Mar 20, 12
Read from March 09 to 13, 2012
This is the final book in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger and it was a satisfying ending to this series. Fans of this series shouldn't be sad it is over though. Carriger has two more series planned in this wonderful universe the first is The Finishing School a four book series with the first book, Etiquette and Espionage, set to release Feb 2013. The second is the Parasol Protectorate Abroad, whose first book Prudence is tenatively scheduled for a 2013 release.
This book starts two years after the end of Heartless. Alexia, Conall, and toddler, Prudence, have a strange but workable set up where Lord Alkedama has Prudence living with him because of her condition. When Alexia receives a summons from Alexandria, Egypt it is a summons that she can't ignore. The Queen of the Alexandria hive wants to speak to Alexia and this is cause enough for Alexia to pack up her family...along with the Tunstells...and make the trip. Hopefully while in Egypt Alexia will find answers to why the God-Breaker Plague is expanding.
This book is different than most others in the series in that a good portion of the story is told, not from Alexia's point of view, but from Biffy's. I don't mind hearing from Biffy, but I didn't find him quite as charming or funny as Alexia. I think some of this was done to set up the world for Carriger's next series.
The best addition to the story was the toddler Prudence. Her toddler antics are hilarious, especially when you add in her ability to steal supernatural abilities from people (something only her mother Alexia can remedy). Nothing like a hyper vamped out toddler to get you laughing. Seriously it was hilarious at times.
Alexia wasn't quite as funny and witty as in previous installments, she seemed content but not as carefree. She goes though quite a lot of heartbreak in this book and I was sorry to see all she had to suffer through. Her and Conall aren't as romantic with each other as they've been in previous installments...but I guess a kid will do that to you :-) The supporting cast was wonderful as always; all of our favorites are back with the addition of some wonderful new characters.
The way the mystery of the God-Breaker plague is wrapped up is interesting and very well done. The story is nicely wrapped with some plot points left to be resolved in future series. I foresee cameos by Lady and Lord Maccon in the spinoff series.
Overall I really enjoyed this final installment in the Parasol Protectorate series. Alexia isn't quite as witty or carefree as in previous installments and there isn't as much romance between her and her husband. A good part of the story is told from Biffy's perspective, which was fine but not as much fun as having it told by Alexia. Alexia's daughter stole the show for good portions of the book; she was hilarious and endearing. I enjoyed the change in scenery to Egypt and the the many surprising twists that the plot took. Fans of this series won't be disappointed. I love this world and was excited to hear that Carriger is working on more series in it! Recommended to fans of paranormal and steampunk books.