Book ReviewBlameless

Reviewer's Rating: 
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Orbit, 2010

BOOK THREE: PARASOL PROTECTORATE SERIES. Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

Quite  happily gobbling my way through this series, there is much to love in book three of the Parasol Protectorate series, Blameless.  And yet, I had a revelation while reading this novel.  Throughout a series, we generally grow to love the main character and the challenges/struggles they endure.  Surprisingly, I discovered it is not the main character, Alexia, that holds the majority of my keen interest, but her husband, Lord Maccon.  Unfortunately, as in book two, the married couple are separated for most of the story, but the best snippets to me, were of his progress.

He reads like a little boy in a big bear's body.  Lord Maccon is emotional, reactive, impulsive, but when push comes to shove, he is able to tap into self-control and authority like nobody's business.  I find him to be the most entertaining and satisfying character in the bunch.

Moving on from my character preferences, Blameless is a nice tidy thrill ride.  Running pell mell for her life time and again, Alexia dashes her way through the pages just barely managing to stay ahead of the myriad of 'bad guys' after her.  This is a fun, tight-paced section in the series that was needed after book two held a restful stop over in Scotland.

Other aspects to enjoy are the continued historical setting with a twist away from London finding us in France and Italy.  It gave a new feel to the general colour around the characters - dare I say, orange? from London's usual grey mist.

Where this book lost me a bit were the numerous and extended debates on how to measure the quantity of soul in the various species of werewolves, vampires, ghosts, normal humans etc. etc. I admit to skimming these paragraphs in haste to return to the meat of the adventure.

With three books under her belt in this series, Gail's writing is firmly established in both style and demeanor.  I still miss the 'made me burst out loud laughing' comedy of the first book, but her humor is evident in Blameless with many tongue-in-cheek jokes that made me smile. 

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