Timeless by Gail Carriger is the fifth and final book in her Parasol Protectorate series.
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a dampener on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?
This book was a bit of a romp! The humor, ever present in the Parasol Protectorate books, is upfront and center in Timeless. There were numerous points where I laughed out loud, mostly thanks to hi-jinks involving Alexia’s daughter Prudence. Although, I have to note that some of the humor in this is the kind where you’ll either find it hilarious or extremely annoying. It’s a fine line and sometimes I was more annoyed than not. Much of that had to do with me listening to this on audio and the fact that so much baby speech and gibberish sounds are written into this that it drove me a bit nuts at times. But still, I moved past that and was able to enjoy the humor in it for the most part.
The plot was ok, the urgency to get them all to Egypt was there, but I feel like it fizzled out in the end. Everything could have been resolved so much easier without all of the rigmarole if someone had just communicated what the actual point of the trip was in the first place instead of all the underhandedness. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be good vampires if they weren’t being underhanded about things so…meh.
One of my favorite things about the books is Alexia’s relationship with her husband, Connall. There were times in previous books where he was a complete ass, but I loved them in this one, working together. There are a few scenes in the book where they’re in grave danger and it’s so touching to see how much they care for one another, always willing to sacrifice for the other. I also loved seeing them interact with their daughter. Pru makes for an entirely new dynamic in their relationship, and it’s kind of adorable how much Lord Maccon dotes on his baby daughter. It was also good to see Alexia being slightly more motherly as the book went on. It’s an interesting set-up that they have, living with Lord Akeldama (in his closet of all things) and allowing him to be the legal guardian/co-parent to their daughter.
Other characters were fun as well. Biffy and Lyall kind of stole the show for me and I was tempted to skip ahead to their parts, but that would have been hard to figure out how to do on audio.
Of course, this isn’t the last we’ll see of all the characters as there is a spin-off series (The Custard Protocol) centered around Alexia’s daughter Prudence. There are also a few other books/novellas which feature characters from the series such as Biffy and Major Channing. But, overall, I feel like Timeless was a good and mostly satisfying conclusion to the series. 3/5 stars.