and when they do, there’s no real flashing signs to their presence. I like that the vampires choose to adopt different names, so the reveal that Queen Matakara is Hatshepsut plays neatly into the plot. (And even the ones who don’t have their true identities revealed make for a good joke if you get the reference. *coughCountessNadasdycough*)Much like with Blameless, I like how we get a larger view of this world and how it works. I love the Drifter culture that gets explored in Egypt, and how different it is from the very mechanical European air culture. It’s also interesting in that Egypt is one of the few instances where supernaturals are a way of life, except that the population is so small that the normal humans aren’t really bothered by them.As I mentioned earlier, there’s some great uses of set-up used throughout the book. There are several insistences that happen in the first few chapters that end up playing a large part in the climax, but they never seem like major plot points until the elements start to come into play. I like that we pick up a few years after the end of Heartless. Not only does it allow to explore Prudence’s abilities in an easier (and very comical) manner, but it also explores the effect that parenthood has had on all of the characters. I like that Alexia’s a bit of a Mama Bear, it suits her very well and she doesn’t lose or compromise all of the traits that make her awesome.One of the big themes in this is the toll of an immortal life, and I think it shows really well with Conall. There’s still a bit of the swaggering Alpha that got introduced in Soulless, but you do get to see him soften up over the next few books. While I do think his decision to ultimately retire and move to Egypt (becoming mortal in the process) does come out of left field, it does make a lot of sense. He’s seen what living too long can do to most immortals, and he knows the risk he’s taking with his final decision. Add the fact that he’s learned about what Lyall did to the previous Alpha AND that Alexia had kept it secret from him, I can see why Conall feels ready to let go of life. Which brings me to Sidheag, who does make her triumphant return. Except that she wants to confront Lyall about his actions and demand retribution. Again, I understand why she does what she does, but—I don’t want her to take Lyall away!And then there’s Biffy. Oh, Biffy. I’ve liked him since his first appearance, and as the series’ progressed, he’s quickly risen to being one of my favorites. (Thus continuing my love of badass woobies.) I like the idea that Lyall’s been grooming him to be the replacement Beta, and I love their relationship. But HOLY SHIT. BIFFY HAS AN ANUBIS FORM. That was a genuine surprise, and it strangely works for him. (And Biffy/Lyall forever omg.) The two-year gap between books also speaks volumes with the other characters. I liked how Genevieve’s mellowed out a little—she’s still unhappy about the situation she’s been placed in, but I think she’s accepted the circumstances. Ivy is still blissfully Ivy, even after she becomes the VAMPIRE QUEEN OF LONDON. If there’s anything I want to see more of in Prudence’s series, it’s how Ivy copes with her new position. Akeldama is best vampire daddy, and we get more clues to his backstory. (Oh, I have theories. Many theories.) I love little toddler Prudence, and I have high hopes for her in the future.And again, the writing and plotting are completely fantastic. I like that Carriger can give a very simple set-up and throw the reader through as many twists and turns as she can, and make it all seem natural and real. (Including one that led to a massive freakout at twelve-thirty in the morning.)As sad as I am to see it go, Timeless is a fantastic addition to the Parasol Protectorate canon and a fitting end to one of the smartest, creative, and fun series that I’ve come across in a long time. There’s very little left open-ended here, and the possibilities for the new series are, well, limitless. (Heh.) We should all hold our teacups high and toast Ms. Carriger for a job well done and wish her well on her next endeavor.