Blameless by Gail Carriger
The Parasol Protectorate has become my new favorite series. I’ve said it before–I’ve steered clear of series books for a while, but I am completely taken with these. If I had to describe them in a sentence, I would say they are: Supernatural Victorian steampunk comedy romance with a dash of mystery and parasol proddings.
I’m sure my b-chan thinks I’ve become a bit barmy over this series 😛 , but even he has been intrigued by my willingness to drive for miles because I must have the next book now! (woe is me… the next part won’t be released until July 2011! It’s HP-type anticipation all over again.)
One of the things that I love about this series (and there are lots of things that I love about this series) is that while it is a supernatural steampunk romance, it is so much more than the sum of its parts. I like the idea of steampunk (I’m a techie, I’m a Victorian geek, steampunk just fits), but I’ve had trouble finishing some works because it seems like the author gets off on explaining how whatever gadget/contraption/element of society works, rather than developing plot and characters. I’ve not had this problem with Carriger’s series. From the Loontwills’ upper-class-twittery to Floote’s taciturn loyalty, Alexia & Co. arrive on the scene fully formed and armed with witty repartee.
These books make me laugh, and that’s not something that often happens when I read. I may be amused, but I don’t often get a fit of the giggles while reading at the uni’s library and/or coffee shop, thereby earning me evil glares from high-strung undergrads.
I’ll end this ramble here…
To avoid being Spoilerific, I’ve placed my synopsis under the cut tag… so read on if you don’t mind a few teensy spoilers.
Avast! There be SPOILERS ahead!
Tossed by her less-than-rational werewolf husband, Lady Alexia Maccon finds herself at the mercy of barbed tongues and fanged fiends when news spreads of her delicate condition. When her family, the society-minded Loontwills decide that she is a liability to their good name, Alexia finds herself with no option but to turn to Lord Akeldama and his house full of foppish spies. Little does she expect to find herself alone with Lord Akeldama’s cat, the dandies flown and their master in hiding. A mystery is afoot and Alexia’s infant inconvenience is somehow involved.
Joined by the ever formal Floote, a mustachioed Madame Lefoux, and armed with her trusty brass parasol, Alexia embarks on a journey to Italy, land of pesto, where the Templars’ skulk in their anti-supernatural domain. Meanwhile, Lord Maccon has his way with poor Professor Lyall’s collection of tasty scientific snacks. And Ivy’s hat-filled dreams come true.