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Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"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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Product Details

  • Series: The Parasol Protectorate (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316127191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316127196
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AJ VINE VOICE on June 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Few things in life are more delightful than a new Alexia Tarabotti book. In HEARTLESS, the best installment since the debut, every single page is embellished with equal parts wit and farce. The Parasol Protectorate series, a comedy of manners set in a paranormal steampunk Britain, chronicles the adventures of Lady Alexia Tarabotti and her latest escapades involve attempting to thwart as assassination plot on the Queen, keeping the local vampire hive from killing her yet again, and finding a solution to a former vampire wannabe's unwilling induction to the werewolf pack...all while eight months pregnant.

I'm going to be using the word delightful a lot in this review because it so perfectly describes nearly every aspect of HEARTLESS from the absurdly charming characters, to the outlandishly entertaining plot, and the endlessly witty--and thoroughly British--writing. Never a dull page, never a flat line, and never a wasted opportunity for preposterous frivolity. All of the characters we've grown to love and loath over the series are present in HEARTLESS, most prominently Lord Akeldama, Biffy, and Professor Lyall. We learn a number of very revealing details about the latter as well as Alexia's father.

One of my complaints about the last two books was how little page time Alexia and her husband shared since their relationship and interaction was one of the things that made the first book so fantastic. I have nothing to complain about on that point in HEARTLESS. Alexia and Conall are together in nearly every other scene. I loved watching him fuss over her because of her pregnancy and then grit his teeth when he had to let her run off--or waddle off as Alexia called walking at eight months pregnant--into potential danger.

The end of HEARTLESS was unbelievably good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heartless distills the best of Carrigan's writing so far. Believe it or not, Lord Akeldama is even pithier than before, and his couture miles more magnificent. (I know, we thought it wasn't possible.) Carriger has created fabulous characters with lovely whimsical traits and drives, and in this book, significantly more polished than those previous, they really shine. They positively bask in their individuality and in their relationships. The plot works, and there are no silly contrivances that seem to be simply calculated ploys for laughter and romantic angst. There's still romance and hilarity, mind you, it just works that much better.

Ivy is back--and readers, she is better than ever. Alexia's pregnancy brain and the solicitousness of her pack and butler are superb. The parasol protectorate is on a high in this book--if you loved the first book, and if you enjoy the idea, the banter, the laced civility and the sheer outrageousness of Ms Tarabotti, you'll be rolling with laughter and pleasure with this one.

I'd earlier said that Soulless was the best in the series--but that was before Heartless. Trippingly fun, delicious, and perfect with tea and treacle tart.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't a big fan of the last installment of this series, Blameless. The characters seemed to be going off in odd directions, and the story was just not that enjoyable. I picked this one up worried that the charming Alexia that we met at the beginning of the series was gone forever. Not to worry! Alexia is back in all of her witty, werewolf taming glory along with her hunky husband Lord Maccon. Heartless finds Alexia eight months pregnant, and trying to dodge assassination attempts from those who don't want to see her give birth. The killer porcupines are certainly a highlight of this series that continues to be unabashedly creative and charming.

I was glad to see her husband once again faithfully by her side, and was not surprised that Alexia is not letting her pregnancy stand in the way of her duties to her country and her pack. Felicity and Madame LeFoux both return and bring their own surprises to a story that was well plotted and paced. While there are not quite as many interesting mechanical creations as before, the characters are stronger than ever, and the dialogue still pops along at a merry rate. I am glad to see this series solidly back on track and can't wait until the next installment!
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I really wanted to like this book. I fell in love with the characters in the first one, but felt the quality had deteriorated with each subsequent book. This may be it for me.

My biggest problem is Alexia. She has become completely unlikeable; no longer the funny, quirky pragmatist she started out as. Here, she makes a series of questionable decisions that result in dire consequences for herself and those around her, and rather than seeming logical, they just seemed stupid, and at times, cruel. She also comes off as a doormat, for example, with the vampire queen and hive. She seems eternally forgiving of the actions of those who don't deserve it (vampire queen, her sister...) and a stickler against those who deserve compassion (Lefoux).

**possible spoilers**

Lord Maccon has been unwittingly manipulated by two packs, wrongfully abandoned his pregnant wife, is so inept at BUR he can't build a case against vampires trying to kill his wife (who don't seem to be hiding their efforts all that well), decides to give his child away to a vampire he doesn't trust (with no recourse should the vampire up and leave with the child), and lets himself and his pack be evicted from their home (including having his wife who had just given birth immediately kicked out). He's a bad husband, terrible government agent, and worse pack leader. What happened to the gruff, but lovable and capable romantic lead?

I can't even articulate my horror at the Acaldama adoption and pack relocation.

**definite spoilers**

The only thing I enjoyed was Lyall, and the author even managed to ruin that.
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