Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5)
(20 stars out of 5)
I'm a little sad. I love this series, and alas, it is over. Alexia has completed her journey (though her daughter's journey will be beginning in a new series coming out sometime in the nearish future SQUEE!).
Ok, so those of you who aren't familiar with the series (OHMYGOSHWHATISWRONGWITHYOUGOREADITRIGHTNOW!!!) Alexia lives in a world of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. The common theory is that people with an excess of soul are able to be turned into a vamp or a wolfie, and if they aren't turned in life, they may stick around as a ghost. Alexia is an even rarer creature - she's a spinster without a soul. When a Soulless touches one of the vampires or werewolves, they revert to their mortal form: vamps can see the sun and lose their fangs, werewolves in wolf form are instantly changed back to (naked) humanity. And if a Soulless were to touch the dead body that used to house the ghost, the ghost is no more.
The world Gail Carriger created is set in Victorian England and is a lovely mix of Steampunk and Paranormal (with a bit of Romance thrown in). Alexia is the straight (wo)man surrounded by a colorful cast of characters: her love interest and head of BUR (a sort of supernatural affairs division of the government) and werewolf pack leader, Conall Maccon, who growls a lot and doesn't seem to mind that Alexia is too old (she's in her mid-to-late twenties while he's over 200 years old), that she's part-Italian, or that she has more curves than is considered popular (he really doesn't mind that bit). Her vampire friend, Akeldama, who is a rove (or loner) vampire, dresses with 18th century flair, and has a house full of pretty young men who act as his household staff and gossip collectors (called drones). There's also Lyall, Conall's second in command; Ivy Hisselpenny, Alexia's friend and wearer of atrocious hats; Biffy, Akeldama's head drone; two awful half-sisters and a flighty mother; and the ever present and effective butler, Floote.
Timeless neatly ties up all the loose ends in this five book series. I enjoyed every chapter, every page, and every word of each of these books. I can't wait for her new YA series, which begins with Espionage and Etiquette, and will be coming out in February.
Anyone who can turn a parasol into a multi-layered weapon, whose heroine believes that anything can be made better with liberal application of tea, and can slip in a "llama, llama, duck" reference into a book taking place in Victorian England, will always have me as a loyal reader!