Book Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger

Orbit
374 pp.

In Heartless, Alexia and her husband have mended their fences and now they have to figure out how to keep the vampires from continuing their vendetta against Alexia and her not-yet-born infant-inconvenience. The solution presents itself in the form of Akeldama stepping forward with an offer to adopt the baby (thus assuring that the scary monster baby has a proper upbringing). Of course, this creates a new batch of problems involving Conall’s pack having to move into the city. (Alexia might have very little in the way of maternal feelings, but she does feel a certain amount of interest in the results of her pregnancy.)

On top of that, Alexia gets a visit from her sister (who has joined the Suffrage Movement) and discovers from a ghost that there may be a plot against the queen. Other problems include a former vampire drone who had been turned into a werewolf to save his life in the previous book, Madame Lefoux’s current science project, and zombie porcupines. Alexia also discovers interesting details about her father’s past and certain secret details about his interactions and relationship with the Woolsey Pack.       

Alexia manages to get a lot done despite being eight months pregnant, and in general gets herself into and out of a lot of trouble. We don’t learn a great deal more about preternaturals, except that nothing will keep them down when they take it into their heads that something needs to be done.

This book ties up a lot of loose ends from the previous book, but gives us a large number of new problems, most of them centered on Alexia’s child (who is causing trouble and hasn’t even been born yet). We also see some interesting takes on parenthood and the relationships of certain characters. (You could say that parental rights and custody are a big theme in this particular novel, for a variety of reasons.)

This is a very fast paced book, and it was sometimes difficult to follow the action.(I had to go back a lot to find out what I’d missed previously on a few occasions.) The dialog is funny and entertaining, and I enjoyed the various resolutions to the problems that Alexia was trying to solve. (Of course, we are then presented with new potential problems that will have to be dealt with later.)

Overall,I did like the book, and I’m really enjoying this particular series.  

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Filed under fantasy, Gail Carriger, manner punk, Review: Book, steam punk

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