|Timeless is the 5th and
final book of The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, and it is a fine ending to
a very entertaining set of stories linked together by common history, various events that
occur during the previous books and the characters associated with the action. For any
reader who liked or loved the series, it is well worth getting. Even if your interest in
the series is waning and you are wondering "is it worth getting?", Miss Carriger
does finish her story, very neatly. Some would argue too neatly, but it is complete.
Events come to an end, revelations happen and characters have long-term outcomes.
difficult to review this book without giving away spoilers, but lets just say that
Alexia needs to go to Egypt with her daughter Prudence, and ends up taking Ivy with her.
Lady Kingair who we saw in Changeless is visiting London on
business, so it is up to Professor Lyall to cope with her as well as being left in charge
of the pack. Biffy too, remains in London to look after the hat shop while Alexia and her
husband travel to Egypt. Egypt has been mentioned in previous books, and now the reader
will see why it is so relevant to the overall story.
The two big differences to Timeless, is that the story is told
in the first person. We get to see what the viewpoint characters are thinking. Biffy
stands out rather well at this point. Secondly, I think that for the first time in the
series, Miss Carriger writes in her own voice, and a very fine voice it is too. Timeless
is like a well-written personal travel journal of the Victorian era, as far as
Alexias story goes. Other books in the series had their own individual styles that
reflected the popular literature of the day.
The only thing that is still enigmatic, in my opinion, is Madame Lefoux and her
motives, and that of the organisation she is a part of. Aside from this minor short fall,
I really enjoyed reading Timeless and would recommend it to anyone
who has been reading the series. Having seen Prudence as a toddler, I will definitely be
buying her story when it comes out in 2013. Timeless does feel
like a setup for Prudences future in The Parasol Protectorate Aboard series, but I
think this is a positive.
For new readers, I would suggest started with Soulless, the
first book in the series, and read the series in its proper sequence. Timeless
could, at a stretch, be read by itself, but it depends on how you personally view reading
a series. Readers do get an outline of events that occurred in earlier books that are
affecting the present in Timeless. The potential for a prequel is
there, if one required a full back story. Alexias father really did get up to rather
a lot prior to his settling in England but the motives for some of his activities remain
very generalised to the reader.
I like Timeless, and I liked the series as well. It is a
colourful mix of steampunk, fantasy, alternate history, romance and comedy, set in a
rather different liberal Victorian London. Despite the presence of vampires, werewolves
and mummies, it is very civilised, and not horror at all because the supernatural crowd
are out in the open within the British Empire. Treat it as 328 pages of entertaining
leisure reading; best not to take seriously. Suitable for older teenagers and up.
Note : I didnt see it coming at all until about halfway through the book, and was
quite surprised by some things, especially the ending. A few readers on Amazon.com claimed
that they did "see it coming" but I didnt.