Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

By Gail Carriger

Rating: 4 stars

There’s a lot going on in the fifth and final book of the Parasol Protectorate series. We have a bit of a time jump since the last one, so that Alexia’s daughter, Prudence, is now a toddler, with the ability to strip a supernatural of their powers and take them for herself, at a touch. Something that plays havoc in a household with a vampire adopted father and a werewolf biological father, and can only be undone by her mother’s preternatural touch. Into this chaotic domesticity comes a summons from Queen Matakara of the Alexandria hive, and reputed to be the oldest living vampire. But before they can set off, a werewolf is attacked and murdered, leaving Alexia to sort it all out.

As I say, there’s a lot going on here. We have two major parallel strands: the investigation into the murder in London, carried out by Professor Lyall and new pack member Biffy, while Alexia’s version of travelling incognito is to take an entire acting troupe with her, led by her best friend Ivy Tunstall! There’s a lot going on in Egypt, and I wish we’d had more time to spend with the Alexandria hive. The intrigue here was all swept up and dealt with far too quickly. I sort of wish that the whole London plot had been abandoned in favour of more here – the idea of the Alexandrian queen being over five thousand years old and the sort of thoughts that such a creature might have deserved to be given more time.

Alas, we didn’t get any of that, in favour of a balloon ride down the Nile, and a bunch of politics going on in London with the Kingair pack (although I did like the quietly blooming romance that went on there). And, of course, in between all the supernatural shenanigans, we’re reminded that the true monster is Man, as Alexia’s sister, Felicity, causes unwarranted mischief, fuelled purely by jealousy. I would have been happier if she’d got what was due to her, although for someone with her mentality, maybe her punishment is just.

I don’t think this is quite the banging end to the series that I’d hoped for, but then I also don’t think the series entirely recovered from the misstep at the end of the second book. Ivy’s ending just left me shaking my head a bit, although I did appreciate Conall’s proposal for saving him from alpha madness towards the end of his life.

All in all, I think I preferred Carriger’s Finishing School series over this one, although that might be because I read them first. Still fun, and I’d still read other work set in the same world.

Book details

ISBN: 9781841499871
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 2012

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