Blameless, the third in Gail Carriger’s Alexia Tarabotti series, lives up to the first two in the indomitable Alexia off on yet another adventure where her husband, the moping Lord Maccon, wishes she would never go. Changeless ended in a cliffhanger (after, of course, resolving the main tale of that book), and Carriger takes full advantage of the situation.
Does she resolve their heartbreak in the first chapter, the second, or even the third? Absolutely not. Instead, Alexia thrusts herself into trouble after trouble as she goes about attempting to prove her dear husband is a lunkhead.
While this sounds like a private, personal, and agonizing journey, you can count on Carriger to make sure it’s anything but. Once again the supernatural world is up in arms, with Alexia at the very heart of it. Nor does she sit on her hands with her family, society, and even the Queen turned against her. This is Alexia we’re talking about.
She’s off gallivanting about a not so friendly Europe with Madame Lefoux while Professor Lyall holds the pack together and Conall rails at his beloved wife for believing him when he said all those awful things about her even though her condition is more than unprecedented, it’s impossible.
It has been said before that these novels are unclassifiable, varying from romance, to fantasy, to horror, to thriller, to…? There is absolutely nothing horrific about them to my mind, despite both werewolves and vampires, but otherwise pretty much every other genre has a foothold. That sounds chaotic and a recipe for disaster, but not in Carriger’s hands. There’s science of a sort, there’s definitely hair-raising danger, neat gadgets, true love…and the attendant crises of faith…, family drama, hints of generations old conflicts, and of course a twist at the end that I can’t wait to see featured in the next novel about the parasol protectorate. (And just a tiny spoiler, but Alexia does indeed get full reign with her not so decorative parasol.)
Seriously, if you haven’t given this series a try, you’re missing out. It’s funny, heartwarming, and nerve wracking…often all at once. It says something that my 16-year-old son snatched Blameless from my desk the second I recorded its arrival with no consideration for just who bought the book.