Parasol Protectorate #4
Written by: Gail Carriger
Published: July 1, 2011 by Orbit
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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?
So good! This book was oh so good! This may have just outpaced Soulless as my favorite book in this series. It was really phenomenal. I have been marathoning this series for the past few months and I am absolutely loving it and this book is the perfect example as to why.
I have always absolutely loved Gail Carriger's books for the characters and that was totally the case in Heartless. You will often find me complaining about books with large casts of characters being confusing and it hard to keep the characters straight and that is not the case here at all. There's a massive cast of characters here and they are all memorable, unique, and amazing. I honestly get excited when someone comes back into the story because they are so fun and quirky. And of course I loved this one because two of my favorite secondary characters, Lord Akeldama and Madame Lefoux, had a bigger part in the book and the eventual plot development (more on that later). We also got to learn a lot more about some of the characters which made them all the more engaging and interesting.
However the focus of the book is of course Alexia. I am absolutely in love with her as an MC. Her voice is specific and in the course of four books I have become so enamored with it I think I'm adopting some of her speech patterns. But honestly, a person could do worse for a role model than Alexia Maccon. She is brash, tough, and intelligent. She gets up to all kinds of adventures and even being nine months pregnant she didn't let that stop stop. I just love how tough, resourceful, and kickass she is. I'm a fan, big fan.
Speaking of adventures, this book is so full of them. There are some serious shenanigans in this book. Like all the rest of the books in this series, the main plot is full of mystery and adventure. But I think my favorite thing was that it slowly developed into a really thrilling conclusion. I mean it really all some together during the last couple of chapters in the most interconnected and inopportune way. I was actually stressed out by how it was all going to be resolved, that's how exciting it was. And the even better thing about this plot was how it is self-contained and so subtly connected to the larger plot of the series. There were so many unexpected callbacks to previous books and I could not have been more excited about that.
A lot of why I think it all connected and that those callbacks were so interesting because this is a series with a truly amazing world. This is a series with tremendously complex world. I keep saying this but it keeps being true, it shouldn't all work together but it does. The steampunk, the historical elements, and the supernatural elements all combine to make something complex and interesting. But there is also a real history to this world. It's honestly no surprise to me that there are two separate spinoff a from this series, one prequel and one sequel, because the world is so well-formed. In this one we learn so much about the past, including more than one surprise and twist. It's a little strange to me because I have read the Finishing School series before and the fore have knowledge that readers who read the series in release order don't have but it still had me intrigued and surprised. But then again, I love this world so much that the more I learn the better.
I'm really loving this series and am so glad I decided to take the time to finish it after years of wanting to read it. It a seriously thrilling and hilarious read with amazing characters, a plot full of adventure, and an intriguing world. This book was amazing and I can't wait to read the last book to find out how it all ends!
I give Heartless by Gail Carriger 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Heartless? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!