Following the surprising news that Alexia is pregnant from the past book, she is subsequently a social pariah. She finds herself cast out from the pack, disposed of her role as mujah, and living at home with her horrid family. But quickly she realizes it's not safe in London as vampires seem to be trying to kill. While that's nothing new, Alexia leaves for safety in Italy, taking Floote, Madame Lefoux, her trusty parasol, and of course, tea. There, maybe she'll find the secrets behind all of this.
I think the charm of the books is started to wear thin. I loved the first book because of that lighthearted humor in the midst of drama. I loved the idea of being concerned of one's dress while bashing someone over the head in survival. But in this book, as things start getting more dangerous, I really hate how Carriger handles the drama. Things that are actually important - Conall's anger and acceptance, forgiveness, real feelings, Biffy and that whole situation... all of it are laughed at with a foppish London dandy humor. It almost disgusts me the way important things are brushed over with such easy-joking manner.
I don't think she does major fighting scenes well either. Similar to what I was writing above - it used to be that it was possible to care about one's cravat while sticking a vampire with a pin. But that's because they were in polite society. As mass vampires start attacking, it's almost rolling-my-eyes worthy when she dodges bullets and worries about English manners.
Carriger is trying to raise the level of danger and drama, but still inject that with her witty humor. But I think she lost that balance in this book.
That might be the biggest thing I hated from this book. The fact that (spoiler) Alexia takes him back so freaking easily. So what? What happened didn't matter? All it depended on was his feelings? I can't believe it. Ugh, ugh.
Of course, some scenes are still delightful because of that serious/levity mix. Some.
This book was a bit of a travel-the-world adventure, setting the scene for future books, more so than being a delightful book on its own. The whole purpose is to find out the importance of the baby. I was interested, but not really invested. It's like we could already predict the ending before reading it.
Two and a half stars, rounded down, because it's not good enough to be three stars. And while it was a fun read at times, it really was "just okay".
Only mildly recommended for those who read the first two books. If you don't read it (and don't mind series hanging), then it's not really a big loss if you don't read it.