Published by Orbit on July 1, 2011
Source: Library, Overdrive
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?
Lawd, Miss Carriger is the queen of the perfect urban steampunk fantasy romp. I have never read a more consistently good author in all of the time I’ve been reviewing books. Not once have I been disappointed in one of the Parasolverse books, and the Parasol Protectorate in particular are always top notch reads.
As I get closer and closer to the end of the series I have noticed that I have become less patient for each consecutive novel to show up on my Overdrive. So much so that I’ve returned an Audible book (which was pretty terrible to begin with) in order to use the credit on this one and listen to the entire thing in almost one day long stretch. I just can’t stop.
While SOULLESS is a pretty good book, CHANGELESS, BLAMELESS, and now HEARTLESS have been straight up addicting. These are not books you can just set down and come back to. Paired with a fantastic reader for the audiobook they are even better. I find myself hanging on every word, laughing out loud into my empty apartment at one of Alexia’s quips, one of Lord Akeldama’s strange terms of endearment, of one of Lord Maccon’s sassy comebacks.
But what holds my heart in this book in a way that none of the others do it my beloved Biffy. Seriously, I never gave the drone much attention until the end of BLAMELESS, but now he has became one of my top 5 favorite Parasolverse character. Watch out Lord Akeldama, Biffy is MY precious boy now. And of course, considering what he goes through in this novel ( no spoilers) my heart aches for the poor guy. He’s so sweet and I just want to love the poor angsty dandy to pieces. What little mama bear instinct I have are pretty much attached to poor Biffy from now on.
As for our resident inventor…well honestly I have not been as enamored of the adult version as I was of the precocious child she was in FINISHING SCHOOL. I dunno, at times she just rubs me the wrong way. She’s incredibly thoughtless at several points throughout the series so I’m not all that cut up about the change in dynamic their friendship takes on here. Maybe I AM Soulless. But I do agree with her reasoning in this particular story.
Reading this series one after another is like binge watching a perfectly plotted TV show. Each episode has its own story tied to the greater narrative, but stands just fine as it is. You immediately can’t wait for the next and, luckily, my combination of Overdrive and Audible means I don’t have to. I have the last book, and the first 2 books of the next companion series already downloaded to my phone.
And so we press onward to the next and last installment in this particular series, TIMELESS.
What’s your favorite book in the series? Share in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,