Heartless is the fourth book in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. It features a giant mechanical octopus, a private dirigible, vampires at tea, and most importantly, Lord Akeldama.
Alexia Tarrabotti agrees to let her friend Lord Akeldama adopt her imminent baby. The vampires of London are less murderous once they understand that the child, which is an abomination, will be raised by a vampire and not Alexia’s pack of werewolves. Not about to let Lord Akeldama have the approaching offspring all to himself, Alexia moves in next door, dragging her husband and the Woolsey pack with her. Meanwhile, Madame LaFoux, the scientist hat-maker, is working on something large…
In some of the other books, Alexia seems overshadowed by the colorful secondary characters. In Heartless, she takes center stage. At one point she sets a fireworks warehouse on fire. She is a force with which to be reckoned.
Of course, my favorite is Lord Akeldama. He is still plenty mysterious. I hope we get his origin story in the next book, because if we don’t, we may NEVER find out where he came from. In Heartless, we learn he has closets large enough for people to live in, as Alexia and Lord Maccon take up residence in one.
I can hardly wait for the next book. I can hardly wait for the next series! There are few fantasy worlds as engaging and intricate as Gail Carriger’s, and I hope to visit it again and again. The style is quirky, the heroine is quintessentially Victorian, and the monsters are unique.
The Parasol Protectorate series is magnificent, and Heartless is the best yet. I give it five gears out of five. I strongly encourage you to read these books. I’d lend you my copies, but I won’t let them out of my sight.
Your Correspondent from the Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather