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MatthewHunter

MatthewHunter

Currently reading

MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
Blameless - Gail Carriger Carriger returns to Soulless form in Blameless. No more awkward cliffhangers, no more Hisselpenny hysterics. Blameless reads beautifully, tightly, and quickly.

I'd never heard the phrase "infant-inconvenience" before Carriger used it repeatedly to describe Alexia's discontent with her inconvenient pregnancy. The phrase works in connection with an on-the-run Lady Maccon. Annoyance gives way only gradually as the bond between mother and baby deepens. An "infant-inconvenience" hints at the baby being an unwanted annoyance. And who can blame Alexia for harboring bitter feelings toward the baby of her sometimes-arse-of-a-husband Conall? Apparently the Fangs feel a comparable sense of loathing, as does Lange-Wilsdorf who threatens to study this offspring of a werewolf and preternatural via vivisection. Alexia and baby are nothing more than fodder for Lange-Wilsdorf's and Templar scientific curiosity. No wonder those afraid of Alexia refuse to call her by name. It's much easier to kill or use something that carries labels like "Female Specimen", "spinster", "demon", "Soul Stealer", or "Stalker of Skins". Labels can kill or marginalize! Carriger does a wonderful job in Blameless of showing how labels can be used to justify doing great harm to others.

I also enjoyed Carriger's attention to smallish details in Blameless. For example, Carriger turns pesto into proof of Italy's hatred of the supernatural. The logic goes something like this: pesto includes garlic and basil - foods/herbs annoying to vampires and werewolves respectively; pesto is an Italian culinary invention; therefore, Italians must hate vampires and werewolves. Throw in the Vatican and you have two good reasons - religion and garlic/basil laden foods - for Italy to serve as the primary bulwark against the supernatural. Such a creative touch!

And don't even get me started on the complex dance between Lyall, Lord Akeldama, Biffy, the Potentate, the Dewan, Queen Victoria, and Lord Maccon. The scenes surrounding the "Thriller at the Thames" are riveting. I can't wait to see how the loose ends, not handled as a cliffhanger this time, are resolved in Heartless and Timeless. While "eager" is not how I would describe myself in moving from Changeless to Blameless, I'm eager as can be to tackle Heartless. Blameless makes it official - I'm a Carriger fan!