Just finished reading Heartless by Gail Carriger. I do love this series as it’s just so original, tongue in cheek and witty.
In a nutshell the fourth book starts with Alexia trying to outwit the vampires who are trying to kill her and, following a tip from a ghost, attempting to uncover a plot to kill the Queen which involves delving into her husband’s past. Okay, that’s a very small nutshell but I don’t want to give too much away!!
In this edition Alexia is heavily pregnant with the ‘infant inconvenience’ and waddling around the place trying to uncover potential assassination attempts. I did wonder what this novel would be like with Alexia being 8 months into her pregnancy but there was no need for concern, Alexia remains true to form, witty, stubborn and hungry. Lord Akeldama plays a much larger part in this edition which is most welcome. I love his little endearments and turn of phrase ‘oh la’, not to mention the descriptions of his ever more outrageous wardrobe. Ivy and her hats make a return and come in particularly handy in this edition and I loved the forming of the ‘Parasol Protectorate’ with the pledge and code names – Puff Bonnet and the Ruffled Parasol. Alexia’s troublesome sister Felicity also plays a role – and frankly I was quite cross with her. Similarly I thought Madame Lefoux’s actions left a little bit to be desired – although I guess she had provocation.
Now, this instalment definitely has a different feel to the last one. There is a plot but this has to take into account Alexia’s condition and accordingly this story has a much more ‘homely’ feel to it. The ending is quite fast paced but the first two thirds of the book enjoy a more detective orientated feel. And the ending, lots of twists and turns and people moving from A to B and from C to A – and what on earth does the actual finish signify (I may have mentioned that patience is not my most endearing feature and how long do I now have to wait to find out what on earth is actually going on??? For goodness sake!!
Anyway, the writing is consistently brilliant, intriguing and inventive. We have the usual inspired creations – zombie porcupines putting in an appearance and where else are you going to be able to read a story where the word ‘folderol’ is used? Or, ‘oh bully’. I love it. Not to mention sexy scottish werewolf – Lord Maccon. I rest my case.
Would I recommend this novel? Certainly. Give yourself a break, a nice cup of tea and a light hearted romp through an alternative Victorian London.