Blameless by Gail Carriger
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Fiction (Steampunk / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance)
Love/Hate?: A great deal of relieved affection.
Did I finish?: Yes!
One-sentence summary: Alexia Maccon battles Templars and ladybugs.
Why did I get this book?: The sequel to Changeless
Source: My public library!
Challenges: Support Your Local Library
Do you like the cover?: Yes. I'm pleased the publisher has kept the same model/style to each cover. Very sharp.
First line from book: How much longer, Mama, must we tolerate this gross humilation?
Did... I find this one more enjoyable than Changeless?: YES, blessedly. Very little Ivy and no Angelique, although still too much Madame Lefoux and not nearly enough Akeldama.
Did... I discover I have a burgeoning crush on Professor Lyall?: YES. Why is he so adorable? I don't have words.
Did... I find the entire side plot with Biffy and Akeldama to be deliciously poignant?: YES. I'm getting teary just remembering.
Review: I was pretty unhappy with Changeless as I just adored -- literally, top ten of 2010 -- Soulless; needless to say, I was apprehensive about Blameless. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised and muchly relieved to find this book felt more like the first than the second: funny, breezy, quick moving, with fewer new side characters jostling for the lead. Like Alexia herself, I found my attitude toward Changeless' cliffhanger warming as the book went on; however, I thought Conall got off too easy for his really unbelievable response to the cliffhanger. (Pet peeve: when seemingly reasonable characters become completely idiotic for the sake of plot.)
In terms of plot, this story advances a great deal of science about the preternaturals, which sort of went over my head. Now that the series has been extended into two more books, I suppose Carriger has to explain Alexia's powers and, of course, the implication of the Changeless cliffhanger, but to be honest the how has bored me so far. Perhaps if I didn't hate the scientists -- like Madame Lefoux -- I would care a little more, but such is life.
I should add, despite my intense loathing for Madame Lefoux, I'm actually pleased by the number of queer characters that Carriger offers. Of course, the actual sex so far has been limited to Alexia and Conall, but there are romantic and sexual implications of all stripes for a variety of the side characters, and I appreciate that. Speaking of queer, I'm pretty sure Professor Lyall is family, and that he has a raging crush on Biffy.
In the end, my hopes for the rest of this series are lifted. I'm especially eager for the next two books to follow the formula from the first book, namely, the sexy back-and-forth between Alexia and Conall. Alexia is lovely on her own, but so far, no one has been an interesting enough foil for her wit and that's what hooked me from the start.