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Heartless Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (July 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316127196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316127196
  • ASIN: 0316127191
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #263,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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

About the Author

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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By Lady Cherish on Sept. 23 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As usual, Gail Carriger delivers, in the 4th book of her Parasol Protectorate series. Our heroine continues to manage the paranormal world around her with aplomb, even despite her rather awkward encumbrances (which shall not be named *g*). How one manages to always stay proper, yet while dealing with such mayhem, is beyond me. Lady Maccon is most definitely a force to be reckoned with ;)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Victorian England with Werewolves and Vampires! (no Sparkles, except on Adelkama's waistcoat!) What more can I say. Gail Carriger writes a dandy good tale!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 116 reviews
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Absurdly charming characters, outlandishly entertaining plot, and endlessly witty--and thoroughly British--writing. June 28 2011
By AJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Few things in life are more delightful than a new Alexia Tarabotti book. In HEARTLESS, the best installment since the debut, every single page is embellished with equal parts wit and farce. The Parasol Protectorate series, a comedy of manners set in a paranormal steampunk Britain, chronicles the adventures of Lady Alexia Tarabotti and her latest escapades involve attempting to thwart as assassination plot on the Queen, keeping the local vampire hive from killing her yet again, and finding a solution to a former vampire wannabe's unwilling induction to the werewolf pack...all while eight months pregnant.

I'm going to be using the word delightful a lot in this review because it so perfectly describes nearly every aspect of HEARTLESS from the absurdly charming characters, to the outlandishly entertaining plot, and the endlessly witty--and thoroughly British--writing. Never a dull page, never a flat line, and never a wasted opportunity for preposterous frivolity. All of the characters we've grown to love and loath over the series are present in HEARTLESS, most prominently Lord Akeldama, Biffy, and Professor Lyall. We learn a number of very revealing details about the latter as well as Alexia's father.

One of my complaints about the last two books was how little page time Alexia and her husband shared since their relationship and interaction was one of the things that made the first book so fantastic. I have nothing to complain about on that point in HEARTLESS. Alexia and Conall are together in nearly every other scene. I loved watching him fuss over her because of her pregnancy and then grit his teeth when he had to let her run off--or waddle off as Alexia called walking at eight months pregnant--into potential danger.

The end of HEARTLESS was unbelievably good. So much is set up for the next book, specifically regarding the infant-inconvenience. Exactly what kind of baby will a preternatural and a werewolf have? I would never have guessed and I'm predicting it will add significantly to the already very unique mythology in this series.

Overall, book four in this indomitably clever and charming series, is as delightful as I hoped. The fifth book in The Parasol Protectorate series is called TIMELESS and will be published on March 1, 2011. It is currently the last book planned in the series, but I will always hope for more. We will be getting a spin-off YA series set in the same universe twenty-five years earlier called The Finishing School series. The first book is tentatively titled ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE and will be published in 2012.

Sexual Content:
Kissing. References to homosexuality. References to sex
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Peerless among the Parasol Protectorate June 28 2011
By R. Decalo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heartless distills the best of Carrigan's writing so far. Believe it or not, Lord Akeldama is even pithier than before, and his couture miles more magnificent. (I know, we thought it wasn't possible.) Carriger has created fabulous characters with lovely whimsical traits and drives, and in this book, significantly more polished than those previous, they really shine. They positively bask in their individuality and in their relationships. The plot works, and there are no silly contrivances that seem to be simply calculated ploys for laughter and romantic angst. There's still romance and hilarity, mind you, it just works that much better.

Ivy is back--and readers, she is better than ever. Alexia's pregnancy brain and the solicitousness of her pack and butler are superb. The parasol protectorate is on a high in this book--if you loved the first book, and if you enjoy the idea, the banter, the laced civility and the sheer outrageousness of Ms Tarabotti, you'll be rolling with laughter and pleasure with this one.

I'd earlier said that Soulless was the best in the series--but that was before Heartless. Trippingly fun, delicious, and perfect with tea and treacle tart.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Parasol Protectorate is back! July 1 2011
By J.Prather - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't a big fan of the last installment of this series, Blameless. The characters seemed to be going off in odd directions, and the story was just not that enjoyable. I picked this one up worried that the charming Alexia that we met at the beginning of the series was gone forever. Not to worry! Alexia is back in all of her witty, werewolf taming glory along with her hunky husband Lord Maccon. Heartless finds Alexia eight months pregnant, and trying to dodge assassination attempts from those who don't want to see her give birth. The killer porcupines are certainly a highlight of this series that continues to be unabashedly creative and charming.

I was glad to see her husband once again faithfully by her side, and was not surprised that Alexia is not letting her pregnancy stand in the way of her duties to her country and her pack. Felicity and Madame LeFoux both return and bring their own surprises to a story that was well plotted and paced. While there are not quite as many interesting mechanical creations as before, the characters are stronger than ever, and the dialogue still pops along at a merry rate. I am glad to see this series solidly back on track and can't wait until the next installment!
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Predictable or "Been there, done that, time to move on" July 11 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was thoroughly entertained with Souless, the first book in Gail Carriger's series (The Parasol Protectorate) featuring Alexia Tarabotti and her oblivious romance with Lord Maccon, the alpha werewolf in London and head of werewolf/ghost/vampire investigations division. The humorous and zanny secondary characters were perfect for this lighthearted romance fare with a little mystery involved. I bought Changeless as soon as it was released and was disappointed. The zanny characters from Souless (Lord Akeldama, Professor Lyall, Madame Lefoux and best friend Ivy) lost their attractions in view of life threatening plot developments. Then I was particularly frustrated with the poor way Carriger handled the sorry cliff hanger ending with Lord Maccon getting an attack of stupid to end all stupidness (he is supposed to be head of an investigative unit?!) the ends with his foul rant & his throwing Alexia out of the house (where her life is endangered) because of her supposed infidelity.

I hate cliffhangers, but that is a dim memory now as I am blurring where Changeless ends and Blameless begins. In Blameless, Alexia has lost/loses her post in Queen Victoria's government, is abandoned by best friend Ivy and is ejected from her mother's house because of the social stigma of her pregnancy (all the while being subject of various assasination attempts.) In the company of Madame Lefoux, Alexia flees to the continent where she is no safer, as she continues to be the constant subject of vampire attacks as she travels from the north of France to the south (Nice) and then east to Italy. I found that each stop along the way was closer to a level in in a video game (where Alexia meets individuals at each stop, battles villains & wins a clue) than a well developed plot. Fleeing vampire assasins along the upper corniche, Alexia is rescued/captured by the Templars who want to use her as a weapon in their war against all paranormal creatures.

Alexia's imprisonment is suddenly reversed with a deux ex machina rescue first from the Captain (Major?) (who is the 3rd in command of the pack who has been anoymously tracking and attempting to guard Alexia) and finally Lord Maccon who arrives in the nick of time, saving the day. All has been forgiven by this time because of Conal's publication of his no apology apology in the papers (it was just spin, you know?.) Worse than cliff hangers, I despise the sheer juvenile nature of THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING as a plot device. It plays a huge part in ruining this series for me as it rendered Conal & Alexia's marriage as a failed relationship that could not withstand adversity. The easy way it is all put back together again did not ring true with me. As Alexia, husband & friends all head back to London, I was finished with this series and didn't plan to read any more.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I had pre-ordered Heartless, the subject of this review. It arrived and I tried to get into it since I had paid for it. I adored Lord Alkadema previously and was glad that in Heartless, he has a significant role in the plot. Unfortunately Alexia as a character continued to grate on my nerves. I was irritated by her obtuseness especially when contrasted with the foreshadowing & other obvious clues that made solving the mystery too too easy. (Not a good idea for Carriger to do that, as I figured whodunnit & why almost immediately and then could not avoid thinking Alexia must be very dumb not to see it). Besides an uninteresting mystery, I was totally not charmed by the way Alexia put her life & life of her unborn child in danger while following up on her ridicuous investigation. Alexia no longer seemed intrepid and clever, but rather dull witted and "Too Stupid To Live". From that point, I fast forwarded through the book. Heartless = Predictable.

I will not continue ordering/reading sequels of the Parasol Protectorate. I've given the series 3 chances and it is clear that Souless was a one-off sucess and now the author is just milking the sequel for what she can get (which is less and less).
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Bit Of A Letdown Aug. 23 2011
By E. Nolan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I didn't review the previous books in the Parasol Protectorate, but if I had, I would have rated them at four and five stars. Given that, I was surprised that I can only grant three stars to _Heartless_.

Before I get as to why that is so, let me just briefly lay out the plot. _Heartless_ finds the "preternatural" Alexia now in the final weeks of her pregnancy and with very limited mobility suddenly called upon to quash a plot against the Queen's life, find a solution to continual vampire attempts on her own life, deal with her French inventor friend's melancholy (and crazy ghost Aunt), cope with her much unbeloved sister taking up residence in her home, and integrate a very unwilling new werewolf into her husband's pack. As usual, all these tasks will be accomplished with the assistance (competent or otherwise) of her unflappable butler, "looming" husband, oblivious best friend, London's gayest vampire, great quantities of tea and the worlds most dangerous parasol.

Why does this mix work less well here than in previous books? The answer will involve


First of all, Alexia seemed off her game in this book. Granted she is very pregnant, but that shouldn't have affected her wits. For some reason I never quite grasped, she becomes sure that the current attempt on "the Queen" must be tied to a failed attempt by the Scottish werewolves 20 years ago, and despite being told by multiple trustworthy people that it's very unlikely and no good can come from delving into that history, she bulls on. And in fact, there is no connection, and she learns things that make her very unhappy, ie: what everyone told her about the course of action was true. Now, clearly the sequence serves a purpose in the series meta-plot as important details about her father, husband, and other players are revealed, but by tying it all to a red-herring plot point, Carriger makes it all feel forced and unsatisfying. Surely the same facts could have been established in a more relevant manner?

Aside from wasting her time on a dead end, Alexia also seems much too oblivious to the consequences of introducing a swarmed vampire hive to her pack's castle. If the reader can pretty much predict the consequences (at least to the point of the hive not being able to leave if not that the werewolves will have to), then surely Alexia, who *lives* in the setting and is quite smart should be able to. She also misses clues about the emotional state of her inventor friend and her "son"'s strange absence.

This book also unwisely introduces (or at least I cannot recall it being stated in an earlier book) the concept that the location of vampire hives is secret. This is clearly nonsensical given that they host social functions constantly and that carraiges from all over London must converge there. However, even allowing that the way we allow that Lois never could tell Clark from Superman because of the glasses, it fails completely in that the London vampires have been trying to kill Alexia for months. It is one thing to keep someone's secret when you are nominally at peace, it is quite another to keep it (and for them to assume you will keep it) when they are making constant attempts on your life.

The ghost POV sections seem unnecessary to me as well, and really add very little to the book. (I'm also not clear why the ghost sees getting a message to Alexia as important).

That's not to say there aren't plenty of things to like about this book, for instance Alexia's complaint to her friend (more or less): "And creating an octomaton and rampaging across town was your first idea rather than talking to me?", the ongoing idea that Ivy is not as clueless as she seems and of course the sheer satisfaction of being able to consign one's sister to the dungeon.

Unanswered question 1 (or perhaps I just missed it): How *did* Biffy get out?

Unanswered question 2: Didn't anyone tell the cover artist that Alexia was very pregnant?