Timeless (The Parasol Protectorate, No. 5)
by Gail Carriger
Review by Gayle Surrette
Orbit Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780316127189
Date: 02 March 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Lord and Lady Maccon are settling into a routine, living in Lord Akeldama's third largest closet, acclimatizing the pack to life in London, and raising a child -- all while working at BUR and being on the shadow council. All that is about to change when Sidheag Maccon, Lady of Kingair, arrives in town to demand help in finding her beta who has gone missing.
Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama is a handful, and it takes Alexia, Connal, Lord Akeldama, and all his drones to keep up with her, especially on bath night. Only Alexia can touch her without consequences. Experimentation is need to find out the limits and boundaries of the child's metanatural powers. Throughout this novel, the reader, as well as the main characters, learn more about preternaturals and metanaturals.
The Kingair beta was sent to Eqypt to find out more about the God-Breaker Plague. He's been missing and Lady Kingair has come to Connal for help finding him, or at least getting the information he was to learn. At the same time, Alexia is requested to visit the Countess Nadasdy, in charge of the Woolsey Hive, who has a message for her from Queen Matakara of Eqypt. Also, Felicity, one of Alexia's sisters, has returned to London.
Alexia finds the message from Queen Matakara is an invitation, more like a command, to visit her in Eqypt, and to bring her daughter. The bait is that the queen has information about the missing werewolf and Alexia's father. Of course Alexia is determined to go. She also knows she needs a non-threatening and minimally plausible excuse to go and decides to enlist Ivy and her husband's acting troop to perform a command performance for Queen Matakara.
So Alexia, Connal, their daughter, Ivy and her husband, several of the acting company, and Madame Lefoux set out for Eqypt. Shortly after they leave, Felicity tells a tale that leaves Biffy and Professor Lyall dealing with complications in London, but not before a message is sent off that will upset alliances within the group heading to Eqypt, if that message arrives before they can warn Alexia.
There's nothing for it now but to sit back and plan to finish the book in one sitting, because surprises, complexities, research, twists, and hidden agendas abound in this addition to the Parasol Protectorate series. Book five is just as fresh and entertaining as was the first volume, Soulless (2009) or Soulless, the graphic novel being released this month.