cover image Timeless


Gail Carriger. Orbit, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-12718-9

Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series concludes with this uneven fifth installment (after Heartless). Two years after moving into vampire Lord Akeldama’s third closet, the soulless Lady Alexia Maccon receives a summons from the world’s oldest vampire, who requests an audience with Alexia’s soul-stealing, scene-stealing two-year-old daughter, Prudence. Accompanying them to Egypt are Alexia’s werewolf husband, Conall; the mysterious inventor Madame Lefoux; and Alexia’s best friend, fluttery actress Ivy Tunstell, and her family and colorful theatrical troupe. Back in London, beta werewolf Professor Lyall and new pack member Biffy find love in unexpected places while investigating nefarious goings-on. Steampunk inventions take a backseat to the witty and affectionate depictions of the characters and their relationships. The language is somewhat forced and overstuffed, as if the complex plot overwhelmed Carriger’s ability to string words together, but series readers will fall for Prudence and be happy with how it all wraps up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Mar.)