The Flooze's Reviews > Blameless

Blameless by Gail Carriger
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's review
Mar 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy-paranormal, vanquished_2010, owned, steampunk
Read from September 28 to October 13, 2010 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Killer ladybugs! Nightgowned knights! Floote fighting?! Not to mention lots of pesto…Blameless has it all!

Even though I haven’t been left in a tizzy by this installment (no cliffhanger this time, intrepid readers), I’m still anxious to get my hands on the next book. Ohhh, July--why art thou so far away?

Looking back, I’ll admit I had a few issues with the second in thee series, Changeless. It was entertaining, but compared to the shininess that was Soulless it faltered in terms of plot cohesion and consistency of character personalities. I‘m happy to say Blameless does not suffer from the same problems.

Swinging back and forth between the pack’s activities in London and Alexia‘s travels through the Continent, the story allows us to get a better feel for both. We witness the werewolves’ drama mostly through the eyes of Professor Lyall, a character whose steadfast and sympathetic nature I find rather impressive. The more I learn about him, the more I adore him. He’s a perfect foil for the boisterous, demanding personalities surrounding him. His understated sense of humor, keen mind and efficient manner make the pack scenes intriguing and I’m thrilled to see him get more page-time.

Alexia’s jaunt across Europe and the Mediterranean is equally interesting and rather action-packed. Her parasol and its many perks come in handy more than once, as she and her companions fend off vampires and religious zealots. In fact, the group does so much fleeing in this novel that I fully appreciate Alexia’s yearning for a large armchair in a quiet library.

In between assassination attempts, Alexia gains some insight into her own soulless state, as well as tidbits regarding her father‘s past. Carriger doles out the information as pieces of an intricate puzzle. Even though Alexia is progressing in her quest for knowledge, there’s still scads of room for speculation. We have a long way to go before we see the whole picture, but getting there is half the fun.

Speaking of fun, Blameless introduces more steampunk gadgetry for Alexia (and me) to drool over. Carriger weaves these elements into the story with just the right amount of detail. We can clearly picture the inventions involved without things getting bogged down in minutia. And what inventions there are! I foresee even more of them in the future now that Alexia has befriended yet another scientist--I’m looking forward to it.

Addressing the character issues I had with the previous book, I’m thrilled to announce that all of the annoying personalities have been put back in their rightful places. The Loontwills are scarce, placing Felicity and family squarely where they belong: as side characters who, in small doses, add a level of comedy and allow Alexia to showcase her defiant attitude. Ivy, too, plays only a small role and comes off all the better for it. Carriger has restored her to the woman we met in Soulless: loveably dippy, but capable of pragmatism and a bit of insight when the occasion demands it. Lyall goes so far as to wonder how much of her foolishness is simply for show--a question I never would’ve asked about the Ivy depicted in Changeless. Does the character variation irk me? Yes. Does it annoy me enough to harp on it? No, because this version of Ivy is preferable and much more in line with a friend of Lady Maccon.

On the whole, another worthwhile volume in the Parasol Protectorate series--one filled with daring escapes, tantalizing clues, emotional upheavals, and as always, wit to spare. La, my darlings, I can’t wait for the next!
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Quotes The Flooze Liked

Gail Carriger
“I mean to say, really, I am near to developing a neurosis - is there anyone around who doesn't want to study or kill me?"
Floote raised a tentative hand.
"Ah, yes, thank you, Floote."
"There is also Mrs Tunstell, madam," he offered hopefully, is if Ivy were some kind of consolation prize.
"I notice you don't mention my fair-weather husband."
"I suspect, at this moment, madam, he probably wants to kill you."
Alexia couldn't help smiling. "Good point.”
Gail Carriger, Blameless

Gail Carriger
“I have died and gone to the land of bad novels.”
Gail Carriger, Blameless

Gail Carriger
“His eyes are peculiar. There is nothing in them, like an eclair without the cream filling. It's wrong, lack of cream.”
Gail Carriger, Blameless

Gail Carriger
“Lord Maccon was built like a brick outhouse, with opinions twice as unmoving and often equally full of crap.”
Gail Carriger, Blameless

Gail Carriger
“Lyall understood a broken heart, but it could not be allowed to rumple perfectly good shirtwaists.”
Gail Carriger, Blameless

Reading Progress

09/28/2010 page 41
12.0% 1 comment
10/04/2010 page 128
36.0% "Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings!" 2 comments
10/05/2010 page 159
45.0% "I am loving Floote. I've wanted him around more from the very beginning. He's layered, that one." 2 comments
10/05/2010 page 180
51.0% "Well, Paris had already seen them; she might as well show the rest of France her bloomers." 4 comments
10/05/2010 page 194
55.0% ""You are becoming, shall we say, of the biscuit inclination, my lord.""
10/12/2010 page 322
91.0% "La, my darlings. I'm almost finished." 5 comments
10/13/2010 page 334
94.0% "Really, she was getting terribly good at bashing skulls in her old age--rather unseemly of her."

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Amelia I finished Changeless a few days ago! I'm kind of scared to pick this one up. I can't handle the emotional turmoil!

The Flooze It's been really good so far. And the turmoil consists mostly of assassination attempts! Good number of chuckles. Read it!

Amelia Yay!

::goes out to buy Blameless::

CJ - It's only a Paper Moon whoo hoo! Glad you finished, now we need to gang up on Shannon

message 5: by Catherine (last edited Oct 14, 2010 08:48PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Catherine Great review! Your review has actually made me interested in picking this one up! (which I thought was impossible) I finished Changeless pretty pissed off that I had bought this one at the same time. (I waited because of the horrible cliffhanger everyone told me about)

The only reason I planned to read this book was because I had already bought it. I wasn't making it a priority though. It wasn't the events at the end of the last book that made me mad, either. It was the characters and the boring plot.

BUT you've interested me again. So thanks for that. :)

The Flooze I was shocked when I realised she still hasn't read it! She was the most anxious out of all of us to get it into her hot lil hands!


The Flooze Catherine wrote: "Great review! Your review has actually made me interested in picking this one up! (which I thought was impossible) I finished Changeless pretty pissed off that I had bought this one at the same t..."

Thank you, and glad to oblige! Hope this one redeems the series for you, at least a bit! :)

Catherine Me too. :)

Cathy I had the hardest time resisting buying this yesterday, the most tempting book in the store (I was there to buy a predetermined gift only). But I checked, using Border's free wi-fi, probably not what they hoped for, and the library website said I was 2nd in line, so I barely resisted. Glad to see it's as good as I hoped. I'm not a big fan of either romance or historical fiction anymore for some reason, but this series transcends those barriers for me. Smart, funny and fun, hard to resist.

The Flooze Well, you've waited this long, Cathy. I think you'll be okay for a little while longer! :)

I'm sure Borders would be thrilled to know you used their wifi to convince you not to buy a book!

Cathy I'm such a bad customer! I take pics of the books I want and then go home and order from the library. I've been trying so hard not to spend money. But I did get 2 gifts. And if I'd been further down the waiting list, who knows what would have happened :)

message 12: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Great review, Michelle. I have this one to read on a book challenge this month. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

The Flooze Thanks, AH! It was a struggle to write something without getting all spoilery. Hope you enjoy the book!

Cathy, I try to do the same thing to save myself some money. Never seems to work out well, so I commend you!

Cathy Michelle: the trick for me is reserving the books early. Thanks to Goodreads and the web I often know the release dates and start trying to reserve 2 months in advance, as soon as book appears in catalog. I frequently get them the week they're released so I don't get the itch. This one didn't work out, so resisting has been very difficult.

The Flooze Ahhhh, you wily, savvy thing.

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