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Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4)
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Heartless (Parasol Protectorate #4)

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  18,215 ratings  ·  1,656 reviews
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 a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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Can't Wait Books For 2011
61st out of 1,234 books — 6,943 voters
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Best Steampunk Books
23rd out of 702 books — 3,448 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Catie
Well, the shine has definitely worn off a bit for me, but I do always love a pregnant heroine. I have this little fantasy: two ruffians chase a woman into a dark alley, and just as they are about to attack, she flashes her stretch-marked, saggy belly at them. Their faces both register shock and fear, as they realize that she’s a complete bad-ass. Then they run away in terror. I wish that pregnancy scars were revered like battle scars.

Or you know, that I could wear a bikini and not feel self-cons
...more
Dija
Series Review:

Gail Carriger is the most unique author I've ever come across. Her style is truly unparalleled in all of Fictiondom. She has immense talent for turning even the most mundane of things into the epitome of sophistication. If it wasn't for her writing, I doubt I would ever enjoy these books.

The Parasol Protectorate has the most original cast of characters ever. None of the characters in this series even remotely resemble any other characters out there, except for maybe Lord Maccon. A
...more
Kaitlin
Initial Impressions:
I 100% adored this and I will write a full review of it tomorrow (it's late here). I am going onto book 5 asap and just have to say this was by far the best in the series to date and I loved it!!!!

Full Review:
Okay so I finished up this book and instantly went on to book 5. That to me is the sign of a very very good book because I like to plan out which books I shall read when, and if a book or series is good enough to make me deviate from that plan then it must be pretty amaz
...more
Peter
This was the first of the Parasol Protectorate books I read in paper; the others were all audio, where I loved the narration by Emily Gray. Reading it myself meant doing all Emily's voices in my head which proved a bit exhausting, but well worth it. The ongoing soap opera of Alexia Maccon and company in Carriger's Urban Fantasy/Steampunk 1870's London is always a delight.
Katie(babs)
LOVED IT!!

A pregnant Alexia waddling with her parasol through London like Sherlock Holmes is freakin hilarious.

Major wow twist of a cliffhanger that has me dying to read the fifth and final book.

Conall was the cuddliest and very caring about Alexia.

Total win of a book.
Gloria Mundi
OK, so much as I love the characters, I have to admit I was a teensy bit bored throughout most of this book.

Alexia is very heavily pregnant in this latest instalment but she does not let the infant inconvenience get in the way of her usual antics, investigating a warning by a nearly demented ghost that an attemt on the Queen's life is being planned. Alexia and Connall are completely reconciled with barely a mention of his inexcusable (in my view) behaviour in the previous book, the vampires are
...more
Penny Watson
Observations about Heartless by Gail Carriger.....


1.) The cover is wack. The models on Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless looked like they could kick your butt, admonish your improper behavior and have a spot of tea all without missing a beat. The woman on the cover of Heartless looks like she'll burst into tears if you look at her funny. Wack.

2.) The humor is spot-on--Alexia waddling around London, thwarting would-be paranormal crimes with a massive pregnant belly barely slowing her down. The
...more
Mason
I love these characters so dang much that I'm sad this is the second to last book. We got some great reveals and moments here that really surprised me, especially the stuff about Alexia's father. And then of course, in the same fashion as her stubborn parents, (view spoiler). I just loved this book so much!

(Though Blameless may still be my favorite, this is a close second...)
Melyssa
*HUUUUGE SIGH OF RELIEF* AHHHHHHHH!!

Finally finished this book! Thank you school for making it difficult for me to finish anything fun... ;)

Oh, my... Ohmyohmyohmy. I loved this book. Dare I say that it was more fun to read than a couple of the previous books in the series? Yes I dare.

Further reflection to come once I figure out what I'm going to say... :D
Suzanne Lazear
You all know how much I love these books. Gail Carriger is one of my favorite authors. When this surprise landed in my mailbox I didn’t read it, I devoured it in two sitting, while the hubby looked on in worry asking me why I was laughing so hard.

A ghost is on the loose and threatening Queen Victoria, Felicity has (gasp) joined the suffragette movement, there’s an infestation of zombie porcupines, and Madame Lefoux is inventing strange things. Alexia must deal with these while in her most delica
...more
CJ - So, you wanna play with magic?
3.7

I don't know exactly what to write here. I know that overall I enjoyed the book well enough to rate it a Goodreads three. I know that I'm excited to find out what happens next in the world of the Tarrabotti/Maccon's. I'm curious what will happen to Biffy and Akeldama and hell, even Felicity is interesting enough to follow.

BUT.

There was something missing from this book. Some spark, some thing that I can't put my finger on. I was confused during this book, which never happens in Carriger's
...more
Jessica
Well, my little plum pastries, what larks we have had!

This book was possibly my favorite of the series so far, having featured copious amounts of Lord Akeldama, Biffy, Alexia having her sensibilities offended, and a riproaring good mystery to boot!

And not just the one mystery, my fluffy ducklings, but several mysteries are unraveled concerning Alexia's late father, Professor Lyall's past (and frankly, I could not get enough of Lord Akeldama calling him Dolly), and what to do with poor Biffy.

Hats
...more
Lightreads
Steampunk octopus. Steampunk octopus! . . . Steampunk octopus?

I dunno, if you’re gonna give me a steampunk octopus rampaging across Victorian London and battling werewolves, it’s gotta be with more conviction than that.

This series is like waxed fruit: it’s decorative, it’s pretty, it suits only very particular esthetics. And you really, really don’t want to do anything other than look at it once in a while and go, “yeah. Wax fruit.”

. . . Pretty fun, though.
Maria Snyder
I've been listening to all the Parasol Protectorate books by Gail Carriger and they're just plain fun. The reader is perfect and she makes me laugh out loud while I'm driving. I love the characters and the setting and Heartless was another great installment in the series. I'm really hoping for more books!
Rachel
I loved this book so, so much.

Lady Alexia Maccon is eight months pregnant, but she doesn't let that stop her from following up on an accusation made by a (mad) ghost: someone is trying to assassinate Queen Victoria. As always happens with these books, not all is as it seems!

Hijinks ensue, including my favorite scene: when Ivy Tunstall is (hilariously) asked to join the "Parasol Protectorate" -- which Alexia makes up as she goes along. We also learn Biffy's real name, find out something heartbre
...more
Bry
I love this series. I love the way Gail Carriger writes. I love her humor. I love her characters. I love her quirky imagination. And I really want to lie to you all and tell y'all that I loved this book....

But I can't.

If we were sitting around a parlor in Victorian England sipping some earl grey, in a lace trimmed visiting gown, with my best kid skin gloves and ringlets I would be forced to submit to my best manners and in accordance with polite society gush over the entire book with alacrity.
...more
The Flooze
**3.5-ish**

I have a great fondness for Alexia. Her exploits continue to entertain. However, as my friend CJ expressed in her review, there was some indefinable spark missing from this book. I also echo her sentiment that much of the plot might have been capably - and more enjoyably - handled in a short story or two. As a novel, there just wasn’t enough meat to it.

But before I try to reason that out: I was so pleased to once again have Akeldama’s societal schemes and italicized utterances pepper
...more
Tzippy
Here's what I liked about this book:

1) Finding out about Professor Lyall's past. It makes him a much more interesting character, not that he wasn't one of my favorites before.
2) The refreshing aspect of having an eight-months-pregnant heroine.

Here's what I didn't like:

Every single decision made by these characters that I used to like. For example:
(view spoiler)
...more
Jessica B
I just absolutely love these books. I always find when I am reading them they just genuinely make me feel good.

Alexia seems to have no fear. No matter what her situation, eight months pregnant and all she is out trying to bring peace to the supernatural world. The vampires are still trying to kill Alexia but a solution presents itself that soon has the vampires allowing Alexia and her unborn child to live. But before long a new threat has arrived but this time Alexia is trying to help the vampi
...more
Jamie
A fun read - this is perhaps my favorite of this series so far. I enjoyed the novelty of the first book, but I expected to tire quickly of this kind of absurdity. I'm impressed that Carriger is able to sustain her wobbly path between utter nonsense and a suspenseful story.

My biggest problem with these books is that I get caught up in the personal drama, and then I'm caught off guard when the plot dissolves back into silliness. I think this is the most serious of the books, so the problem is ampl
...more
Megan
Easily the best book (yet) in the series. THERE IS A PLOT. THAT IS EASILY FOLLOWABLE. THAT IS NOT MESSY. THAT GOES BEYOND "ALEXIA IS SEEMINGLY RANDOMLY ATTACKED, AGAIN AND AGAIN." (Although the book started out with that, and I was going to cringe, but then it got better.) Yay! I actually liked Maccon in this installment! (He's finally won my approval with his treatment of Biffy. Oh, Biffy. My heart kept breaking for him.) There are consequences upon consequences of previous choices from books, ...more
~Megan~
I realh enjoyed the latest installment of the life and times of Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon. After the letdown of the last book, I felt like this one captured the magic again!

Alexia gets into so much mischief, all while 8 months pregnant with her infant inconvenience. We learned a lot about the pasts and presents of some of the most beloved secondary characters, especially some rather shocking info about Professor Lyall. I loved the brief interludes we got into the private moments of Conn
...more
Carolyn F.
I'm listening to the audiobook and have the paperback, which I have not read. So this is first time "reading".

I just finished this and what an ending!!!! I'm giving this book 5 stars because I love the series. I also love the humor of the books although I was a little tired of the constant descriptions of Alexia being hungry or eating and of her being so heavy that only her husband can pick her up. Also Biffy needing constant touching, a little tiring. These are very, very small criticisms. Eve
...more
Sherry
Book 4 in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series is a fun romp in a world filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and of course, the pregnant soulless heroine, Alexia Tarabotti. In this latest instalment, Alexia is determined to save the Queen, but the path she must follow to do so leads her on a merry chase through Victorian London and out into the surrounding countryside. With plenty of tea to fortify her, plus her trusty parasol, Alexia, proves, once again, to be one of my favorite pre ...more
Christy Stewart
Carriger is the only author in history to write a fictional series that stays as consistently wonderful with each book. I hope she is immortal and this series never ends.

I thought the side characters were fleshed out but in this book they are given a labyrinth of back stories that I could be happy being lost in for the rest of my life. What with all the violence and pretty lace, who could say any differently?
Theresa
Heartless is so far my second favourite book in this series, right after Soulless.There's a lot going on again but some of the cohesiveness that book 3 was lacking has fortunately returned. I don't know how Miss Carriger is doing it but somehow she manages to just keep plot and wit and entertainment coming, like a never-ending stream of awesomeness.

At first I was slightly worried about having a book centered around a pregnant heroine because it doesn't exactly scream adventure and excitement, bu
...more
Sally906
HEARTLESS is the 4th book in the Parasol Protectorate series. And I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one. They are all funny, and the adventures and predicaments that Alexia finds herself in are very imaginative. I really loved how Alexia didn’t let a small matter of being in the last few weeks of pregnancy stop her from thwarting evil plots. She waddled around London and beyond with her massive belly barely slowing her down – ok so climbing in and out of a flying machine was a tad problemat ...more
Tarra
I adore this series! Heartless was another fun, humorous, inventive journey to Victorian England and the adventures and mysteries surrounding Alexia Maccon and a wonderful, colorful cast of characters.



Heartless was full of heart and compassion. I love that the characters in these books are so fleshed out, constantly changing and evolving. Loved the interactions between Maccon and Biffy, Gen's actions will surprise you, Lysell is a sweetheart. And the sarcastic and loving nature between Alexia an
...more
Darkfallen
Gail Carriger has done it again, and I have to admit I don't know how she does it! Every time I start one of these books, being the under appreciated person of all things old that I am, I always wounder...Will this be the last one for me? Will I make it through all the old time slag?

First off you have to understand something. See me-->girl who hates black & white movies, or what I also refer to as faded color, and yes that means most 80's movies are out for me *the crowd gasps*, I don't
...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
This one was just so much fun to read. After the drama of the previous two books (which did culminate in the action-packed Blameless, my favorite of the series so far), it was nice to have a change of pace. Sure, there are still conspiracies, death threats, and political machinations, but in this one, "the gang is finally back together." Of course, it's not all sunshine and roses, but that would be boring.

All of my favorite side characters - Akeldama, Lyall & Biffy, get lots of "airtime" in
...more
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Gail Carriger writes comedic steampunk mixed with urbane fantasy in three series: two adult, the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol, and one YA, the Finishing School. Her books are published in over a dozen different language. She has twelve NYT bestsellers via five different lists (including #1 in Manga). She has received the Alex Award from the ALA (for her debut Soulless) and the Prix Ju ...more
More about Gail Carriger...

Other Books in the Series

Parasol Protectorate (5 books)
  • Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
  • Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)
  • Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3)
  • Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3) Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

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“[She] lost her patience, a thing she was all too prone to misplacing.” 48 likes
“I am entirely capable."
"Of what, waddling up to someone and ruthlessly bumping into them?”
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