Heartless by Gail Carriger

Heartless by Gail Carriger
Heartless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 4)
Heartless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 4)

The latest instalment of the Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series proves that some things can get even better with time.

Alexia Maccon (nee Tarrabotti) has got herself into trouble again. Aside from the ‘infant inconvenience’ that has led to everyone trying to kill her—featuring, this time around, zombie, semi-mechanised porcupines—she has to solve a plot to assassinate the Queen. All while waddling about, moving, investigating her husband’s past, fussing over members of the pack and having tea.

This latest instalment of the Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series proves that some things can get even better with time. This book was just as witty and compelling as the others—I read it at every possible moment—and even more creative. (The porcupines were totally original.) Alexia, despite being preggers and totally dependent on her parasol, hunky werewolves and her unflappable butler to prop her up, still manages to save the day and pop out a baby besides. (Yes, the progeny makes its appearance in this one, which is not a spoiler since you can tell that from the size of her in chapter one.)

Connal, Lord Maccon, is still the smitten werewolf, but he gets to play a bigger part in this book, what with managing his pack. (In the last book he was a mostly absent ass.) His gruff but affectionate nature has ensured that I kind of have a soft spot for him, especially since his wife is doing such a good job of training him. Lord Akeldama, Alexia’s gay BFF has a bigger role in this books as well, and he invents even more affectionate nicknames for her. We also get further glimpses into his character, and we get to see more than his all-knowing, fashion-loving self.

This book fleshes out other secondary characters. We get to learn more about vampire hives, pack politics and how an alpha becomes an alpha. There’s also a whole bunch of dirigibles and we even get to find out Biffy’s real name.

Which brings me to this important point: I love this book, and this series, but you really can’t start from here. It can, if you must, stand alone. The central plot point is explained in such a way that it finishes in this book, but all the secondary threads, including the one involving the baby that has been stretched for the last few books, don’t end or start here. It will leave you wondering, and the continuity is better if you begin from the start.

Was there anything I didn’t like about it? Well, I kind of figured out a major plot point from just a little after the beginning. I also still really dislike Alexia’s sisters. Also, I don’t really get why it’s called Heartless. I don’t think it fits with the theme of the book—I think they just wanted something that ended with ‘-less’. Other than that, I have to say I liked it better than the last one.

Yay or Nay?

YAAAAY! I’m so glad there is more of this series and I look forward to the next one. (In May, 2012!) Highly recommended for people who are kinda over paranormals and want something different. Yes, this still has vampires and werewolves, but it’s steampunk. And Victorian London. And so incredibly witty it will make you laugh out loud. Also, there’s a lot of tea.

Title: Heartless (excerpt)
Series: Parasol Protectorate (Book 4)
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Orbit/Hachette
B format: 9780356500096 (7/2011)
A format: 9780316127196 (28/6/2011)
Ebook: 9780748122677 (7/7/2011)

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Fishpond | Galaxy | Romance Direct | Other
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Diesel | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

Books in the Parasol Protectorate series

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 1)Changeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 2)Blameless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 3)Heartless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 4)Timeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Book 5)






Tagged , , , , , .

Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.


  1. SonomaLass says:

    I’m really glad to hear that you liked Heartless (dumb name). I thought the series was getting weaker, and I haven’t even gotten this book yet, because the only real praise I heard was from readers who thought the last book was strong, too. So, whew.

    But the cover! How ugly is that? Alexia looks bald, with a bad wig. I liked the earlier covers, but this one is disappointing.

  2. Wandergurl says:

    I didn’t like the cover either! Its so pale. The covers are getting paler. And the title DOES NOT GO at all. I think you will like it, sonomalass!
    Marg, get started!!! :) 

  3. Kat says:

    I’m about halfway through and I think it’s closer to book 1 than the others in terms of style and humour, if that helps.

  4. Elfy says:

    I was actually thinking about the titles and I felt Heartless did fit. Alexia generally attributes her lack of feeling to the fact that she does not have a soul. Many people would say that a woman who refers to her unborn child as an ‘infant incionvenience’ is heartless. Alexia may not have a soul, but she is not heartless, she has very strong feelings for many in her life: Lord A, Conall, Lyall, Floote, Ivy, even Biffy and the ‘infant incovenience’. I think that this growing evidence of Alexia’s ‘heart’ is precisely why the book is called Heartless. Gail seems to be a pretty meticulous planner, and she doesn’t do things ‘just because’. I’ve now read all 4 of the Parasol Protectorate and I think Heartless is the strongest yet. 

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.