Monday, January 7, 2013

Timeless by Gail Carriger

A couple of years have passed in the Parasol Protectorate time stream between the last novel and this one, which has allowed the situation to develop a bit, and to reveal what some of Alexia and Connal's daughter, Prudence's, supernatural abilities are - she "steals" the attributes of other supernaturals, leaving them effectively mortal until sunrise or until her mother touches her, whichever comes first. This can make her quite a handful to deal with - imagine the terrible twos with the strength, speed and reflexes of a werewolf. For the most part, however, her adopted father, Lord Akeldama, and her two natural parents appear to be dealing with things successfully.

I have to note, here, that Lord Akeldama's terms of endearment continue to crack me up. A couple of examples were "my darling chamomile bud" and "my little periwinkle". And, for one of the werewolves, hes uses something like "my fuzzy darling."

An uproar begins when the beta of Maccon's old clan arrives in town after a journey to Egypt and is shot to death, passing while under the care of Floote, Alexia's butler. Coincidentally? Alexia is summoned to Alexandria by the eldest of vampires, Queen Matakara, for unknown reasons. To keep things amusing and interesting, Alexia and Connal are accompanied by Ivy Tunstell and her family and entire acting troupe, and Madame LeFoux, the mannish inventor.

There's lots of action in this book, some comedic, some serious. Perhaps vampires only behave in convoluted fashion by their nature, but it seemed to me that the trouble that Alexia and Connal experience in Egypt could have been avoided by Queen Matakara simply telling Alexia what she wanted from her as soon as she arrived, and making the necessary arrangements with her people ahead of time, rather than encouraging the chaos that took place.

Alexia and her friends learn a little bit more about the activities of her father, discover the nature and origins of the God Breaker Plague, and we learn a bit more about the pitfalls of immortality.

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