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Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2011
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"Soulless is a character-driven romp with great worldbuilding and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse."―io9.com on Soulless
"Carriger has created a wonderfully detailed world that is just one step to the side of our own."―sfrevu.com on Changeless
"Carriger delivers surprises with every book, and this one is no exception. With action, intrigue, and above all, proper manners, this excellent series will have broad appeal to readers of steampunk, urban fantasy, and paranormal and historical romance."―Library Journal on Heartless
"A series for female fantasy fans that are looking for a stroke of ingenuity amongst the torrents of fanged fiction."―SciFi Now on Heartless
"Carriger's writing remains crisp and witty, and the affectionate banter between Lord and Lady Maccon will please series fans."―Publisher's Weekly on Heartless
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London.
The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award. A manga adaptation released in Spring 2012 and a young adult series set in the same universe -- the Finishing School series -- launched in Spring 2013. Gail is soon to begin writing a new adult series, The Parasol Protectorate Abroad (2015).
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-Simile Use: 4 (minimal usage)
-Description: 4 (well balanced)
-Show And Tell Balance: 4
This is the fourth installment in the Parasol Protectorate series, in which we find Alexia in yet another taxing situation. This one is one that no one could of expected, least of all, Alexia. She finds herself pregnant, abandoned by her husband and under attack from the local vampire hive. Throughout the book she's fending for her life, trying to figure out how it's possible she's pregnant and pining over the fact that Conall has abandoned her and doesn't trust her enough to know she's been faithful. This novel is almost as delightful as the previous novel, but I had a harder time getting through it. Sometimes the balance of show and tell became a bit burdensome. I did like that we got to see a bit more of the secondary characters of Lyall and Biffy and the background of Alexia's birth and being soulless rolls out nicely. Overall, it was an excellent read.
Overall, nothing new was brought up about Alexia's father or her Soulless state. The characters are just as funny and entertaining as the other books, but for this one, the story wasn't as exciting as the others.
4.5 out of 5 stars for great characters and writing.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series as it takes place after the birth of Alexia's child. Given that until Alexia agreed to allow her child to be adopted and raised by a vampire, the vampires were trying to kill her to prevent the birth, I'm curious as to what frightens them so about the child.
Alexia's due date is fast approaching, but she still has a full plate. Ghosts are warning of danger to the Queen, the vampires are still trying to kill Alexia to prevent the birth of her baby, Biffy is still struggling with his metamorphosis, and Lyall reveals something painful from his past. And then there is Madame Lebouf who is working herself to the bones on something her aunt doesn't approve of.
This one really mixes things up in the werewolf and vampire communities. Westminster Hive and Woolsey Pack may never recover. Another delightful tale, but I still don't understand why the romance between Akeldama and Biffy couldn't continue, even if it is an unusual pairing. So is a marriage between a werewolf and a preternatural, but it works. Once again we're given humor, romance, the paranormal, and a dollop of Victorian steampunk. 4.5 out of 5.