Author: Gail Carriger
Narrator: Emily Gray
Series: Parasol Protectorate
Audio CD, 10 discs
Running time: 11 hrs 26 min
Oh, I should have listened to this entire series on audio! It’s a completely different experience. With her great accents and excellent characterization, Emily Gray breathed life into a series that very much needed it in its last installment. She’s done such an amazing job that I’ll purposely seek out other audiobooks narrated by her, regardless of the genre, and enjoy them while driving to work and back. Of all the narrators I’ve come across so far, she and Holter Graham are by far my favorites.
Unfortunately, Gail Carriger doesn’t deserve such praise. Timeless is essentially plotless, and what little excitement there is pales in comparison to previous books. Everything I used to love about this series is gone – even the humor isn’t what it used to be. The Parasol Protectorate simply lost its charm. It’s a good thing Carriger decided to end the series when she did – this is where we would have parted ways anyway. By making Timeless the last book, she allowed me to say my goodbyes with a smile and a little bit of nostalgia, instead of the bitter taste so many authors left me with.
Timeless picks up two years after the end of Heartless. Alexia’s daughter Prudence is an extraordinary child and she’s keeping her biological parents and her adoptive father, Lord Akeldama, very busy indeed. She’s even managed to attract the attention of Queen Matakara, vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive, the oldest supernatural in the world. Alexia, Prudence and their numerous entourage travel to Egypt to indulge Matakara, and hopefully, to uncover Alessandro Tarabotti’s plans for the supernaturals.
Meanwhile, Biffy and Professor Lyall investigate the murder of a Beta, but they somehow spend more time flirting with each other than actually investigating. The budding romance between these two was my favorite part of this book. I loved seeing a different side of Lyall – the reserved professor is surprisingly passionate under the surface, much to my (and Biffy’s) delight.
I never gossip. I observe. And then relay my observations to practically everyone.
After many adventures and several misunderstandings, the relationship between Lord and Lady Maccon is finally steady and calm, but never boring! After all, neither of them is very conventional and Lady Maccon becomes rather restless if she isn’t involved in at least three different conspiracies and secret societies at any given time. But the tenderness she shows her darling husband, and his complete and utter adoration for her turned this book into a satisfying conclusion, despite its many flaws.
You know I have to mention some of those flaws, right? I’ll try to make it quick, like pulling off a band aid. The most important thing is that I wanted more! Many questions were left unanswered and I’m still unclear on quite a few things. The humor… oh, the humor! I used to adore Lord Akeldama and his many fashion experiments, but he, too, became tiresome after a while. Much like the series, he just lost his shine.
In the end, I will go back to the beginning: if you’re considering reading this book, do yourselves a favor and get it on audio. Emily Gray made everything so much more interesting. As for the rest, this is one of those times when saying goodbye isn’t hard. I’m sure Gail Carriger has a lot more to offer, but in a different series and with a new set of characters.