Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book Review: Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5) by Gail Carriger

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5)
by Gail Carriger

Goodreads Link:

Recommended for: Fans of Ms. Carriger, Victorian England, or the Steampunk genre
Read from April 18 to May 06, 2015 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Awwwww....I am happy and sad, all at the same time. Happy because I absolutely adored this series, especially this 5th installment, Timeless. But I'm sad because it's over! Alexia Tarrabotti has become one of my all-time favorite characters - she is bold, courageous, witty: all the characteristics I wish I could be. I will miss living vicariously through her and her wild adventures. And even though there is the 4th Finishing Series book, Manners & Mutiny, to be released, and even though the Prudence duology is a sequel, neither of these books have Alexia as the protagonist, and I already feel an ache in my heart for the loss of not having more to read about her.

And while my 5-star rating for this 5th book is a bit generous (maybe it's a 4.5), I cannot bring myself to give it any fewer stars since it is the culmination of such a wonderful series. As some reviewers have mentioned, this 5th book was somewhat different from the previous four. It was a bit more somber with fewer witty one-liners, but the emotional roller-coaster was equally as enjoyable as the previous four books:

Things to love:
  • The setting in Egypt was foreign and fascinating
  • The God-Breaker plague's expansion was such an intriguing concept that I really had to work mentally to wrap my head around it.
  • Prudence was the most adorable addition to already lovely cast of characters. She already has such hutzpah as a toddler that I can hardly imagine how she will be in her later years, as will be described in the spin-off.
  • The development of Biffy's plotline. I am hopeful that he and his story arc will continue in the Prudence books, which I plan to start right after I finish the other books I am currently reading.

I am still perplexed by Alessandro Tarabotti and what his back story really involved. Much is revealed about him in this 5th installment; however, there are so many unanswered questions! I plan to read the novella, The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar, and I am hopeful that some of my questions will be answered, but I truly believe that Ms. Gail Carriger, could write an entire series about his adventures, and I would gobble up that series in a heartbeat! Carriger make several references to Alessandro's travel journals, and what I wouldn't give to get my grubby hands on those to see the sorts of ludicrous shenanigans that are described therein.

There is just so much to love about this world and the characters that Carrgier has created within it.

Ms. Gail Carriger leaves many story lines untied, which hopefully allows for copious spin-offs from this same world. I want to jump through the pages of these books and stay in this picturesque, Steampunk, Victorian wonderland forever. So even though some reviewers are frustrated by the cliff-hanger quality of some of the subplots, the open-endedness of these make me hopeful for further editions.

I recommend this series with reckless abandon: if you are not reading it, you are missing some of the best world-building and character development that I have ever read. These books remind the reader of the joy that is supposed to come from reading. Yet, they are not fluff books - there is detailed historical research and well-developed theoretical concepts that make them mentally stimulating to read. They are romance, adventure, Steampunk, Victorian, alchemy, history, philosophy, and anthropology all rolled into one. And for all these reasons, I will miss this series dearly. But I am slightly consoled by the fact that I know Ms. Carriger will continue to write about this world for years to come, which will provide me with endless opportunities (I hope) to return to this world as often as I can.

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