Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Blameless

By Gail Carriger
Publication date: September 1, 2010

My review:

In this third entry in the Parasol Protectorate series (after Soulless and Changeless), Alexia finds herself unjustly accused of something she didn't do and cast out from the protection of the Woolsey Pack, her job with the Shadow Council, and all "polite" society. To make matters worse, Lord Akeldama, her friend and ally, has left London just when she needs him the most. It also looks as though the vampire hives want her dead. In an effort to clear her name Alexia, along with her trusty servant Floote and her new friend Madame Lefou, sets of for Italy. Alexia hopes that in her father's homeland the Knights Templar will have the answers that she seeks but has she gone from the frying pan into the fire?

Gail Carriger is quickly becoming one of my favorite paranormal fiction authors. Her writing is incredibly funny and her heroine is intelligent. While there is still plenty of humor here, Blameless shows us a more emotional and vulnerable Alexia as she faces quite a bit of personal pain. It was nice to see this side of Alexia's character. She is not entirely friendless with the support of Floote, Madame LeFou, Tunstell, and her dear friend Ivy Hisselpenny.

I did miss the presence of Lord Akeldama for much of the book with his over-the-top fashion and way with words. We also get to see the story through the view of Professor Lyall, beta of the Woolsey Pack, and one of my favorite characters. Lyall reminds me so much of Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes. He may be mild mannered compared to his Alpha, Conall Maccon, but Lyall shares a similar wit and sense of propriety with Alexia. It was nice to see him come into his own in this book.

In addition to the characters I also enjoyed the plot. The story moves from London to France and Italy. New steampunk technology is introduced and we also meet the Knights Templar and hear their unusual views on preternaturals. I am sure we will see much more of them in future books. Once again I found myself highly entertained by this series. Blameless resolves some of the conflict from Changeless but finding out more about preternaturals only presents more questions which I hope will be answered in the next book.

If you enjoy paranormal romance and intelligent characters, you might like the Parasol Protectorate series. I would suggest these books to fans of Sookie Stackhouse (I do consider Carriger's writing to be far superior) because of the combination of humor, romance, and the paranormal. I would also suggest it to more mature fans of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare for the Victorian steampunk setting and paranormal elements.

Readalikes: the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, Julia Quinn, the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


  1. Really torn about reading this series, but I've been reading good things about it so far, so I'm thinking I should!

    Great review!

  2. I've heard good things about Carriger. I've heard this categorized as both YA and adult. Which would you say it is?

  3. @Alison

    I would say this is definitely for adults. It did win the Alex Award from ALA for books written for adults that would appeal to teens. I think mature teens might like it.


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