on 27 February 2013
I always hate finishing a series that I really enjoyed reading. It's made a little bit better since I know there's a spin off series coming along soon enough and a YA series coming out in February set in the same world. Now that I have finished the entire series though, I know it's definitely one I will want to come back to over and over again.
Out of the whole series I think the first book, Soulless and this one, Timeless, are my favourites. Soulless has a different tone to the rest of the books, mainly because of the introduction to the characters. It was less plot based and more character based. After Soulless, the books took on a different edge with really exciting plots and more of a look into supporting characters lives in the past. Timeless was just incredibly engrossing with its incredible plot. I found out so much more about Alexia in this book than in any of the others. Not just her, but her father, her butler, her husband and even her slightly eccentric best friend. It was an amazingly exciting book to read - it didn't slow down for a second.
I loved the characters just as much as ever. I thought all of them were included just enough that I enjoyed a lot of Lord and Lady Maccon and an equal amount of Lord Akeldama and his entourage. There were a lot more of the different p.o.vs which I enjoyed - especially when it came to Biffy and Lyall. Every character has their own story and their own distinct personality that pulls me even further into the story every time they come up.
Gail Carriger has definitely steadily made her way into my (mental) list of favourite authors. Over the past five books I've really enjoyed her quirky, humorous writing style and how she's managed to keep the read enjoyable even if nothing is particularly happening. I've found myself giggling at some of the characters antics in the book and smiling at Alexia and Conall's sweetheart moments and that's all that I can really ask for in a book - that it manages to elicit some kind of reaction from me.
on 7 April 2012
For any fan of the series this book is an absolute must-have. There were a couple of moments which had me gasping out loud, and one which made me cry like a baby.
If you're new to The Parasol Protectorate series, this is an EXCELLENT book. However, get the first four or you will be utterly lost in the desert (pun intended, sorry!).
As you may expect, it's not easy being soulless, married to the head werewolf, with a soul-stealing baby, and living in a vampire's closet. However, Alexia manages with grace, wit and liberal applications of tea. This story takes us from London to Egypt with a troupe of OTT actors via plot twists and resolutions which left me actually lost for words. The world Ms Carriger has built is completely absorbing and realistic, I felt personally invested in both the characters and the outcome of the book.
In my experience it is very rare to find a series which has not only a happy ending, but one which feels 'right', and this one did. The loose ends were tied up, the twists were completely surprising - doesn't happen often when you read as much as I do - and it was a joy to read from start to end.
The title of this final book of the Parasol Protectorate series could easily sum up the whole cycle - this has been a quite marvellous run of imaginative, escapist novels which introduced its readers to a wonderfully comic alternative Victorian fantasy world of steampunk and supernatural characters.
This episode picks up with the Maccon household two years on from the last volume and needless to say yet another adventure quickly ensues, taking the family and their entourage to Egypt, while "pack" business develops in London; this is too far on into the complicated plot-line of the series to comment on anything without giving away spoilers and anyone contemplating reading this as a stand-alone - DON`T - the novels are far too integrated; for a proper enjoyment of Carriger`s creations they should be read in sequence - if "Soulless" hooks you, you won't regret that advice!
This is a terrific and quite satisfying novel to end on, but like others on this page I`m sorry it`s over; Carriger has left the door open for continued adventures, but this is certainly the end for now.
An addictive, hugely enjoyable series well worth picking up.
This review will be spoiler free for Timeless but will contain major spoilers for previous books so please don't continue reading unless you've already read as far as Heartless.
I absolutely loved the earlier books in this series but for me it kind of started losing it's way in the last few books. I still enjoy the humour and I'm invested in the characters so I've kept reading but it just lost the little something that made it special. It started going wrong when Conall acted so badly when Alexia found out she was pregnant, I felt that she forgave his behaviour far too easily and I wanted to see him make more effort to apologise. I was glad that they got their relationship back on track though and I do enjoy the banter and bickering between them.
What really threw me for a loop was their willingness to let Lord Akeldama adopt their daughter, I couldn't for the life of me understand why an alpha werewolf would let his daughter be raised by another man - especially a vampire! I would have expected Conall to be horrified by even the suggestion and I didn't think it really fitted Alexia's character either, no matter how pragmatic she usually is. For the pair of them to literally end up living secretly in Akeldama's closet to be close to their daughter just didn't sit well with me. It kind of felt like the vampires were constantly getting one over on the wolves, especially when Akeldama effectively tricked Alexia into giving Queen Nadasdy the Woolsey Manor! Once again Conall just kind of shrugged his shoulders and went along with it not even particularly angry that the vampires had effectively stolen his home and conned them out of lord only knows how much money it was worth.
From that point on it's always been the vampires shouting orders while Alexia and Conall rush around doing their bidding and that continues into Timeless where they receive orders to visit one of the vampire queens in Egypt. I have to admit I enjoyed the journey to Alexandria, I loved little Prudence (who is now 2 years old) and I enjoyed the family interactions but I was so angry about the pack just going along with whatever the vampires wanted that it put me in a bad mood. This does tie up the series nicely though and I'm actually glad that it was the end of the series. I already have a copy of the first book in the spin off and I'm really hoping that Prudence's story won't have the issues that irritated me with this book. I'm sad that the final books in this series didn't live up to my expectations but I do enjoy this author's writing style so I'm willing to give her another chance.
on 21 June 2015
I've been a fan of this series and the world Gail Carriger has created since I read Soulless (the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series). So it was a little bittersweet to pick this one up knowing it's the end of the series, even though we have other books set in the world to look forward to.
In 'Timeless', the questions about the God-Breaker Plague come back again, and this time the characters need to look deeper. Conveniently for that investigation, after a few adventures in London, Alexia & her family are summoned to Egypt. Meanwhile back home, the werewolves are dealing with another problem we had seen in an earlier book (I forget which one) which had been sorted out at the time - that Professor Lyall had engineered Lord Maccon coming down to take over the Woolsey pack. It turns out they have other repercussions to deal with from that.
The short version is, I loved this. I think Gail joins the people like Keri Arthur and Ilona Andrews in my head where I know that I'm going to like the book, regardless of which characters it includes, or what adventures they get up to. We get to spend a lot of time with the werewolves in Timeless, who I always love reading about. A relationship that I was really hoping for did develop, and I'm so happy for the characters involved, and hope we'll see more of that in the spin-off books. Lord Akeldama also gets plenty of page time, and it's interesting to see how, even as an old vampire, he is being affected by changes, and the developments of the world. Akeldama is another person who I hope will be there in the future spin off books, because I think there is more to him, more facets of his personality, than we've seen so far.
As a whole, I felt like the book was.. heavier, than some of the others. There seem to be a lot of things here that are setting up for future things (ie, seeing Prudence's powers, and the restrictions on them), and a lot of things that are tying up this series. It was a very filling book, I finished it feeling pretty contented about everything, and the way it had ended.
Overall, 'Timeless' is another example of Gail Carriger's humorous, engaging style, a good conclusion to the Parasol Protectorate series that also leaves readers eager for the upcoming spin-off books.
I give Timeless 9 stars [Originally posted on my review blog - link in my profile.]
on 27 April 2014
I am indeed bereft at this being the last book in the fabulous and thrilling adventures of our glorious, glamorous and completely nuts Lady Maccoon aka the one and only Ruffled Parasol. Yet, everything concluded fantastically!
Many thanks to the brilliant Gail Carriger and her hilarious and exciting world of werewolves, vampires, hats, queens of varying "types", tea, cakes and Alexia. I have enjoyed her adventures with such immense pleasure, both during the tears of upset and immense laughter! Right time for tea and cakes I think!!!
on 23 July 2012
I'm sad and at the same time relieved that this series came to an end.
Timeless surprised me in a lot of ways. I didn't expect the gory details, the explosive violence and a few very serious scares Alexia experienced. Suddenly the flirtatious funny writing style we're so used to fell away, and everything became all too real. I can't say I liked it, but I can also say that perhaps that turn to seriousness and sadness was what made us believe that Parasol Protectorate is no more.
This is a very short review, because I do not want to give you any spoilers. Timeless might not get high marks from me, but don't be mistaken, - it's a good book in a good series for a steampunk beginner. Everything is light, flitty and amusing, there are not too many gadgets or details, but they are there among the peculiar Victorian mannerisms, rivers of tea and mountains of biscuits.
You'll get your dose of adventure, Ivy's hats and even a happy end for poor Biffy, but the book has its limits, and I think Gail with her writing style was as constrained by them as we were as a reader.
We are both ready for a bigger and better adventure and deeper, more complex story.. I hope Etiquette & Espionage will deliver that next year.
on 18 February 2013
I cannot write a review except as to m own feelings after reading the series. All I can say is that, to my mind, it was wonderful. I consider good books rob good friends, to be re-visited and re-red, and this series will be an excellent friend.
There was something about the series which caught my imagination. I never felt I could get into the characters though - hence the 4 stars only.
An interesting world, with unusual vampire and werewolf characteristics and a great mix of steam technology.
This was the final book in the series and followed the same pattern as the earlier books. Some of the minor characters were left dangling but the book did answer the dilemma of what should an immortal do when in love with a mortal.
on 11 February 2013
The latest in the Parasol Protectorate series, and just as good as the rest. Carriger has brought the series to a satisfying conclusion with suitable amounts of adventure, romance, and tea. I would strongly recommend reading this series in order, though as she does not explain much about the previous books. That's great because it means that a chapter or two isn't taken up with tiresome back story, but it does mean that you'll be pedalling to catch up if you haven't read the rest of them.