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Heartless (Parasol Protectorate Series #4)

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Overview

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, Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine ...

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Heartless (Parasol Protectorate Series #4)

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Overview

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, 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?

HEARTLESS is the fourth book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Carriger's fourth Parasol Protectorate adventure is filled with steampunk creations such as zombie porcupines and harmonic auditory resonance disruptors, but its primary focus is on character. To protect Lady Alexia Maccon—eight months pregnant and feeling like a "stuffed goose with bunions"—from threats to her possibly soul-stealing unborn child, her husband, the Alpha of the Woolsey werewolf pack, suggests that vampire Lord Akeldama, Alexia's dear friend, adopt the baby. Alexia and Lord Maccon move next door to Akeldama, building a bridge to secretly connect the households. Meanwhile, Alexia's clueless sister Felicity moves in; new werewolf Biffy, once Akeldama's protégé, embarrassingly experiences premature transfluctuation; and a ghost sends Alexia to unravel a plot against Queen Victoria. Carriger's writing remains crisp and witty, and the affectionate banter between Lord and Lady Maccon will please series fans distressed by their long separation in 2010's Blameless. (July)
From the Publisher
"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

Library Journal
In her fourth "Parasol Protectorate" adventure (after Blameless), Lady Alexia Tarabotti Maccon is entering the final stages of her pregnancy full steam ahead, and she is not pleased. Her werewolf husband, Lord Maccon, her pack beta, Professor Lyall, and her close vampire friend and fashion trendsetter, Lord Akeldama, have hatched a plan to protect her from repeated assassination attempts by the vampire hives. Since Alexia is preternatural, or soulless, and her husband is supernatural, with an excess of soul, no one is sure what exactly their child will be—or how dangerous. As Alexia deals with the plan, investigates a ghostly visitor, and shocks society by appearing in public when she should be in confinement, she is caught up in a battle raging through London and into the countryside that will change her world as she welcomes her first child. VERDICT 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.—Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316127196
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Series: Parasol Protectorate Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 272,333
  • Product dimensions: 4.04 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Carriger

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 200 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(106)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 200 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fans will enjoy Alexia's pregnant pause as she sets out to protect the Queen

    Alpha of the Woolsey werewolf clan, Lord Maccon worries about his eight months pregnant wife Lady Alexia. He is unconcerned about her crankiness and complaints of bunions growing in her womb. His trepidation is whether her Metanatural unborn may be the second known soul stealer. He persuades her friend vampire Lord Akeldama, who's relative Queen Zenobia is the first, to adopt the baby.

    When Alexia learns an assassin stalks Queen Victoria, she waddles over to protect her Highness. However, her quest is dangerous as she dodges quills from zombie porcupines, vampires who want her dead, Biffy the werewolf still howling for her mentor Maccon, and the worst her clueless sister Felicity.

    The fourth Parasol Protectorate Victorian fantasy (see Soulless, Changeless and Blameless) is a fun at times jocular (especially when the married couple discuss her "bunions") investigative tale. The heroine escorts readers through a different London filled with eccentric otherworldly species not found in a Dickens' novel. Although the story line is thin even with several subplots that never fully gel, fans will enjoy Alexia's pregnant pause as she sets out to protect the Queen.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    The Weakest of the Series

    Heartless was a letdown. I enjoyed the last three books, and though I did find enjoyment this one, it left me more annoyed than satisfied.

    My biggest issue with the book was with Lord Akeldama. I'm sure I'm in the minority when I write that I don't like him; I never did. Yet, I tolerated him because he was never such a prominent character. However, he is in Heartless. Even that wouldn't bother me so much if he weren't used as deus ex machina. Sure, his drones scour London and discover much, but sometimes, what he knows is ridiculous, and the only explanation we're ever given is "I'm Lord Akeldama." Later in the book, his drones happen to be at the right place at the right time with exactly what Alexia needs. How? Because he's Lord Akeldama.

    The way the whole ordeal with Alexia and the vampires from the previous book was resolved also felt too convenient, too quick, and too clean to be anything but lazy writing.

    The red herring was a waste of time and words, and it's bound to make things messy in the next book unless Carriger decides to just brush it away as she did with the vampire threat.

    It's not a terrible book, and if you enjoyed the last three books, you might as well continue with this one. Just keep in mind that it is the weakest book in the series. Hopefully, Timeless will be better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    More Lord Maccon Please!

    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?

    Through all of Lord Maccon's brooding manner, Professor Lyall's shocking revelations, Lord Akeldama's sweet talk, Felicity Loontwill's sisterly nagging, Madame Lefoux's odd experiments, and Mr. Rabiffano's (aka "Biffy") unsettling transformations, Alexia is about to pop due to the 'infant-inconvenience'. Plus, if she's is not using her "condition" to her advantage among her's husband's pack or having tea & sweets with her friend, Mrs. Ivy Tunstell, Alexia is out collecting spectral samples, investigating Kingair assassination attempts, and jaunting about on BUR business with her trusty "harmonic auditor resonance disruptor" (pg. 74) Yet, can this 'Alpha Female' handle a supernatural death treat thrown into the mix with all the daily chaos already going on in her life full of Westminster Hive and Woolsey Pack troubles?

    Lady Alexia Maccon is at it again. . . being her usual nutty, obsessive, and constantly-on-the-go self but now eight months pregnant. She's back in London and spending lots of time with her yummy Alpha husband, something I sorely missed in the last couple of books. Expect lots of silly scientific references and proper Victorian-era mannerisms that really spice up Carriger's Protectorate's world as well as getting a glimpse of the newest member to the Woosley pack near the end of the book. Plus, many past characters make appearances throughout the tale and many past stories are revealed from more than one pivotal figure. Overall, good fun!

    Likes: Alexia has really grown into her role as 'Alpha Female' in commanding the pack as well as being a loving wife to Connall, something that's sweet to see since witnessing her less-than-confident spinster self from Book #1

    Dislikes: Ugh....Lord Akeldama PLEASE lay off some of those nick-name endearments, it's almost too sickeningly sweet!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Alexia Pregnant!

    Really enjoy this series, now I have to wait until March 2012 for Timeless. Alexia is amazing as always even with the infant inconvenience slowing her down. Not my favorite book in the series but definitely enjoyable. I'm still partial to Blameless. There are some big surprises unintentionally uncovered in her ongoing investigation that caught me totally of guard. As always the characters are wonderfully charming. So just read it already, because you have to meet her baby!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    More stars for Heartless

    One of the things I love about the Parasol Protectorate series is how Gail Carriger parodies different types of Victorian literature with each volume. Heartless is the Sherlock-Holmes-style mystery of the group and boy is it a good mystery! I certainly didn't figure any of it out.

    Due to certain circumstances that occur throughout the third book, which I will not spoil for those who have not yet read it (though what are you waiting for?!), Alexia takes up residence in a town house next door to Lord Akeldama (delightfully foppish rove vampire), or so it will appear to the everyone. She's actually residing in Lord Akeldama's second best closet. However, not long after moving in they are alerted to a plot to kill the Queen and thus, as muhjah, Alexia embarks on a hunt to solve the mystery.

    As I said, the mystery is a good one, particularly as it reveals some very interesting facts about Alexia's father and about an assassination attempt that fans may remember being previously mentioned. It's also lovely to be back in London again with both the werewolves and vampires of the town. Whilst I loved Changeless and Blameless, I did miss the Westminster Hive and the interactions between Conall (when he's sober) and his pack. Speaking of pack interactions, we really get a closer look at the relationships of the Woolsey pack, which is something I really enjoyed, especially with how Conall is trying to handle the unexpected new member they gained at the end of Blameless.

    The story's climax is brilliant. It is full of drama with so many things happening that you just can't put it down because you want to know how it is all resolved. There were some things I found a little sad (don't worry; it's not what you might think!) but at the same time I am desperate to see how the new situation that arises from it will play out in the final instalment. Timeless cannot come out soon enough!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Alexia is funny and witty!

    Gail Carriger's Heartless takes us right back into the thick of things with Alexia and her chaotic life! She is in fact eight months pregnant with the infant-inconvenience as she names it and is having a trying time trying to solve mysteries and helping out poor Biffy the reluctant werewolf (bonus points if you can guess where I snagged that title!)!

    Alexia has a lot on her plate, dealing with supernaturals wanting to kill her because of her unborn child and what it might be, trying to figure out who has an out for the queen, and dealing with her crazy sister, it's shocking that's she able to maintain her sanity at all! But alas she does!

    Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series is by far one of my most fave steampunk series. It was my first one and I just fell in love with it! Alexia is a very witty character! What made me a little bonkers was the fact that she is strong female heroine of her time and yet she was against the women's suffrage movement, it was just mindboggling!

    The pacing was done rather well as we follow Alexia around as she tries to figure out who is trying to kill the queen and the answer is even more shocking than I imagined! I love the characters in this series from Alexia and her smart-mouth wit, to Lord Akeldama's flamboyant attitude to even Conall and his werewolf tendencies! He's a brute at times but a lovable brute!

    The ending was surprising as well, although some of it I predicted in a vague sense, but it still wraps things up nicely and leaves you wondering what kind of trouble Alexia will be getting into next!

    If you're wanting to get into the steampunk genre but are having a hard time, you should definitely give the Parasol Protectorate series a try for it is definitely one of my faves! Click here if you want to read my review of Soulless.

    Overall rating 5/5 stars

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Heartless certainly has plenty of heart!

    Oh my! Where to begin? There are too many wonderful things in this book to cover them all and do so without giving away any major plot points or spoilers! First of all, let's begin with the absolutely lovely change in tenor in Connall and Alexia's relationship. In the past, they've relied heavily on barbed comments and physical affection to communicate their love for each other. In book four, we finally see them learning to communicate through words. I'm so happy to see this evolution in their relationship. While the humor of their earlier exchanges was delightful, this new aspect of their relationship is far more realistic and enjoyable for the reader . They are now truly believable as a couple. It's nice to see Connall's affectionate and gentle side when it comes to tending to his wife. As always, Carriger is a master at juggling the several relationships she's established throughout the series. There were a few heart-wrenching moments for poor Biffy as he struggles to adapt to his new life in the Woolsey Pack. But again, Lord Maccon's newfound softer side comes in to play here, which is quite sweet. I was so pleased to learn more about Professor Lyall. I had always wondered certain things about him, and Ms. Carriger does not disappoint in providing him a suitable and complex background. Madam Lefoux gets considerable page time, but that being said, I felt like she was here and there and gone again without really contributing much substance to the story in the earlier pages. However, that might have been exactly how Ms. Carriger wanted it. The inventor's flighty appearances and distracted demeanor are a direct result of something that occurs later in the book. So, her harried appearances are quite believable when you get the pay off at the end. Speaking of relationships, one of the most interesting aspects of the book is how - over time - the Woosley Pack and Westminster Hive become more and more intertwined. I'm fascinated how these two groups, who have been enemies, are slowly becoming. not friends, but at least tolerated allies. The evolution of this relationship has been slow and steady. Kudos to Ms. Carriger for making it a highly believable event when it finally comes to fruition!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Fun

    Surprisingly, enjoyed this more than the rest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Loved it!

    Heartless is so much more than the first three.
    This series just gets better. Alexia and her werewolf husband are having a conflict.
    These two strong willed characters drive the plot as we all learn more about their world.
    Alexia can be a dominant female and she is great for a this time period.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2011

    Splendid series

    I just adore this series. Gail Carriger so wonderfully captures the flavor of Victorian London with wonderfully distinctive characters. These books brilliantly cross several different genres - steampunk, werewolves, vampires and Queen Victoria - oh my! Alexia Maccon shares the same fortitude of character, inquisitiveness and flawless manners that make Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody so endearing. A delightful way to exercise my vocabulary of four and five syllable words. Most highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    A Fun Read!

    The series is a quick and fun read! It is a silly take on werewolves and vampires in turn-of-the-century England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Back to my favorite story

    Like most series, there was a lull in the story in book 3. I just didn't feel the characters like I did in book 1. But, there back in full force in book 4. Love the chemistry between the 3 main characters. Can't wait for book 5, but hate for it to be the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    ~

    ~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Cloud

    U see a man he had red armor he had a sword in his hand he was on the ground unconsious he had blonde hair and gold eyes cloud was in front of his dad there was aff an that had a tanks cannon he had red eyes and grey hair

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn't originally going to review this because I knew exactly

    I wasn't originally going to review this because I knew exactly what was going to happen - it was going to turn into a love fest about how much I adore this series.

    Warning: Love fest ahead.

    I mean, I adore it. It sits proudly on my favorites shelf next to the Bloody Jack series and the Hunger Games series. And I am going to list the reasons why, all of which appear in this novel.

    It's absolutely hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I read it; from the plot to the thing Alexia says (and the phrase "infant-inconvenience" - I know what I'm calling my child if I ever get pregnant), I can't help but giggle.

    The plot is fantastic. Is it slightly predictable? Yes, but it's supposed to be; it touches on the mysteries of old. You know how it's going to end, but you keep reading because it's just that damn good.

    And then there's the plots with the individual characters and not just the mysteries, like the ones with Ivy and the ones with Lyall and the ones with Biffy and Akeldama, and I sit and squee because I love the characters so much and they're so nicely done.

    And the characters. The CHARACTERS! Oh my parasols, how I love these characters. When this series ends, part of my heart will break; I haven't had characters I lvoe this much in a long time. Alexia takes after my own heart and I want an Akeldama to call my best friend and Maccon. Maccon, how perfect can one werewolf alpha lord husband BE!? I love him, I do, and I re-fell in love with him on page 193. (I have the UK version, so it may be slightly different from the American version. You guys will know when it happens, though. Hint: Alexia's sleeping at the time.)

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended! Awesome laughs!

    I totally love this series. I have about 10-15 authors I read all the time and I am happy to say that The Parasol Protectorate series is in the mix. Lord and Lady Macon's antics are hysterical! I love the whole magical historical twist on the past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Fun premise

    Enjoy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Love!

    I love this book! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, comedy, Victoriana and madcap adventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    A fun romp

    I greatly enjoyed this book. Generally prefering more intense storylines, it was truly a pleasure to read, A brisk, fast-paced action adventure, distincrive and engaging characters, and a heroine of unrivaled presence make for a fun frolicking, light hearted read!

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Don't waste your money on the series. Complete waste of time

    Don't waste your money on the series. Complete waste of time

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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