As the last novel in the Parasol Protectorate
series draws to an end it is my sad realization of how much I would miss these characters I have grown to love.
Indeed, the Parasol Protectorate
is a good first foray into the world of steampunk. As a new reader of the said genre I could not have asked for a more entertaining series to wet my appetite. Gail Carriger’s ability to transport the reader into her amazing world is enticing and entertaining to say the least. Ms. Carriger combines many genres within this series and creates a very colorful picture that certainly leaves many readers craving more. There are many aspects that should appeal to the wide range of readers, as I myself, have stumbled upon the series looking to continue my exploration into historical paranormal romance I found so entertaining in my past reads, but there is so much more in Carriger’s world. Here we find a feisty, smart and practical heroine – Alexia, a new paranormal being of Carriger’s design – a soulless. The colorful world set in alternate Victorian England, the comedy of manners, the wittiness and quirkiness of writing style, some romance and mystery, mixed with the steampunk elements all come together to create something totally new, that certainly left me desperately looking for the next chapter to come, but alas it was the last. Timeless
was a perfectly practical wrap-up of the 5-part series. Although it still left certain opportunities for future explorations, most readers should be left satisfied with this ending. I was hesitant when starting book 5, not because this was the end of the series but because it felt that, perhaps, it lasted too long. Well, dear reader, I stand corrected – I certainly wished there was no end in sight once Timeless
was finished. Through five very charming novels, I’ve grown quite attached to these characters, whom I found so entertaining. Alexia
was a refreshing heroine, unlike any other, and positively not the type needing the all-so-common rescuing by a man. Although, the men – were so-very-present! Lord Maccon was a perfect counterpart to Alexia and their relation so entertaining; with Professor Lyall, Biffy, the ever-mysterious but very good at brewing just a perfect cup of tea butler – Floote, and Lord Akeldama completing the picture – the cast of characters alone has carried the books forward. The addition of Prudence and the circumstance of her nature created for fun and at-times comical situations that added a new spark.
I must admit, at times, I was worried and even angered by some of the events and discoveries in this novel, and yet I found myself pleasantly surprised by the satisfaction of the conclusion. Undoubtedly, there were surprises, some good and bad. My heart was aching at the scene of Alexia’s loss of Conall – I couldn’t believe that Ms. Carriger can be so cruel as to deprive us from the well deserved happily-ever-after, but this writer has many tricks up her sleeve and she certainly knows the ways to satisfy her readers. The re-appearance of Lord Maccon has certainly brought big relief and plans of retirement in Cairo – a nice heartwarming touch.
Some comical and witty relief was offered by none other than Madame Lefoux, who managed to redeem herself, by staying true to only herself alone. I’m sure I would have enjoyed seeing more of her questionable behavior and inventive spirit, but strictly on visits.
Professor Lyall and Biffy surprised and saddened me in many ways, as I was so fond of both characters. I think I was hurt along with Conall to learn of his Beta’s betrayal and even more saddened by his necessary departure from the London Pack. On the other hand, Biffy’s character grew exponentially, which once again managed to surprise me as a reader, alas in quite a cheerful manner. Perhaps, one day we will learn of the adventures of the new London Pack Alpha.
Floote, the ever-present man of mystery – managed to both offend and redeem himself. His escape served a perfect solution to the problem of how one is to deal with one’s domestic staff as Alexia put it:
“I suppose that saves us from having to determine what to do with a butler who goes around killing people. It certainly reflects badly upon our domestic staff. Still, I shall miss him. There was a man who knew how to brew a good cup of tea.”Timeless (pp. 376-377).
Lord Akeldama was not as prominent in this installment, but I am certain that no reader could have missed the many aphorisms produced by this character – who managed to comment on any and all situations in such a colorful way as only Goldenrod would. However, I’m still left wondering to the parental arrangements in place.
Although, at times Ms. Ivy Tunstell has acted quite the blonde ditz, which indeed she was not (mostly because she was quite a brunette), the conclusion of her role in Alexia’s world played out quite neatly: a thespian of often questionable fashion taste made Queen Bee - indeed there are “shifting times” ahead.
The only character whom apparently I was enjoying in the minority - Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings - did not receive any extensive conclusion save a short mention. Thus, I’m left wondering if his good looks were wasted on his poor character.
With the conclusion of the series at hand, one must accept and part with the beloved characters. As I leave this colorful world behind, I look forward to further exploring the steampunk genre and certainly to the new promised adventures of Prudence in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad
, I hope Ms. Carriger does not shy away of glimpses into Lord & Lady Maccon’s future. Favorite Quotes:
“A strategic retreat, my love. I thought, when Prudence has grown, we might return here, together. Take long walks, eat pastries, play, uh, backgammon or whatnot.” “In the God-Breaker Zone… but you’ll grow old and die!” “As will you.” Conall began stroking her back in a soothing manner. “Yes, but I was always going to grow old and die!” “Now we can do it together.” “My love, that’s a very chivalric thought, but there is no need to be nonsensical in matters of the heart.”
Timeless (pp. 377-378).
“A new queen, plus five Egyptian vampires and assorted drones? You object to my bringing souvenirs back from Egypt? Everyone brings back souvenirs from their travels abroad, my lord. It is the done thing.”
Timeless (p. 384).