Timeless by Gail Carriger
In this final installment of the Parasol Protectorate Series, Gail Carriger serves her readers the perfect cup of tea. Brewed just the correct amount of minutes, served at exactly the right temperature, splashed with the perfect amount of cream, and displayed in the most exquisite china tea set. (And possibly accompanied by a delicious and flaky bon-bon).
I have been enamored with this series for a variety of reasons. It is a charming mixture of humor, steampunk creativity, paranormal politics, historical formality, and delicious characters. Alexia Tarabotti, soul-sucker extraordinaire, is channeling Amelia Peabody in the most fabulous way. They are both perky, no-nonsense heroines, partnered with giant gruff spouses (Conall-Emerson) and producing naughty cherubic infants (Prudence-Ramses). Where Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody Series goes off in a more serious and historical way, Carriger's books are utter silliness. I adore both, for different reasons, but I especially respect the way Carriger has woven together the humor, romance, and steampunk aspects so flawlessly.
This book charmed the Carhartt pants right off me. Yes, my little buttercups, it's true.
My predictions about the budding romance between Lyall and Biffy were spot-on. (Did anyone really doubt Penelope? I think not). Prudence, the new preternatural baby, is the predictable offspring of a soulless Alexia and alpha werewolf Conall...smart, sensitive, mischievous, and filled with surprising talents. (And of course dressed to perfection thanks to Lord Akeldama). This book is even set in Egypt, further encouraging the Amelia Peabody comparison, but Carriger uses this setting as a back-drop for her over-the-top steampunk vision, whereas Peters uses it to explore her love of Egyptology.
I did think the ending was a bit too abrupt (and of course I'm disappointed that there will not be more books in this series....I would love to see more Prudence!), but otherwise this book was absolute perfection. It even had copious references to beards! ........
The earl could freely play with and, much to Lady Maccon's delight, take care of his daughter any time of the day or night without repercussions. He also grew a very large and scruffy beard, with which she was far less delighted.
"A man's virility is in his beard," he insisted.
To which Alexia replied, "And a woman's is in her décolletage. Yet you don't see me allowing mine to get out of control, do you?"
"If wishes were balloons," was his only response.
Hee hee heeeeee......Alexia's only fault.
The perfect ending to a perfectly wonderful series.
Poised for pleasantries,