I love it when I see a book cover that talks about vampires and then features a lovely young lady holding a parasol… It’s a thing with me what can I say. Personally, I think that should be the title of a book, “Vampires and Parasols… The Blood Letting Continues…” Yep, I’ve had too much green tea today… I’m not ashamed!
The Novel Strumpet has turned her steely gaze on Heartless Parasol Protectorate 4… Will she love it? Will she hate it? Who knows? It’s crazy times!
Check out her full review after the jump!
Heartless (Parasol Protectorate 4) by Gail Carriger
I’m beside myself. I have to wait until 2012 for the next book and for the manga based on the series…grrrrrrrr….that’s the trouble when you find a fun series like this. You read them too fast and have to wait that much longer for the next one. It’s supremely unfair!
Getting over the fact that the universe and author are not giving me what I want right now, I guess I can review the book. If you haven’t read the first 3 novels (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless) then stop right here, go read them, then return and lament the fact that now you too have to wait for number 5.
Are you back so soon? Well don’t blame me if I spoil something for you because you didn’t do as I asked….
So as we begin this fourth adventure with Alexia Tarabotti in a bit of a conundrum. What else is knew? Yes, she has been reinstated as mujah, her husband has finally accepted that the child she is in imminent danger of giving birth to is his, she is out of the clutches of the evil Templars and back in civilization (England of course), but the vampires still want her and the infant inconvenience dead. They’ve enlisted porcupines of all things…what will they think of next. What is a soulless to do?
Her good friend Lord Akeldama (rogue vampire) comes up with a brilliant solution to stop the troublesome assassination attempts, namely he’ll adopt the child, but as soon as that little problem is solved some pesky poltergeist pops up with another. Evidently someone wants the Queen dead. However, the ghost, which is in it’s last stages of existence, is a bit muddy on the details so Alexia, her husband Conall (head of BUR and Alpha of the Woolsey pack), her good friend Ivy, Conall’s Beta Professor Lyall, the ever stalwart Floote, Lord Akeldama and a host of bustling spies are in a race to stop an attempt on the most prestigious Lady of the Realm with no more than the word of a mad ghost that it might happen.
Then there are revelations galore. We learn some very unexpected secrets and for me slightly disturbing secrets of Professor Lyall, Alexia’s sister Felicity is not only mixing with the lower classes by attending suffragette meetings (gasp) but may also be involved with a vampire, Ivy turns out to not be so addle brained as we thought…mostly, Alexia’s friend Madame Lefoux is acting most peculiar and seems to be building a large cephalopod of metal for some unknown purpose, and Alexia loses her parasol!!!!!! How will Alexia handle it all?
As she always does, by trudging full steam ahead and not even letting a little thing like birth stand in her way.
Carriger, as usual, takes the Victorian sensibilities of propriety and cunningly uses them for maximum hilarity. One of my problems with this novel is Alexia herself from time to time, which is more just a character flaw and some would say part of her charm. She is completely negligent sometimes of danger and common sense. Who in their right mind would trundle down toward a bunch of abandoned warehouses, by oneself, eight months pregnant, and with the knowledge you are chasing down a possible perpetrator of regicide? Blame it all you want on the fact that because she has no soul she is therefore not subject to any real sense of excessive emotion, but given some other times where she shows complete excess it seems like more of an excuse to just be pigheaded and obtuse. Overall, though, it’s not that troublesome. What is troublesome are the secrets we learn about Prof. Lyall, Floote and even Major Channing. Especially in regards to how the current Earl of Woolsey (one Conall Maccon) came to be the current Alpha. You just know this knowledge will bit everyone is some inconvenient spots later.
What I likes was that there seems to be an overall softening of some of the characters, not that they had completely changed overall character traits or habits, but I think the author does a nice job of showing how time and events can change relationship dynamics of all sorts and the people themselves in small ways. We’ll see how long it will last now that the infant inconvenience has made it’s debut…
Like always a nice little refreshing repast of a novel.
Share on Facebook