Sunday, September 5, 2010

Steampunk Sunday: Review of Blameless (may contain a few spoilers)…


Title: Blameless

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Orbit

Date of Publication: September 1st, 2010

ISBN: 9780316074155


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. (From


More often than not, when you waiting for a highly anticipated book, you are disappointed. You spend weeks or months waiting, building anticipation, and then it fails to deliver. Yet, once in a while, you strike gold. After a lot of trouble and panicking I got a hold of a copy of Blameless. If you only read one book this fall, let it be this book. It’s like a hot steamy cup of tea on a cold winter evening. Perfect.

After returning from Scotland, pregnant and sans husband, Alexia is forced to move back in with her mother, stepfather, and stepsisters. After the public revelation of her condition in the gossip columns, hinting Alexia has been unfaithful due to the fact that werewolves cannot produce offspring, she is no longer welcome in her family home. Luckily her friend, rogue vampire, Lord Akeldama offers her a safe haven. Upon reaching Lord Akeldama’s house, she finds it utterly deserted except for a cat, which “possessed the disposition of a placid narcoleptic”, with a curious note attached around the neck. It turns out the news of Alexia’s pregnancy has put the vampire community of London into a frenzy; their ultimate goal is to dispose of her as fast as possible, which they nearly succeed in doing when a mob of poisonous mechanical ladybugs attacks her as she departs the lord’s house. Always resourceful, Alexia wards off the Coccinellidaen pest and calls a meeting at Lady Lefoux’s hat shop, with Professor Lyall, Floote, Mr. Tunstell, and eventually Ivy Hisselpenny (now Mrs. Tunstell) in attendance. The group quickly agrees that Alexia’s removal from London (and England entirely) would be the best course of action. They decide on Italy where she, Madame Lefoux, and Floote also will have an opportunity to research the nature of the pregnancy in the Templars’ archives. The journey takes them through France, where they are, more or less, aided by Madame Lefoux’s connection with the Order of the Brass Octopus. The journey is by no means peaceful as they’re attacked by vampires and their drones, but receive unexpected help from a vigilante.

Back in England; Professor Lyall takes over the responsibilities as pack master and head of BUR, as Lord Maccon is depressed and in an ever increasing form of drunkenness, achieved by consuming large quantities of formaldehyde, in the form of the Professor’s specimen collection. Lord Maccon slowly comes to the conclusion he might have been wrong in rejecting Alexia and has enough sense to realize he must do something. However, pack responsibilities, BUR, and the business with the vampires create an interesting turn of events (and maybe an interesting sub plot in Heartless?).

I have to say Professor Lyall and Ivy surprised me the most when I read Blameless; the Professor really was the hero of this book. The man is an octopus; he must possess eight arms in order to juggle all of the responsibilities thrust upon him. I won’t get into details with regards to Ivy, but she is more than meets the eye. The drunk Lord Maccon offers a great deal of comical relief. However helpless he might seem he does, eventually, step up to his responsibilities. I could have used a bit more time with Lord Maccon, but that would probably have caused him to take over the book.

Alexia is as witty as ever, which is clearly only to cover up how distraught she is over Lord Maccon’s rejection. The reader will see a more emotional side of Alexia, which didn’t really come out in the two previous books – a great addition to the fabulousness that is Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Maccon.

I love how Gail Carriger didn’t rush through Alexia’s pregnancy. Instead of forcing several months into one book, the majority of the book occurs over a very short period of time, which leaves the reader anticipating and pondering over what might happen next before the child is brought into the world. My only wish is that Heartless would be out sooner. I need my Alexia fix.

By Wednesday my week had already been exhausting, but reading Blameless completely turned that around. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed this much. I’ve been quoting Lord Maccon all week…and have taught my friend’s six year old son how to say, “Ish good stuff…”, we’re still working on the “fermaldathdie” part.   

All in all; Blameless is a wonderful imaginative novel and definitely deserves a re-read, or two, over the coming fall and winter. A job very well done, indeed.



LanYap said...

Loved the review, hon! The professor really is the hero in this one, but I did miss Conall and Lord Alkadama. I'm still laughing about your training the six-year-old to quote the drunk Earl. LOL.


Awesome review!!! I delayed my reading of Changeless because I read spoilers, but I'll read both very soon =)))

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