Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Heartless, by Gail Carriger

Book: Heartless
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥

“A novel of vampires, werewolves and teapots” 

In Ms. Carriger’s fourth installment of her thunderously-witty and original series, The Parasol Protectorate, Heartless; was by far my favorite book since Soulless. I tend to get nervous when authors break out of the trilogy length and try for a saga series. There have been countless series that after book three or four start to lose focus, they become increasing repetitive and you start to wonder why you are reading the book. But, thankfully, our dear author is above those rookie mistakes. Heartless, was nothing short of engaging, laugh-out-loud funny, and Lord Akeldama and his polished dandy’s are ever present.

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again; only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.
Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

From page one the reader is swept up into the shenanigans that only Carriger could deliver so effortlessly. . .

Alexia Maacon is eight months pregnant, but never fear, with her “infant-inconvenience”, she is still the target of attack, cue deadly porcupine assailants. What a fetching idea, vampire porcupines? Only Gail Carriger.  To settle the unrest in the vampire community, Alexia and her wolfish husband, Lord Maacon has agreed to give the unborn child up for adoption. And can you guess who the fashionable and charming adoptive-dad to be is?
Now that we have this issue cleared up, a very confused ghost appears and declares there is a plot to murder Queen Victoria. This news sends Alexia into her father and own husbands past, and we all know that digging around in the closest can be a dangerous endeavor. Be prepared for a worthy adventure filled with code names, Puff Bonnet (Ivy, but of course), dangerous octomaton, dandy’s flying a dirigible, deadly teapots, treacle tart and so much more.
This book was nothing short of a sweet and lovely treat. I couldn’t get over Gail’s descriptions of Alexia’s very pregnant state. She waddles and needs the assistance of her husband to help remove her from most furniture. Due to her “infant-inconvenience”, Alexia tends to be hungry, “Months of training had seen the entire werewolf household running attendance on increasingly grumpy Alexia and learning, to a man, that food was not provided promptly, fur might fly, or worse, Lady Maccon would start to weep. As a result several of the pack now crinkled as they moved, having desperately stashed snacks all about their personage” (12).

I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the final book in the Parasol Protectorate, Timeless due to release in March on 2012.



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