Literary Review: Blameless by Gail Carriger

Title: Blameless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Book Three
Format: Audiobook

Technically, I listened to this audiobook a few weeks ago, I have just been so damn busy lately with theatre that I haven’t had the chance to write my thoughts about this particular book in the series. Ah well, better late than never. 🙂

If you’re curious, this is the third in the five book series:
Book 1: Soulless
Book 2: Changeless
Book 3: Blameless
Book 4: Heartless
Book 5: Timeless
In any case, I found myself rather intrigued with the third book of the Parasol Protectorate series.

Let me get this out in the open and out of the way, as much as I understand Lord Maccon’s emotions and reasoning for doing what he did, that doesn’t excuse his behavior at all. I am really ticked off with him, the way he treated Alexia and his lack of desire to understand her point of view until his Beta verbally whacks him over the head and even then. *SIGHS* Except I know of a few guys that would react the same way, and it still ticked me off. In fact I was so upset with Lord Maccon’s conduct that even though I knew what he did over the course of the book and how he was somewhat regretful of his actions, I found myself wanting to scream at him over and over again. Granted reading about Lord Maccon’s inebriation was rather comedic at times and when his Gamma disappeared I knew almost instantly why, but seriously if it were me I would have made it hard for Lord Maccon to get back into my good graces. But then being a woman that was once in love, it wouldn’t take much more than Alexia because dammit, I’d still love him too, it is infinitely easier to forgive someone that you are in love with, because you can’t help but think nothing but the best of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lady Maccon had actually forgiven him while they were still apart and she knew that he wanted her. *sighs* In fact, this is best summed up by Lady Maccon herself:

You mean while I’ve been running across Europe pregnant, escaping ladybugs, flying in onithopters, landing in mud, and drinking coffee, you have been inebriated?

Anyway, I digress…

Lady Maccon spends a fair amount of her time switching between thinking about food and thinking about how the hell she would be a mother without much maternal instinct. In the end, I think she started to grow a kind of maternal instinct for the baby growing inside of her… part of it could just be that they have been through so much together during the course of the book. The fact that she didn’t willingly give her child up to the Templars for examination due to her steadfast belief that all living beings should be treated as living beings and not experiments may have aided in her development of a maternal side. Then again I always believed she had it in her all along, she’d just needed to discover it for herself.

One thing I do enjoy about Ms Carriger’s world is that she doesn’t gloss over same sex relationships like that of Lord Akeldama and Biffy. To some people it may be hard to relate to a same sex romance in any capacity but for me, I found it to just be another romance between two persons that absolutely adored one another. So to see the conflict of pain and emotion between the two when the life they have envisioned together was cruelly stripped away… That was heart wrenching enough for me to “re-read” over several times.

Another same sex attraction that was explored was the one between Genevieve Lefoux and Angelique, and by extension the attempt on Genevieve’s part to make a move on Alexia Maccon. In fact I found Genevieve’s desire to see how Alexia would react to her advances to be rather experimental, as if to see if Alexia would either respond back or whatnot… but I was not thrilled with the fact that Genevieve did so while Alexia was essentially at the low end of her emotional spectrum. That just seemed far too calculated and contrived for my tastes. Aside from that, I enjoyed learning more about Genevieve and her past, the group that was a part of and the extent of her intelligence. Genevieve is very quickly becoming one of those characters that I would really love to know more about, just minus the whole hitting on Alexia part 😉

Professor Lyall, the Beta really came into his own in this book for me, you start to realize just how integral he is to the pack and how he keeps everything and everyone together even when his Alpha is drunk and torturing himself for his err in judgment. Though it is rather easy to overlook him, over the course of the book you start to realize that without him as the Woolsey pack Beta, the pack would just fall apart. He is the glue that keeps the pack together and don’t know just how integral he is to the pack until he’s gone… and I dear hope it doesn’t come to that. He fills in the Alpha’s shoes when absolutely necessary though I do not believe he would ever want to be pack Alpha in his lifetime. Interestingly enough, I would love to know just how many werewolves have actually challenged him to the point that no one in the pack would question his fight.

One character that drew my attention more than I thought she would this book over the last book was Miss Ivy Hisselpenny now Mrs Tunstell (since towards the end of the previous novel she was heard to have run off to Scotland – possibly Gretna Green – to elope with Lord Maccon’s former claviger: Tunstell). Though we don’t really know what happened with Ivy towards the end of the book, it would appear that she has a bit of a knack for keeping a store well run… more specifically Madame Lefoux’s hat shop. As Professor Lyall once wondered to himself during a conversation with her:

The great advantage of being thought silly, is that people forget and begin to think one might also be foolish. I may, Professor Lyall, be a trifle enthusiastic in my manner and dress, but I am no fool.

I know of a few people that does this, someone that kind of hides behind a particular mask in a way to through people off… hell I do it most of the time. I’ll admit, Ivy’s growing on me, if only for the fact that she is apparently more than meets the eye. Much unlike Lord Akeldama where you already know what’s coming in that he is more than meets the eye.

As per the name of the book “Blameless” and in the context of Alexia being pregnant and how the last book ended, I thought it was pretty obvious what the premise of this novel would be about. With that spoiler/knowledge out of the way, it was rather interesting being introduced into the world of the Templars and their stance in this alternate world full of werewolves and vampires. What really made my skin crawl was when Alexia was in Florence and she sees a hand inside a glass container that was alone in a glass room and she was told what it was. But Floote reassured her:

Your father, madam, was fully cremated. I made absolutely certain.

That amongst other tidbits that Floote has dropped about her father has made me rather curious about Alejandro and his past now.

Overall I rather enjoyed this story, though I still feel that Lord Maccon should be groveling for forgiveness for several months following the events of the novel. I can’t blame Alexia though, a woman that has been through what she has been through and deeply in love can’t help herself. Ah well. Let us hope that Lord Maccon will treat her better from now on.

Many thanks to Gail Carriger for linking to my thoughts on the audiobook for Blameless.

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