Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

Title: Blameless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #3
Pages: 355
Publisher: Orbit Books
Genre: Steampunk
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description:
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season. Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council and to top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, which can only indicate that the vampires of London now inevitably want her dead.While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

My Review:
Warning! This review will contain several spoilers from the previous books in the series, due to their relevance to the main plot lines of this one. If you haven't read the first books, Soulless and Changeless, then I suggest you do so immediately before you get all spoilery up in here with me. Plus they are amazing...this series is in my top ten best of the year so go out and buy them now!!!

Anywho...Blameless begins right where the previous book left off. Though you can't help but be pissed off at Conall Maccon for his serious buffoonism...this *ahem* distinguished English lord has just completely offended his dearest wife for suggesting that the child in her belly is not his...This would normally be believable, because according to all known lore, werewolves and other supernaturals can't have children. Yet, Alexia is one of a spirit and in species...She is a soulless and there has never been a werewolf/soulless child on record so you can understand why Alexia is pissed at her husband for thinking her unfaithful. I was absolutely shocked and appalled and Connal's reaction in the last book. He called her every name in the book then banished her from his castle...seriously Conall?? You total just kicked your pregnant wife out of her home for something YOU happened to participate vigorously in...douche...In spite of his hot headed and ridiculous reaction, you never quite lose sympathy with him. He is hurt, and reeling from the belief (however false) that the love of his life has cheated. He is a werewolf so cannot get drunk, except for drinking formaldehyde, which is hilarious. The scenes with drunk Lord Maccon were enough to bring tears of laughter to my eyes...I enjoyed him immensely.

I loved Alexia of course, the fact that she has been kicked out of her home is pitiable...but not nearly as bad as the fact that she now has to live back home with her ditsy, insipid, insulting mother and half-sisters who resemble nothing so much as pretty little vipers. In fact, it is her sister Felicity's fault that her disgrace is made public in London...This upsets her mother, Mrs. Loontwill,  to such a degree that she kicks Alexia out of her house as well...but not before producing one of my favorite scenes and quotes of the book. Basically the family is fighting over breakfast. Alexia has of course born the brunt of the displeasure and scandal for the house, and her sisters are constantly digging at her with sharp barbs of conversation. When Alexia discovers that it was Felicity who told the London socialites of her shame, she pours a tray of sausages over her sisters head, traumatizing her mother and turning her sister into a treacherous screaming child...but that is not is a quote: "Alexia frowned. Her anger once again died, buckling under the ache of a were-wolf sized hole.Attempting to fill up the void with something, she helped herself to a dollop of marmalade and, because she had nothing left to lose, ate it directly off the spoon. At that, Mrs. Loontwill actually did faint." Perfect, refined, awesomeness at it's best :)

Also, with regards to the previous quote, I love that Alexia is not afraid of food. Her gusto for all things edible is quite hilarious as she samples all the different fares as she progresses across the European Continent. She's reminds me of a Victorian Stephanie Plum...for those of you not familiar with the Stephanie Plum series...she allows her fondness for birthday cakes, meatball subs, and pizza overwhelm even her libido sometimes. It is quite hilarious seeing Alexia turn to mush at the taste of pesto and marinara when previously she is such a hardened woman that she's practically an ice sculpture. Plus there are pretty hilarious effects to werewolves when dealing with a woman who's been eating garlic and pesto for a few weeks.

In the same route as the first two books in the series, there is a ton of action. And I don't just mean characters moving all around London and Europe. There are plenty of attacks, first by the mechanical ladybugs, and then by more and more sinister foes such as vampires and terrifying religious zealots. The inventions in this book were also fantastic. I especially loved the flying machine as well as the evil little paralyzing and poisoning ladybugs. Alexia spends most of this book on the run from her various attempts at assassination, due to the fact that she is no longer backed by Maccon's werewolves. I loved how she dealt with the different situations and characters along the way. Her soulless state, as well as her lineage, precedes her in many parts of the world, and she is treated with varying levels of both curiosity and disgust...very cool...I thought the book was paced very well. I spent most of the time wishing I could read faster and faster, though I was a little sad that this book, like it's predecessor, kept Alexia and Lord Maccon apart for much of the novel.
I give this book 4 out of 5 Keys! It was definitely a wonderful trip into the land of Victorian, Supernatural England...which is a trip that I feel is always worth taking :) I can't wait to read more about the Maccons, and especially get back to England and deal with the pregnancy, Madame Lefoux, and Ivy and Tunstell. I was actually pretty upset that Lord Akeldema was absent for the majority of the book, because he is one of my favorite characters. I am SO excited to see what develops with the new circumstances surrounding him and Biffy. This was an excellent read, and I recommend this series with TONS of enthusiasm...If I could dance the cha-cha while waving this series around and shouting about it's greatness, well...I would probably do it :)


  1. nice review!

    sounds a bit scary though

  2. Haha! Dancing the cha-cha while waving the series around and singing about its greatness? Lol!

    By the way, Lord Conall does sound like an arse for kicking out his pregnant wife. That's wrong- no matter the circumstances.

    I can't wait for exams to end so I can start this series. I only got the first book about a month back, so I haven't touched it. But I hope to start soon.

  3. I've been getting more and more into the steampunk genre lately. This sounds great. Nice review! :)

  4. I just ordered the 4th book in this series and have seriously thought about getting started on it. Glad for the reminder as to why I wanted to read it.

  5. I need more steampunk in my life! :)

  6. I love reading your reviews on these books!! Had never heard of them till I joined your blog and so glad I did!! All of the books are on my wish list now:)