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Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate, No. 5)…

Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate, No. 5) (edition 2012)

by Gail Carriger

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997848,585 (4.05)110
Orginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.

The Parasol Protectorate is one of my favorite series to date, so I was super excited for Timeless for so long. I love Alexia, Conall is one of my favorite book boyfriends, and the entire cast of characters, including the Maccon family's new addition, are wonderful. I love the change in scenery to Egypt, while keeping the action at home in London fresh and moving forward by splitting the POV with Biffy. Biffy! Wonderful, cravat wearing, fashion conscious Biffy. He really made the book for me, and was lovely to follow as Alexia's adventures in Egypt took a turn for the crazy. (As they tend to do.) The main plot itself didn't feel as though it was totally thought out, but as always, Alexia and the cast of characters I've grown to love make up for it. ( )
  strongpieces | Apr 18, 2012 |
English (83)  Piratical (1)  All languages (84)
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3 ½ Stars ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
I was sad to come to the end of this series and grateful that there was a twist or two at the end! Alexia's brand of pragmatism and forthrightness in the face of the supernatural just brings a smile to my face. I wish there had been a little more of the relationship between Alexia and Connell at the end - issues of trust were raised but not really resolved. Overall it has been a fun ride with Lord and Lady Maccon. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jan 25, 2015 |
Description: Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Thoughts: I will first warn all readers that, from this point on, there are going to be plenty of spoilers. So, if you haven't read Heartless or Timeless and would prefer to not have them spoiled, then STOP HERE. You were warned.

And then Timeless. Well, I did compare Alexia to Amelia Peabody, but that idea seems to be taken a mite too far when Alexia et al up and pop off to Egypt! Luxor AND mummies? I expected Emerson to show up any moment to run the "tourists" off his excavation site.

The highlight of Timeless was undoubtedly Biffy. Shining little star, although he's been that for quite a while now. And thank god he and Lyall finally got together because once I figured out that Ivy and Lyall weren't... suited for each other, I decided Biffy and Lyall would make an excellent couple. Now, the stupid "I have to leave you to go off to Scotland" thing was infuriating, but whatever. At that point, I just had to go with it.

So many parts of Timeless felt totally off kilter to me. Floote was a wanton assassin of werewolves? I mean, we knew he was a secret badass, but he loves Alexia and the knowledge of her discomfort at such a thing should have been enough to stop him from following through, right? It broke my heart to see him go bad, even if it wasn't for his own selfish reasons but on orders from Alexia's father.

But anyway, I kept muddling through, thinking "Ok, this has gotten ridiculous and characters are being tossed all over the place, but it's still a little exciting and funny, so I'll play along." And then.... then IVY TUNSTELL became a vampire hive queen?!?!?!? Excuse me? What book am I reading here? This just can't be happening! It was so ludicrous that I gave up trying to make sense of it from that point on.

For example, Goldenrod? I get that that was Lord Akeldama, but what did he have to do with Alexia's father, the God Breaker Plague, and the mysterious Drifters? How in the world could that just be left hanging? Unless that was a set up to The Parasol Protectorate Abroad series that Carriger is writing about Prudence? Which would be a dirty trick.

I just... well, I just don't know what to think, really. I had a lot of fun with the first 3 books, even the second one that was disappointing, but in more of a boring way than in a "this series has gone off the rails kind of way." But these last two felt like they had lost the thread a bit, that characters were being pushed in directions that didn't make that much sense for them, which left the plots feeling forced. I don't know. I hate that I wasn't as enamored as I wanted to be. Maybe that's really the biggest disappointment.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/134084#3296917 ( )
1 vote leahbird | Jan 13, 2015 |
This was much better than the fourth book. However the trip to Egypt cemented the connection to the Amelia Peabody books. They even have super precocious child who keeps getting into trouble. ( )
  caittilynn | Jan 1, 2015 |
A lovely end to the novels. I loved the twists and turns, especially all the final outcomes for everyone. I'm sad to see the series end... perhaps we could get some novellas for the side characters in the future? ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
The last book in the series doesn't let up in the learning about Alexia's father and the role he played in the wider supernatural society. Of course Alexia dumps everything on its head when Ivy's daughter is kidnapped in error instead of her daughter the Soulbreaker. After finishing the book I feel like the series has come to a good conclusion. Of course I want to see more of the characters but I don't feel as if I am left hanging about their futures. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
When I tried to order book 6 of the series, I was stunned to realize Timeless was the last book in the Parasol Protectorate. I enjoyed the characters, the world, the adventures so very much, that I just knew it would go on forever. Alas, no.

Fortunately I figured out there were no more books when I was half way through Timeless. I then switched to the “If I read slower, this series will never end” reading mode. Alas, this did not work for long—

In part because the various threads of the book were so ripe with tension that I just had to know what happened next. I had not realized until half way through Timeless how fraught all the main characters’ situations had become. Alexia Maccon is off to Egypt, Prudence and Lord Maccon in tow, summoned by the world’s oldest vampire, the Queen of the Alexandria Hive. Alexia’s excuse/disguise is Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe. Her escort from the Woolsey Hive is Madame Lefoux.

Conall Maccon leaves efficient Professor Lyall in charge of the London Werewolves, Biffy is in charge of Madame Lefoux’s hat store. Lord Akeldama is surviving the loss of a closet. Lady Kingair is in Scotland, Floote is still not telling all he knows, Victoria is still on the throne. All would seem right in the world, expect Felicity Loontwill, the fly in everyone’s ointment, causes trouble, Biffy falls in love, Alexia and Conall fight, Prudence should have been kidnapped – oh, by the middle of Timeless, it’s all a dreadful mess.

But Gail Carriger solves all the problems perfectly. And being Gail Carriger, she doesn’t just cleanly solve each problem with the swipe of a magic wand. No, the solutions are convoluted and complex which is ultimately so much more satisfying - don’t you agree?

So, although I deeply regret the adventure is over, I am delighted to pronounce it was a thoroughly satisfying, wonderful, wild ride in a world that I really wish did exist or had existed or will exist. ( )
  dibs139 | Jun 13, 2014 |
I'm sitting down to write my thoughts on Timeless by Gail Carriger just after spending two hours drinking tea and listening to her talk about writing, self publishing (Crudrat) and audio books. The event will be over and done with by about two weeks by the time this review is posted.

Anyway... Timeless is the last of the Parasol Protectorate series. Though characters in the series might / will / do show up in other books, this is the end of Alexia and Conall's story. Prudence, who makes her debut as a talking, feisty toddler who is thankfully not annoying like Ramses, will be getting her own series dubbed the Custard Protectorate in March 2015.

Lord and Lady Maccon are summoned to Egypt by a vampire queen who shall not be ignored. As it seems to be the source of the plague that turns everyone mortal and untethers ghosts, the Maccons must go. To hide their true motive and give Alexia and excuse to have an extra set of eyes to watch Prudence, her best friend's acting troupe is hired to perform their latest show in Egypt.

Travel to Egypt of course means a certain amount of chaos. There's a kidnapping to contend with, the plague, ancient rivalries, and basic mayhem. In the middle of all of this is of course Prudence who is a strong willed individual with a potentially dangerous in born talent.

It was a fun book but it didn't sweep me off my feet as much as it did my husband. I'm rather skeptical about the inclusion of young children in books. I am looking forward to seeing an older Prudence when she has the wherewithal to speak her mind on things. I'm also grateful to leave Conall and his constant hysterics behind. ( )
  pussreboots | Apr 15, 2014 |
Sad to see this series end. ( )
  ComicGirl178 | Mar 14, 2014 |
Sad to see this series end. ( )
  ComicGirl178 | Mar 14, 2014 |
An underwhelming ending to an underwhelming series.

A one-star rating seems a little harsh for something so insubstantial, but then I remembered how often I found myself getting annoyed while reading. The precocious infant alone qualifies the book for a downgrade.

The plot was ill defined and overly complicated. There were so many flimsy explanations and unresolved loose ends--to the point that I'm fearful this won't be the end of the series after all.

I do hope this is our final goodbye, Alexia. You could have been so much better, but it didn't happen for you, and I find I can't muster up much energy for regrets. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 4, 2014 |
That was fine. I mean, I was expecting more for the last book but it was good nonetheless. Bizarrely enough, I quite liked Prudence and Biffy but the whole Egyptian plot bored me half to death. Way less witty than the previous installments but I suppose the author made up for it by fleshing out the characters a bit. Looking forward to her new series, Finishing School, in any case! ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
My immediate reaction to finishing this book?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! It can't be over!!!! *sobs*

Full review later. ( )
  kiaras | Oct 22, 2013 |
3.5 stars
I really liked it, and I loved Prudence and Conall, but I just kind of felt a lot of things were left in the air at the end of of things... :/
And I still have NO idea what Alexia's father was thinking... ( )
  Nitzan_Schwarz | Sep 25, 2013 |
Alexia is settling into her life with her husband Conall and the Infant Inconvenience, Prudence, living alongside and with Lord Akeldama, they have created something resembling a routine. At least so faer as such tempestuous personalities can ever be said to form anything as mundane and peaceful as a routine.

It’s not to last, however, as Lady Kingair, alpha of Conall’s old pack, is in the city looking for her lost beat – in an investigation that won’t just take part in London, but also in Egypt. Alexia also receives a message from the ancient vampire queen, Matakara who wishes to see Prudence – in Egypt, and it’s a summons she cannot ignore.

Add in the mystery of the godbreaker plague and the fact that Alexia’s father seems to have been involved and there are a whole lot of threads in Egypt to unravel. Which leaves Biffy and Lyall back in London to try and hold the fort – which becomes more difficult as Lyall’s history becomes more widely known.

And it’s nearly impossible to get a decent cup of tea in Egypt. How very vexing.

The story for this book is interesting and curious as there are so many issues working at the same time – the Kingair beta, the godbreaker plague, the machinations of Matakara, Alexia’s father, old secrets coming to light, the management of Prudence – there are many parallel plots but they all come together into one plotline – there are no real side plots, just the main plot approached from several different directions. But what makes this story, like every story in this series, are the characters and the world setting. The characters make this series.

This book, is again, hilariously funny. There are so many times when I laughed out loud – I think the prize goes to Alexia asking Ivy if she can wait to faint and Ivy deciding she could because fainting hatless in a foreign country is just not done. The proper protocol and language of the Victorian era and Victorian society is woven into an array of constant humour. That same language continues to make these books so very evocative of their age.

Alexia’s relationship with Conall – and, indeed, everyone around her – is hilarious. Alexia’s combination of propriety and wilful refusal to accept limits or to do anything that she doesn’t want to do is joyous to behold. Her sparring with her husband, her autocratic demands to

I’m also glad that the eminently practical and stolid Alexia didn’t become a gushing and twee mother. No, while she clearly loves her child, she has no illusions about her Infant Inconvenience nor is she inclined to be sweet and delicate. This isn’t’ some cookie cutter version of fluffy motherhood, this is motherhood, Alexia style with her personality and being very much apparent.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
by Gail Carringer
Published in 2012 by Orbit/Hachette Book Group

WHO: Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Macon, a soulless woman whose touch can render any preternatural being (e.g. vampire, werewolf, ghost…) into its human dimensions…
WHAT: has been invited to visit Matakara, the ancient vampire queen…
WHERE: at Luxor, Egypt…
WHEN: in 1876 (Victorian Era)…
WHY: to introduce her daughter, Prudence (who has unique abilities herself) to the queen for undisclosed reasons.

+ This is the fifth and final title in the steam punk series, The Parasol Protectorate and finishes the adventures of Lady Macon in the light and fun manner in which followers of the series have come to expect. Romance, thrills and cozy mystery, combined with the supernatural-cum-commonplace, and an unreliable narrator make this a perfect summer read. The style is reminiscent of Elizabeth Peters’ novel, Crocodile on a Sandbank, in itself a pastiche of H.R. Haggard novels.
+ As in every Parasol Protectorate novel, just when you think the story is moving along conventional lines, something truly surprising happens, jolting the reader out of complacency and eagerly racing ahead to read more.
- Timeless alludes to former adventures in without summary; so if you come into this novel without having read or refreshed your memory in regard to the the preceding novels, you may find yourself skating through the constructs (Why is the Kingair Alpha upset again, exactly?) though the action lines are strong enough to keep the story moving along.
- Nothing new in regard to introducing Steam Punk elements and, in fact the prime mode of transportation is a balloon rather than a dirigible.

n.b. Soulless, Changeless, Blamesless and Heartless are the first four novels in the Parasol Protectorate series respectively.

SEX/-UALITY, DRUGS, VIOLENCE: References to sex, homosexuality and nudity; but no bestiality or erotica. One vague reference to a hoookah while in Egypt; Blood noted and attacks scenes described, but not graphically in regard to injury.

OTHER: I borrowed a paperback edition of Timeless (by Gail Carringer) from the Jackson County Library System (Southern Oregon.) I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Aug 13, 2013 |
Parts of the Egypt story was just a bit boring and the same old, same old, and with little plot and lacking most of the humor we've come to love. Still, a bit of it was good near the end. Still this did not make this a pretty good read.

What made this a really enjoyable was the London story with Biffy and Dr Lyall. It definitely takes center stage for me even though it is only maybe a bit over 1/3 of the book. This is where there is the most humor and a cute romance. Of course this is a male/male romance which might turn off some reads, but there isn't any graphic sex, only allusions to it.

I was happy as there was a real ending to it all and a plan for Alexia and Conall. Yes, things seem a little contrived and the plot was not well fleshed out or explained but the overall story of the characters had a satisfactory ending. ( )
  tivonut | Jul 25, 2013 |
I somehow found the ending a little predictable, but that didn't detract from the story at all - it just made me happier (yet also sad). ( )
  Corazie | Jul 25, 2013 |
A simply smashing conclusion to this wonderful series. All of our favorite characters share the action this time and many questions are answered - and the story of Ms. Tarabotti and her clan is left at an ideal ending. I thought this the strongest of the series in many ways and it was a perfect read for me this week. Read the whole series - you won't regret it, my scrumptious muffin.

(More on this at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-lP) ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
Alexia and her daughter are summoned to Egypt to meet the oldest living vampire, the queen of the Alexandria hive. Hijinks ensue, secrets are revealed, Alexia and Conall fight, Genevive acts suspiciously, Ivy behaves surprisingly sensibly, gadgets, balloons, werewolves, vampires, and so on.

Timeless has what may be both the most intricate and best-written plot in the Parasol Protectorate series. The characters are also great, with everyone growing and changing as befits their character and circumstance. The Alexandria Queen is formidable as well, for all she must speak through a translator. ( )
  bluesalamanders | Jun 2, 2013 |
Want to win your own copy of Timeless? Here's your opportunity!

4.5 stars

Much thanks to Orbit for providing me a copy of this for review.

Timeless, the fifth and last installment in the Parasol Protectorate. And the final adieu to Alexia, Conall, Ivy, and all the other colorful characters we’ve grown to know and love. This was actually my favorite installment out of the entire series surprisingly enough. Usually I don’t care for when a series that I’m quite fond of ends; however, it was done so well and was so much fun that I was sold. If you haven’t picked up this series yet and are looking for something incredibly original this is it.

Timeless opens several years after Heartless with Alexia and Conall’s daughter Prudence having been adopted by Lord Akeldama in order to guarantee the safety of the entire family. Prudence had me laughing out loud on several occasions as she was such a handful but such a wonderful addition to the story. The entire family travels to Egypt when the God breaker Plague becomes an issue once again as it has started expanding at an alarming rate.

With Alexia and the family in Egypt, Lyall and Biffy are left behind in London so there are POV shifts between the two locations. I can understand the need for this in retrospect but at the time I couldn’t help feeling it took something away from the story, especially with the focus on the budding relationship between Lyall and Biffy. All in all though? Extremely well done and truly enjoyable. Hands down my favorite steampunk book/series I’ve ever read.

Luckily, we may not have heard the last of The Parasol Protectorate as there is a planned series called The Parasol Protectorate Abroad with the first story entitled ‘Prudence’. Sounds like Lady Alexia will be passing her Parasol along to her daughter – I can’t wait! ( )
  bonniemarjorie | May 7, 2013 |
Vampires, werewolves and ghosts, oh my! Lady Alexia (Tarrabotti) Maccon's last adventure, to Egypt, is a very exciting installment in this series. Discoveries from events in the past make the reader wonder "what's going to happen next"? The steampunk aspect of the book is absolutely wonderful. Ms. Carriger makes it all seem so very real and quite believable. All of the characters are wonderfully constructed. And the alternate history aspect was quite interesting.

Wow! What a, seemingly, ending to a wonderful series. So many of the loose ends throughout the series were tied up in this book. I was in tears at various points in the book. I sincerely wish this was not the last book in the series. I could also see a "spin-off" series of books centered on Prudence.

If you have not yet read this series, I cannot recommend them highly enough! Read! This! Series! Of! Books! ( )
  GayleBitker | Apr 20, 2013 |
This could have been really good, but then there were all these rug rats taking up space where interesting plot and potentially well-rounded characters could have been. (Yes, I'm allergic to kidfic.) At least there was some nice Biffy/Lyall. And interesting hot air balloon and dirigible mechanics. ( )
  sageness | Apr 6, 2013 |
Action abounds in the final chapter of the Parasol Protectorate and I was thoroughly hooked from the first chapter. I highly reccomend the entire series. With all the mystery and adventure in Timeless I am quite sad to leave this world and hope there will be more books written by this wonderful author.
( )
  Kelsomar | Apr 5, 2013 |
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