‘Timeless’ is the fifth and final book in ‘The Parasol Protectorate’ series. But don’t worry there are two other series of books set in the same world, one of them set slightly prior to the this series called ‘The Finishing School’ series and the other being set many years after both these series called ‘The Custard Protocol’. As I’ve said before, there are likely to be massive spoilers in this review as it is for book five in a series, don’t read any further unless you want previous books to be spoilt for you.
Alexia and her werewolf husband, Lord Conall Maccon, have recently been living quite comfortably in Lord Akeldama’s third best closet while pretending to live next door with their own werewolf pack. The only issue they regularly have to deal with being that their small daughter has a habit of stealing supernatural abilities and charging round the house as a toddling vampire or a werewolf puppy. That is until they receive an invitation from the Egyptian vampire Queen Matakara to visit her in her palace. This means we get to follow Alexia and her enormous party of hangers-on to Egypt to find out why Matakara wishes for a visit from Prudence and her mother. As you can imagine, there ensues a vast amount of comic capers involving flying werewolves, random attacks by steam-powered creatures and nomadic balloon travelling tribesmen and their families.
This book is basically about tying up many of the loose ends from previous books in the series and we learn much more about Alexia’s father and what he got up to prior to his untimely death. We also discover more about Alexia and Conall’s daughter and what her powers can really do. I did find this book to be pretty hard going at the beginning, probably for at least the first 100 pages or so. It seemed to be pretty much scene setting and letting the reader know what had been happening over the past year or so. The only interesting bits were when Prudence managed to get hold of someone’s powers and they had to chase her to get them back again.
Once they all got to Egypt, I felt the story got a lot more interesting as we met Matakara and that scene I felt was really exciting. It introduced a whole new look into the fact that vampires live forever but would you really want to if you ended up as Matakara has. She may be the oldest and possibly the most powerful vampire in the world but seeing what she has become was horrifying.
I also enjoyed reading the little sections about Biffy and how he is growing into being a werewolf and his relationships with other pack members including a burgeoning romance. I really hope that we get some more information about him in further books, maybe even some kind of short story or off-shoot books about the werewolves would be interesting.
I did notice there was a great reliance on slapstick and hilarious names which grew irritating after a few pages. I mean it’s pretty funny to have a slightly dubious name but having characters called Plonk is not something which I felt fitted into the higher humour of previous books in this series.
Overall, I felt that this book did finish the series nicely, lots of the loose ends were tied up but there’s still enough interesting areas left open for further books. I’m glad this is the last in the series because as I didn’t really enjoy it as much as the previous ones, I’m not sure I would have picked up another one. I will pick up books from the other two series as I’m currently really enjoying ‘The Finishing School’ series and I can’t wait to see what Prudence gets up to in ‘The Custard Protocol’ series.
(pub: Orbit. 328 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-987-1)