Sylvia Sybil's Reviews > Blameless

Blameless by Gail Carriger
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Aug 26, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: steampunk
Read on August 25, 2010

Given Ms. Carriger's habit of ending books with a plot twist, this review will contain spoilers for Soulless and Changeless. In other words, go read those right away and come back.
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So, when we left Lady Maccon she had just discovered she was in a state of infant-inconvenience, which was most distressing given that werewolves were previously thought sterile. Accused of infidelity and worse by her wolf husband, Alexia flees home to her horrible family in disgrace.

Now that the scandal has broken in London, she finds she is unwelcome there too, as the presence of an adulteress has destroyed her sisters' hopes of a good match. Her good friend Ivy cannot afford to put her up. Lord Akeldama welcomes her into his home with open arms, only to mysteriously flee before she arrives. Thus driven out of London, she decides to be practical about it and seize the opportunity. In order to learn more about her child, she travels back to her roots: her father's birthplace of Italy.

For his part, Lord Macaroni (as a friend of mine has dubbed the nitwit) is dealing with his beloved wife's believed infidelity by regularly drinking himself into a stupor. His Beta Professor Lyall is left to cope in his stead - quite a challenge with the vampires' growing erraticism and contenders to the Pack throne.

Blameless is a wonderful read, almost as good as Soulless. I read the whole thing in about three hours, as I stopped for nothing else. Alexia is back in control of her life out of sheer spite, and it was good to see her directing the action again. Her trusty parasol received some upgrades in the previous book and it served her well here.

Many of the supporting characters are back as well. The outrageous Lord Akeldama unfortunately takes backseat for most of the ride, as his disappearance fuels part of the plot. But Ivy Tunstell nee Hisselpenny is here with all her silliness, and Madame Lefoux is only too happy to support Alexia in her time of need.

Most surprising to me was Floote. We have known all along he was her father's man, but until now he refused to reveal any information about him. However, under the onslaught of Alexia's curiosity and their travels, the clues begin to trickle out. I'm fascinated by the story behind Alessandro Tarabotti and Floote. Ms. Carriger holds fast to the rule of keeping your audience's attention: for every question answered, ask another. Floote did manage to quell one suspicion I'd had about her father, but the mystery is far from solved.

Questions about Alexia's baby - or as she calls it, the infant-inconvenience - are raised as well. Since females of any unnatural race are so rare, this is the first pregnancy of any kind on record. Indeed, it's been thought impossible. Meaning no one can answer Alexia's questions about what this baby is, or even how it came to exist. Given the development about it in the final few chapters, I am doubly eager to see how Alexia handles this new problem in book 4.

I spent the entire book giggling and chortling, as there's a laugh-out-loud worthy moment on almost every page. Ms. Carriger is one of those rare authors who can pen a tale with comedy, sarcasm and utter ridiculousness without sacrificing plot. Unlike some lighter fare, I never felt like the story was transparent or being glossed over.

I cannot wait for the sequel, Heartless, out in July 2011.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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mrsj I JUST have to know.. I can't wait to get hold of this book!


Katie(babs) Was not happy at all by the lack of the big grovel on Lord Maccon's part. Because of that I'm giving Blameless a lower grade.


Sylvia Sybil (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER)

I'd call it 90% satisfactory. He groveled in public, which is a big deal to high society, and he let Alexia chew him out and demand whatever she wanted. It wasn't perfect but it was good enough. I would also have liked him to grovel in person but I think Alexia accidentally prevented that by opening the conversation the way she did.


Katie(babs) Sylvia wrote: "(SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER)

I'd call it 90% satisfactory. He groveled in public, which is a big deal to high society, and he let Alexia chew him out and demand whatever she wanted. It wasn't perfe..."


I still can't believe he said to Alexia that she should have done more on her end to make him believe she wasn't canoodling. I love that word.


Sylvia Sybil My interpretation was that he knew he was guilty and it was all his fault, and said something completely ridiculous to deflect attention from that. I don't think he *actually* meant she should have done more. If that is what he meant I'm mad too! I dunno, I've noticed guys tend to be bad at apologizing ("don't apologize, it makes you look weak") so I give Lord M a bit of leeway assuming he hasn't had much practice.

He's still a prat, but he's a sorry prat who lets his wife push him around a bit in apology.


Katie(babs) Sylvia wrote: "My interpretation was that he knew he was guilty and it was all his fault, and said something completely ridiculous to deflect attention from that. I don't think he *actually* meant she should hav..."

Oh, Conall is a stubborn, blustering idiot for what he did to Alexia, and he knows that. I just wish Alexia would have said to him that he has to a lot more to get back in her good graces. I hope in book 4 we see him whipped.


Sylvia Sybil Katie(babs) wrote: "Oh, Conall is a stubborn, blustering idiot for what he did to Alexia, and he knows that. I just wish..."

That would be nice. XD
Conall: You want Akeldama to be the baby's godfather?! No, absolutely not! I refuse!
Alexia: Do you remember what you called me? You called me a--
Conall: Yes, yes, all right! Insufferable woman.

(Although after reading Blameless I think Ivy and Tunstell would make nice godparents too.)


Katie(babs) Sylvia wrote: "Katie(babs) wrote: "Oh, Conall is a stubborn, blustering idiot for what he did to Alexia, and he knows that. I just wish..."

That would be nice. XD
Conall: You want Akeldama to be the baby's godfa..."


That would be a priceless scene! Let's hope Akeldama will be chosen as the godfather. I was also upset he wasn't in it until the very end also :(


Sylvia Sybil Well, he's already the potentate (? The "potent gentleman"), which I was not expecting at all but is too perfect. Now he and Alexia can talk politics and leave Lord M out of the loop for a change.

It's such a shame about Biffy! I hope they do get to see each other still. I about cried during that scene where they hold each other, and I did get misty-eyed when Biffy learns what happened to him. *sniff*


Katie(babs) Sylvia wrote: "Well, he's already the potentate (? The "potent gentleman"), which I was not expecting at all but is too perfect. Now he and Alexia can talk politics and leave Lord M out of the loop for a change...."

I was saddened by that also. Poor Biffy. Isn't it great how Gail puts in the gay relationships also with Biffy and Akeldama and Madame Lefoux who clearly has a thing for Alexia.


Sylvia Sybil Yes. I was rolling my eyes in the first book with how camp Akeldama is, but by the second I realized a) he plays it up deliberately and b) there are other gay characters with their own personalities.

Loved the scene where Alexia stripped Lefoux! Cackled madly over it.


Katie(babs) Sylvia wrote: "Yes. I was rolling my eyes in the first book with how camp Akeldama is, but by the second I realized a) he plays it up deliberately and b) there are other gay characters with their own personaliti..."

Or when Alexia thinks about doing something scandalous and Lefoux kisses her/


Sylvia Sybil Ooo, yes. Hope she gets over her crush before Macaroni figures it out though, I doubt he's inclined to be rational about the issue.

I also liked her cousin, he seems like an intriguing character. He actually likes Alexia's attitude and propensity to trouble...


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