Audiobook Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

Audiobook Review: Blameless by Gail CarrigerBlameless by Gail Carriger
Narrator: Emily Gray
Series: Parasol Protectorate #3
Published by Recorded Books on March 9, 2011
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Steampunk
Source: Purchased
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Gail Carriger’s best-selling Parasol Protectorate series reimagines Victorian England with vampires, werewolves, and a dash of steampunk. Blameless is the third in the series starring the parasol-wielding Lady Alexia Maccon, formerly Alexia Tarabotti. After news spreads of her delicate condition—a surprise to everyone since she’s married to a werewolf—Alexia is desperate to escape the London gossip. So she heads to Italy for a change of scenery.

After the monumental betrayal that was the ending of the second Parasol Protectorate book, I started Blameless enraged. We’re not entirely back to being friends yet, but, damn it, even at its most infuriating this series is highly entertaining and hard to resist. I will never ever be okay with the ending to book two or entirely okay with this book because it was unnecessary all around, but whatever. This series is my crack and I cannot stop. There will be MAJOR UNTAGGED SPOILERS for book two in this review. You have been warned.

Carriger ended the second book of this series with a basically ship-destroying occurrence. Madame LeFoux informs Alexia that she’s pregnant, surprising everyone but the reader, and Conall promptly accuses her of infidelity and throws her out on her arse. It is testament both to the degree that I ship these two and to the amount I think this whole thing was out of character that I am tentatively able to accept this. Basically, I can see Conall tossing that off in his initial emotional response and then some yelling, but then Alexia would make an excellent point and they’d sex. He knows her too well to fall for this, and, in fact, he says in Blameless that he always knew and just needed time to adjust. Fuck that stupid shit. Instead, this idiotic plot point takes a whole book to resolve.

Insulted by her husband, Alexia has no recourse but to go back to her mother’s house and hang out with intellectual inferiors. Society has turned against her, and basically everything is terrible. Then it leaks to the press and she’s attacked by poisonous mechanical ladybugs. Due to the murder attempt and the shunning, she determines that she simply must head to Italy, where paranormals are not welcome, thus protecting her from the vampires. Also, there’s some thought that she might be able to learn more about her nature and that of her baby from the Knights Templar.

The madcap plot is entertaining, but also rather pointless. As is mentioned in the book, the whole thing could have been avoided has Lord Maccon not been a dipshit. All the journeying about Europe leads to no new knowledge. Yes, Alexia does learn some things while she’s traveling around, but the same information is figured out in the same timeframe back in England, because Lord Akeldama knows everything. It was ultimately a pointless, dangerous jaunt.

Blameless does benefit from a good deal less Ivy and a great deal more of Professor Lyall. I also continue to be a big fan of Genevieve Lefoux, because of course I’m going to love the crossdressing French lesbian. I’m torn on Alexia and Conall. The resolution of their argument is convincing and I’m somewhat inclined to accept it because it’s all so out of character that them talking about why he accused her makes no damn sense. It was a plot point that was clearly forced on them, and everyone’s rather shame-faced about the whole thing. I do think Alexia takes Conall back a bit too quickly, but she does at least chew him out and it could have been much worse after that last book. Oh, also, I love that Alexia calls her impending baby the “infant inconvenience.”

So yeah, I’m unwilling to give a full three stars for this, even though I have to admit I enjoyed it more than I could have thought possible after the last book. This book serves absolutely no larger plot purpose, aside from the so obvious it’s not spoilery revelation that Alexia’s baby will have powers, which could easily have been revealed in a book with an actual plot.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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