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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
Blameless - Gail Carriger Oh. My. God. THIS SERIES. There’s very few books that I pick up at work and completely fall in love and fangirl over. When I first picked up Soulless, I honestly thought, “Okay, cheesy supernatural romance cashing in on steampunk.” Oh, how very wrong I was.Anyway, Blameless! What I loved about this entry is that we finally get see how the rest of Europe deals with the supernaturals and preternaturals. When Alexia travels to France and Italy, there’s extremely different attitudes and customs to counter the supernatural presence. (The fact that pesto was created to combat both vampires and werewolves? Brilliant.) (Also, it says something about the inherent Britishness when Ivy is scandalized by the fact that Italians drink *GASP* coffee and she quickly makes Alexia take a suitcase full of tea. Oh, Ivy.) After the “WHAT THE HELL CONALL” ending of Changeless, having Alexia deal with the period’s social mores and the resulting scandal does set the plot in motion, and then she finds out that the Germans (well, one at least) and the Italians are worse toward her and her preternatural abilities. Still, Alexia remains just as witty and active as she did in the first book. Yes, she pines for Conall, but it feels genuine and Alexia never spends her time moping in bed for months on end (as much as her mother would like to believe). It ‘s also interesting how she responds to her pregnancy, especially coupled with what little we know of preternatural nature. I did find it a little unnerving for Alexia to constantly refer to her unborn child as the ‘infant inconvenience’ but it makes more sense if you see it from Alexia’s point-of-view of “Stop fussing over me, I am still perfectly capable of handling myself!” (Moreso in Heartless.)The mystery of preternaturals is actually addressed in the book, with Alexia’s visit to the Templars. Gail Carriger, I applaud you for your plot revelations. We get enough information into historical preternaturals and Alexia’s father, but the nature of the Templars leave just enough tantalizing clues to keep the mystery. There’s a bit of a revelation as to what Alexia’s child will be, but it’s presented as a possibility. Also, for all of their embroidery and strange costumes, the Templars are an actual threat to everyone involved with the Maccons. I have a suspicion that they’ll play a much larger role in the next two books. (And again, FUCK YOU HERR LANGE-WILSDORF. The only reason for your existence is that you allow for Alexia to give some of her best snark. Stupid, period-accurate misogynist ass.) The character development in this was excellent. I loved getting into Madame Lefoux’s backstory and meeting some of the overseas members of the Order of the Brass Octopus (bring back Monsieur Trouve!) I loved that we get slightly into Floote’s past, and by extension, the mystery of Alessandro Tarabotti’s life. And while I didn’t really like Ivy in the first book, I’ve really warmed up to her. And before I move onto anything else, drunk!Conall = BEST THING EVER. I died every single time he showed up inebriated. And despite that, Conall still comes to his senses, admits his mistake and prepares to grovel. Professor Lyall remains my favorite character in the whole thing. Blameless is the first time where the duties of being a Beta are fully explored and details, and it shows why Randolph has kept that role for a long time. (I also believe that he thinks everything is going to go to hell if he wasn’t in that position.) I also didn’t realize how much a presence Lord Akeldama has in the series until he disappears for the entirety of the plot. It really adds to the desperation of Alexia’s situation, that nearly everyone she could turn to for support has turned their backs on her or disappeared. And Biffy! OMG, poor Biffy. For a split-second, I thought that he was going to kill himself when it’s revealed that Conall successfully changed Biffy into a werewolf. The whole lead-up and revelation damn near killed me.The ending is a little hurried, and I felt that the revelation involving Etruscans gets dropped a little quickly, but I loved Conall and Alexia’s reunion, and I think this does wrap up the main plot while setting the stage for something bigger. I want more Templars, more OBO, more Lord Akeldama and his sheer fabulousity. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, then what are you doing here? GO FORTH AND READ IT!