The Parasol Protectorate

This is a book review. Please disregard. 😉

Over the summer I bought and read the final book in Gail Carriger‘s Parasol Protectorate series. Overall, I was satisfied with the series as a whole, though it had its ups and downs over the course of the five books. I wanted to take some time to talk about this series that sort of defined my past summer.

Soulless (novel)

Soulless (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Behold Alexia Tarabotti (though she only goes by that name for the majority of the first book), a woman who would find a way to pragmatically fit into our century just as easily as her own. The interesting thing about the Parasol Protectorate is that it takes Victorian England and shifts it just slightly to the left of reality. She’s witty, intelligent, and downright sassy (if one can be truly considered sassy in the Victorian era). Soulless was a really great little book that piqued my interest and held my attention throughout. I hadn’t read something this funny since my last Christopher Moore book. The romance was cute (I’d certainly be interested in Conall Maccon, even with his blustery temper), the sex was decent, and the subsequent marriage relationship was a wonderful dynamic.

I found a sort of kindred spirit in Alexia. A woman who doesn’t fit into her family because of her differences both physically and mentally/socially. A woman who finds men and their ridiculous attempts at romance to be insufferable. Short tempered and yet lovable. She’s one of those heroines that you hope to be if you were traipsing around in this kind of constructed world.

Timeless was fun, though I did find Blameless to be the weakest of all five novels. Finally we learn something more about Alexia’s father, but at the expense of the quality of writing. Everything felt so incredibly rushed that nothing really made coherent sense… The end was, in a word, lamesauce. I hate when characters fight and then make up so quickly! Also, that final sex scene left quite a bit to be desired.

Blameless (novel)

Blameless (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favorite character? Biffy of course (with Professor Lyall a very close second)! Lord Akeldama was just too hard to trust. Biffy really showed his value throughout the books, which added to the overall comedic effect and made me really appreciate the young dandy’s role as a spy. I love when spies come from the least expected places.

I do highly recommend you pick the series up from your local library or bookstore. I don’t regret buying them, though I do recognize that some hardcore paranormal, fantasy, AND steampunk fans may find them lacking. I myself am in a position of ambivalence about all of those genres, except for fantasy and this series was really more on the paranormal and steampunk side of things.

So yeah, try it out. It will certainly make you laugh, if nothing else. Alexia is fun and I look forward to reading more of Carriger’s work — other than her YA novels, which I’m sure are as good, just not my cup of tea…no pun intended.

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