Andi Marquette's Reviews > Heartless

Heartless by Gail Carriger
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: paranormal-ish, steampunkish-things, urban-fantasy-ish

I think perhaps this is my fave of the Parasol Protectorate series. I'll tell you why in a minute. Here a very pregnant Lady Alexia Maccon (Tarabotti) comes to an agreement with vampire friend Lord Akeldama about how to raise the child with which she is pregnant. Vampires are un/deathly afraid that the birth of a child of a preternatural and a werewolf spells trouble, which is why they've spent such an inordinate amount of time trying to dispatch her, much to her annoyance. But a deal with Akeldama is struck, and the Maccon pack moves to London to await the arrival of the baby.

But what's this? A mad ghost speaks of a threat to the queen, and Alexia must track down the source of the threat, which sends her into her husband's past, the pack's past, and just icky places a lady shouldn't go. All in a day's work for Alexia. As if she didn't have enough to deal with, her scientist friend Madame Lefoux is building a strange contraption that she may or may not use for nefarious purposes, and her insufferable sister throws herself upon the mercy of the Maccon household because she has left the family domicile in pursuit of suffrage, much to Alexia's horror. That, coupled with the usual drama of a wolfpack and vampire intrigue makes this a rollicking good read and madcap adventure.

I said it's my favorite in the series because here, it just feels as if Carriger has hit her stride. The humor flows effortlessly, the pacing is tight, the narrative blends smoothly with characterization, the dialogue snaps in a most satisfying fashion and even the ending -- which leaves us once again hanging indecorously -- does so with a sly little smile.

So if you haven't read this series, do give it a go!

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