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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Timeless

 Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)
by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire? (goodreads.com)

I can’t believe I forgot that this book came out in March! Back in July, I thought March felt like an eternity away and when it arrived, I’d completely forgotten about it. Such is my state of mind these days. Thankfully, I picked up Timeless before we headed off on our long weekend trip. I didn’t read much, but I managed to finish (and start this post!) while on the train home. Go, me!

Although, I have to say, this train ride home is awfully bumpy causing me to mis-type way more than I normally do. Bah.

My love affair with the Parasol Protectorate series has lasted through five glorious books. I am sad to see the series end however happy that it ended on a high note rather than end when it lost its appeal.

A few years have past since the last book and Alexia’s infant-inconvenience is now just an Infant (and referred to as such throughout the book, which made me giggle. A lot. I now want to call my year-old nephew “Infant” all the time. heheheheh)

I don’t know how much to tell you about this book if you haven’t read the series yet, but I do think it was a nice way to wrap up the series. I shall miss Lady and Lord Maccon and of course, the delightful Lord Akeldama and sweet dandy Biffy, but I think it was time to part with these characters lest they overstay their welcome.

This series makes me laugh and it holds my ever-waning attention fairly well. It’s a fun historical, steampunk, urban fantasy journey and the characters are just brimming with, well, character. I cannot pass by a store selling hats anymore without immediately thinking of this series and Alexia’s dear bosom friend Mrs. Ivy Tunstall. I find I want to buy ALL OF THE HATS and the more outrageous the better. Alas, I wouldn’t wear them anywhere so they’d just be a waste of money (much better spent on books, I dare say) and take up space in my home. I shall leave the hat buying to Ivy.

If this book doesn’t make you want to buy a parasol, outrageous hat and drink bucket loads of tea, I don’t know what to tell you. Werewolves and vampires have never been so charming and interesting to me.

The one thing I have found is that those who loved the first book because of it’s focus on romance have not quite liked the books that followed. I suggest you try sticking to it and think of this less as historical romance (because it’s not, though it does have it’s moments) and just immerse yourself in a historical urban fantasy novel and have fun.

These books should make you chuckle more that once. I promise!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless
  5. Timeless

Heartless

Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate #4)
by Gail Carriger

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet? (goodreads.com)

Had I not been desperately longing for this book already, I probably would have been sold just on the words “zombie porcupines”.

I will admit to being slightly worried that I would not enjoy this book as much as the others when I started it. I found the first couple of chapters slightly dry and I couldn’t care less about pregnancy, although I have to  admit that no one does pregnancy like Alexia Maccon. She is so awesome and funny. The humour and action picked up pretty quickly after my initial brow crease of worry and then the laughing out loud commenced, much to my husband’s dismay I am sure. I am certain he also loves when I randomly read him passages of dialogue from the story without any context. My husband is a patient man and obviously loves me very much. Since reading these books I often refer to him as “Husband” and told him he should call me “Wife”. I think it’s catching on. 😉

Gail Carriger must have an amazing sense of humour because these books never fail to make me laugh and entertain me so thoroughly each and every time. I am very happy that both Jenny and Kay read then posted about Soulless and encouraged me to read them. I think this is my best series discovery of the year. I am thankful that I also discovered it while I had a short time to wait between finishing the third book and the fourth being pubbed. Sadly I have to wait until MARCH 2012 for the fifth book and with the way Heartless ended I am certainly eager to see what happens in the next book. Such intrigue!

A couple of things confused me during this story though, but I will not write out those questions here so I don’t spoil anything. However I might have to start some discussions with friends once they have read the book. I find myself scratching my head in confusion.

Another nifty thing about the series is that I have managed to hook 4 people on it after I read them. One of whom has possession of books 1-3 right now and I will have to make sure that she gets book 4 soon. I like that I am building a small army of friends who share my love of these books and might possibly help me storm Orbit to try and get Timeless out earlier than bloody March. MARCH! So rude.

If you haven’t yet read this series, I strongly suggest that you go out and find the first book RIGHT NOW and give it a go. Those who love all things Victorian and paranormal should certainly add the Parasol Protectorate series to their must read list. You will find them most enjoyable!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless
  5. Timeless

Blameless

Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate, #3)
by Gail Carriger

Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto. (goodreads.com)

I must be supernatural as I cannot eat pesto either. Not just that I don’t particularly like it, but because it has pine nuts in it and I am allergic to nuts. I don’t really want to be a vamp or a were though, so I’ll just create my own category and say “sorceress”.

After the GAH! ending from Changeless I had to pick up Blameless lest I fall apart into a jibbering pile of goo. I couldn’t believe what happened and I needed to read more in order to make sure Humpty Dumpty was put back together again. Why I am so emotionally attached to Alexia I really haven’t a clue, but she’s a little piece of my heart and I don’t want her to get hurt!

Being attacked by lady bugs, as creepy as it was, also amused me. It was more the comentary from Alexia on the matter. Heh. She cracks me up.

I was happy that Madame Lefoux was once again part of the action as she adds some interesting flavour to the group. I was sad that there was less Miss Hisselpenny because I think she might be my favourite secondary character of all time.

Lord Maccon as a drunkard made me giggle and the shenanigans that he and Professor Lyall get up to and the scandal they create was very exciting. I am very happy Ms. Carriger took that path. I am eager to see what book four brings from that.

I realize this post is all disjointed but I don’t know what to say about the book that doesn’t spoil what’s going on! The entire series makes me laugh and keeps me so entertained that I am sort of sorry that I have to wait two more months for the next book. I do hope it does not have a super cliff hanger because then I’ll have a YEAR to wait for the fifth book.

I am happy to say that Heartless is all pre-ordered and I should hopefully have it by the end of June.

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless – JULY 2011! I shall die waiting!

 

Changeless

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, #2)
by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. (goodreads.com)

Dude. I don’t know how I ever lived my life before I discovered this series. I can’t remember when I have been so delighted and entertained by a series before. Urban Fantasy and Victorian Era meet and create an explosion of awesome.

I know a few people commented on my post about Soulless that they didn’t enjoy the second book as much, but that didn’t happen to me at all. There was a different feel to the story of course what with Alexia being married to Lord Maccon but the sharp wit and entertaining action were just as fun and captivating as before. I adore Alexia and I adore the many witty one-liner type dialogue from her, Miss Hisselpenny and others. I love the characters in this series completely. I laugh out loud so often while reading and I just feel so happy when I am reading these books!

The mystery of what was causing the supernaturals to turn mortal was very interesting to me. I also like the in Carriger’s world both the vampires and werewolves are considered dead after they turn vamp or were. I also like that these supes are thought to have some soul, having extra soul is what allowed them to live again as a vamp or were. This is just fascinating to me and it made me regret once more that I put off reading the series until now.

On the bright side of that, I had three books in a row to read which was very good since the end of Changeless had me gasping out loud and demanding that my husband drive me to the store so I could pick up Blameless before we went on our trip over the weekend. (Of course then I had the worst bout of food poisoning I have ever had and couldn’t read a thing! Argh!)

I won’t say anything about the ending other than I got so worked up I might have had tears threaten my eyes before I demanded I get book 3. I was shocked and so emotionally invested in Alexia that I even surprised myself with how strongly I reacted.

The story is completely different from Soulless, which had much more of a romance feel to it. There is no romance in this book, other that the saucy, snarky banter between husband and wife (I like that Lord Maccon always calls Alexia “Wife” I have told my husband we should start using such endearments.) This book is all about mystery and action so I can sort of see why some people didn’t like it as much. Changeless does not read like an awesome Sarah MacLean novel, it’s pure Urban Fantasy without all the graphic sex crap. It’s sharp and funny and original.

I feel a little out of sorts now that I am reading something completely different. I miss Gail Carriger’s Victorian England!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless – JULY 2011! I shall die waiting!

Soulless

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1)
by Gail Carriger

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as “a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” At the center of Soulless‘s “parasol protectorate” is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. (goodreads.com)

People! Have you read this series yet? I can’t believe I waited so long to start it!! I recall seeing the cover around the blogesphere in 2009 and I swear I thought this was a YA novel. I was so over vampires and YA that I just put off picking it up even though I was certainly curious about it. The books in this series have been on my wishlist for ages and I finally made the decision to pick up the first book before Christmas. Only none of the stores around me had the first (or second) books in stock. (This is a HUGE pet peeve I have with Chapigo that dates back to when I used to work for them. In fact my boss and I in our mall store, prided ourselves on the fact that we had an AWESOME SciFi/Fantasy section and made certain to have all series books in stock!) I was relegated to ordering the books from the Book Depository in the UK earlier this month. Since there were no hard copies on the shelves near me I wanted to order them the cheapest way possible. Book Depository won out hands down.

I don’t even know what to categorize the books. They are urban fantasy, but set in Victorian England and they are FREAKING AWESOME!

One of the big things that surprised me was that the main character, Alexia Tarabotti is NOT a vampire. I spent all these years thinking she WAS. I was wrong.

I was laughing out loud from the first pages of the book and it didn’t stop there! The entire narrative of the story is hilarious and the dialogue even better. Have any of you read Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake? Or Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord? If you have, you’ll know they are also hilarious. If you have not, you should read both those books and this series. I am the last person on earth to want to read a romance novel, but Sarah MacLean’s novels won me over and I am chomping at the bit to read Eleven Scandals to Start When…um..doing things to get married Or whatever the title is (I can’t think of it just now). This series made me think of those romance novels in some way. The witty dialogue, the romance (nowhere near as descriptive as in MacLean’s novels) and the atmosphere of the books just delighted me the entire read. I say delighted because it’s the way proper Victorian England people should speak and gosh darnit if I don’t find myself phrasing things in odd ways after reading Victorian novels.

I was a little cross-eyed when the scientific speak happened because I felt it fly over my head as that is how I roll, but otherwise I adored everything else about this novel. I loved the characters (especially Lord Akeldama and Miss Hisselpenny and her hats) and I am not one to get all a-flutter over romance in books but the chemistry between Alexia and Lord Maccon was so electric and sweet that I found myself swooning on occasion. This is yet another example of the way relationships should form in a story. You can feel it and understand it and GET it. Well done, Miss Carriger!

I am exceptionally happy that I took the plunge and ordered the second book along with the first because I dove right into it when I finished Soulless and I am seriously contemplating going into even more debt and buying the next two books if they are in stock nearby. (OMG! OMG! OMG! I was just checking the stock status of the next two books and I read the summary for the 3rd book and NOW I HAVE TO HAVE IT!! It sounds so shocking!! Book 4 does not appear to be released until July 2011. I don’t know how I will even survive this wait and it’s not really more than 2 months!! THE HORRORS!) (What publisher carries Orbit? Whom should I harass incessantly to see if I can sneak and ARC of Heartless?? I don’t do that at all, but I feel that I need to this time around? JULY!!!)

*deep breath*

Ok, so, in short, this book was hella awesome and I am almost finished book two and it’s also hella awesome and I must procure book 3 before my road trip this weekend… If you have not checked out this series by Gail Carriger yet I HIGHLY suggest that you do!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless
  5. Timeless – March 2012 ARGH!