Timeless is the final book in Gail Carrriger’s Parasol Protectorate Series (though it looks like there will be a continuation of the series through Alexia’s daughter?). If you haven’t read the series yet, you really should get in on it. The Parasol Protectorate Series was my first real foray into the steampunk genre, and that was mostly because I read it had vampires and werewolves in it. Yes, this wonderful series is such a blend of sci/fi and steampunk it can’t be missed. Plus, the writing is just delicious. Carriger’s extensive vocabulary and lyrical prose make reading this series a delight. You can read my reviews of Books 1-3 here and Book 4 here. Obviously there will be *spoilers* for the previous books, but not for this particular installment.
Timeless is a story of mysterious pasts, present confusion, and future hope. It also has mummies. At the end of the last book Alexia Tarabotti and her husband Lord Maccon have moved her husbands werewolf pack into London where Alexia and Lord Maccon live in their daughter’s adoptive parent Lord Akeldama’s closet to keep the peace with the vampire hive and the wolf pack. Life is going along rather swimmingly even if Lord Maccon can never seem to be dressed quite precisely as his wife would wish, except for some bath time troubles with Prudence.
Alexia receives a summons from the Queen Bee (literally) Vampire of Egypt to bring Prudence the SoulStealer to meet the queen. The vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive has lived thousands of years but even she is intrigued by Lord and Lady Maccon’s daughter. The God-Breaker plague is spreading, Alexia is intrigued, Lord Maccon isn’t doing his usual protests (he has his own reason’s for wanting to go), and so Alexia sets off across the ocean with her family and the Tunstell’s acting troupe in tow as a cover for her journey. And then, of course, things get hairy (pun intended).
I really enjoy Carriger’s writing, it is always clean, concise, and witty. She has set up a fun steampunk fantastical world and I loved being able to delve back into the life and trials of Alexia. I also really like that this series doesn’t rely on a love triangle for drama, but uses the other personal relationships Alexia has to drive the plot forward. I love Lord Maccon’s character with his gruffness and messiness and adoration of Alexia. The two of them make a great pair, even if they do get snippy with each other at times. They work through their problems as a couple and that is always nice to see in the sci/fi genre. But I was a little disappointed that Lord Maccon wasn’t as much of a presence in this book, going off and taking care of other things and getting mad and leaving at one point. He seems to do that a lot, and while it was OK that his leaving was the plot line of a previous book I didn’t really like even the hint of it in this book. In some ways his character has grown and in other ways it hasn’t. I know this happens in real life, but I was really expecting more of Lord Maccon.
Alexia is, as always, a delightful character to read about. Her thoughts and analysis of situations because of her soulless state are quite funny and I do enjoy reading her view of the world. Some of her past decisions come back to haunt her and other people, hopefully helping her to realize how important honesty and communication is in relationships. I thought some of the tie-ups of the series were a little too neat, but overall the book ends the series satisfactorily. The characters have developed fully, they have grown and show promise for more growth, the “mystery” was interesting and engaging and I only figured out about half of it before it happened. A fitting ending to Alexia’s story.
Read another review here.