Friday, September 21, 2012

Audiobook Review: Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)


TimelessAuthor: Gail Carriger
Narrator: Emily Gray
Series: Parasol Protectorate
Publisher: AudioGo
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.



16 comments:

  1. I recently decided that audiobooks weren't for me. A few attempts to give it a try failed miserably, but then again, I went through the same sort of phase with ebooks, and now can't get enough of my ereader. So we'll see. :) Wonderful review, Maja! I'm sorry to hear this final book was missing something in a few places, but I'm glad you're satisfied that it's come to an end at the right time. I've heard such great things about these books! I need to get my hands on the first one soon.

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  2. Oh yes, I am so glad that she decided to end this one. I wonder if her next offering will be a spin-off series featuring their daughter? I wasn't planning to pick up even the one before this, but then I found the audio and it got me through. Emily Gray really does an amazing job with all the characters.

    Sam - you should give audios another go! Once you find a few great narrators and realize how much time you could spend reading...it's hard to give them up. :)

    Great review Maja - I'm pretty sure I won't be reading this but if I do, I'm definitely going to get the audiobook.

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  3. Wonderful review, Maja! I, unfortunately actually, stopped this series after Soulless, the first one. I couldn't find a copy of the sequels and over time I've become too lazy to look for them again and have resorted to simply reading Carriger's upcoming series soon. I seem to do this with a lot of books, including Marr's Wicked Lovely Series, but I do feel as if I should at least pick up Books 2-4 from what you've said. I'm sorry Book 5 didn't work out too well for you, but I'm glad you enjoyed the audio! I can't listen to audio books. I tried with Feed and then again with DoSaB and it just didn't work out, but if I ever pick up this series again, I'll definitely check this one out in audio! :)

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  4. You know I thought I would just love this series and I read the first book and it was just meh...okay but not an OMG book. If I did pick it back up I would do the audiobooks. I am listening to Kevin Hearne's series on audio and it is great!

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  5. LOL! I love the quote ... I'm definitely going to check out this series :)


    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  6. Wow this seems really different and actually really good! I'll have to get my hands on it soon! I'm just not really an Audio book person, I guess. I know some people really like and swear by them but it's not for me. Thanks for putting this series on my radar! It seems great! <3

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  7. I've never tried Audio books before...I'm easily distracted so the audio thing might not work so well for me. It makes me want to try it though. There's something about a narrator's voice that can do wonders for a book. Especially if a book is as lacklustre as this one.

    Thanks for a great review, Maja!

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  8. Great review! I read the first one in this series and loved it! I am so glad that I came across your review, because I completely forgot about the series. I have not listened to many audiobooks, but I may give it a try again. I loved the Harry Potter audiobooks and always felt that no other book could compare to those.

    s @ Oh! Paper Pages

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  9. Glad you enjoyed the narration of this despite not thoroughly enjoying the story. I'm not familiar with this series at all. I love the quote you picked Maja, great review.

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  10. I've only read the first few books in this series but I've been meaning to read the others. Great review!

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  11. Okay, confession: I've never tried an audio book. I know, you're staring at me weirdly, aren't you? ;) I will definitely do so soon, except, I'm having some trouble in determining what I should start with... Hmmm.

    And great review, Maja! I'm glad you enjoyed this book overall, but I think I'll be passing on this one and the first few books in the series for Gail Carriger's upcoming steampunk novel, Etiquette & Espionage instead. :)

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  12. Wow, great review seems like something I might enjoy! Nice post :)
    Alex @ Possession of Books

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  13. As always dear your review is flawless and leaves me wanting to read this series even with your not very glowy review. Maja you make review reading an enjoyable experience and, if I haven't said it already, your new layout is absolutely stunning on so many levels.

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  14. Oh dear, I was hoping this series would be awesome. I will definitely make note that if I read it, audio is the way to go. Thanks for the info!

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  15. I'm not an audio girl, but this sounds great! That quote is FABULOUS! I'm adding it to my faves! Great review, Maja!

    I want to thank you for the comment you left on my bullying post. I really appreciate you sharing that story, and for all you did in that particular situation. Heart-breaking. *hugs*

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  16. Aw, sorry you didn't like this one, Maja. I loved the humor in this one and I thought it was upped more. Prudence for me is what kept me reading and I'm thrilled that she'll have a spin off series of her own.

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