Audiobook Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Timeless by Gail CarrigerTimeless by Gail Carriger
Narrator: Emily Gray
Length: 11 hrs, 29 mins
Series: Parasol Protectorate #5
Published by Hachette Audio on March 1, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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three-stars

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Woo! Binge read complete! Having finished a series feels good, even though my feelings on this series are really mixed. It’s been a fun listen all the way through, from love to rage to annoyance, but, even so, I do rather wish I’d stopped after the first book. It would stand alone perfectly well, and the series never got any better than that one was for me. The conclusion to the series is satisfying, but I am not without quibbles.

Timeless, in the time-honored tradition of avoiding the boredom that babies present from a narrative perspective, opens two years after the prior Parasol Protectorate novel ended. Since Alexia’s daughter Prudence has matured a bit faster than most kids, she’s now able to talk and to be fairly interesting. As young kids go, I like her. How can I not feel some kinship with a girl whose favorite word is “no”? According to my parents, I went through that phase too and it was lengthy. Props to Carriger for managing to write about both pregnancy and a toddler in a way that I don’t find tedious. What makes this possible is Alexia’s lack of maternal instincts. She loves her daughter, but also acknowledges that Lord Akeldama, Florence’s legal guardian, is a much better parent than she.

Prudence doesn’t serve much of a purpose to the plot, but she is an amusing figure. She basically just wreaks havoc, running around and stealing people’s paranormal powers. She is, however, the means of getting the plot to Egypt. A vampire queen wants to meet with young Prudence and apparently this is an invitation that cannot be resisted, so off go the Maccons and the Tunstalls. The Egyptian setting is awesome and, plot-wise, I thought this novel was the strongest, aside from perhaps Soulless.

So far as tone goes, I think if you’ve loved the whole series, then you’ll be delighted with the conclusion. I’m just not as impressed with the series as everyone else is. I feel like plot and characterization are regularly sacrificed in the pursuit of drama or laughs. A book can be hilarious and dramatic without needing to make characters behave uncharacteristically.

Oh, I did get my gay ship finally. That’s the best thing about Timeless. Gay werewolves! I ship it, though honestly it would have been difficult to get me to not ship the gay werewolves. However, they’re so sweet to each other and I totally approve. That said, I’m not sure how I feel about View Spoiler »

Two things irritated me greatly in Timeless, both to do with Conall Maccon. First, there’s the fact that he learns Alexia lied to him for his own good. He’s angry and runs off and considers sundering their marriage again. He should be mad and should tell her not to do that again, but to my mind she has a free pass since he dumped her for being pregnant with HIS child. How did she not point this out even? Grrrrr. Then there’s the View Spoiler »

There you have it, folks. The Parasol Protectorate series is a great deal of fun, particularly on audio. However, the first book is, in my opinion, the best one and it might be advisable to quit while you’re ahead.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

*dramatically closes parasol*

*dramatically closes parasol*

One response to “Audiobook Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger”

  1. AM Gray says:

    I agree. I loved the first book… was horrified by the ending of the second book and I’m wary of reading another. And my issue was Conall, as well. The violent change of character at the end of book2 was too much. What kind of werewolf could not tell if his wife had been with someone else or not? I was so angry with him I couldn’t read the next book, and I thought I could, but I still haven’t got past it. If I was Alexia, I’d never forgive him.
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