Series: PARASOL PROTECTORATE (HIS, Steampunk)
Ratings: V4; S3; H4
Publisher and Titles: Orbit
Timeless (3/2012) (FINAL BOOK)
Even Queen Victoria is involved in the supernatural world. Although she is human, she has supernaturals among her top advisers. Steam-driven and spring-loaded tools, weapons, and transportation (especially dirigibles) enhance the lives of the characters, including Alexia’s parasol with its abundance of hidden spring-loaded weaponry. This combination of Victorian London and steam technology is known as steampunk—a science fiction subgenre that is defined by its four Gs: goggles, gadgets, gears, and guns.
Soulless focuses on Alexia’s hate-to-love relationship with Lord Conall Maccon, the werewolf who heads up London’s supernatural law enforcement agency, the Bureau of Unnatural Registry (BUR). Villains are scientists who want to perform deadly experiments on the supernaturals. In Changeless, Conall and Alexia enjoy their newly married life, but just as they solve a major mystery, a complication develops in their personal relationship that may drive them permanently apart. In Blameless, Alexia takes off for Europe, where she tries to prove her innocence, while Conall has a hard time back in London coping with a life without her.
BOOK 4: Heartless
I hate to say it, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first three, and especially the delightful book 1, Soulless, which is the best of them all. The surfeit of plot lines resulted in a number of convoluted and manipulated events. Towards the end, I was just plowing ahead hoping that the author wouldn't introduce any more complications. Also disappointing is the fact that Alexia's husband, Conall, has deteriorated into a bumbling fool—quite a departure from his gruff but capable character in book 1. Alexia's character has also gone downhill since the early books. Back then, she was as smart as she was independent, but in this book she is reactive and inept, with most of her missteps being blamed on her late-stage pregnancy.