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Joel

Columbia, MD, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • Heartless: The Parasol Protectorate, the Fourth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1226)
    Performance
    (1061)
    Story
    (1063)

    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. Can Alexia determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria?

    Yuriko says: "The fun is BACK!"
    "The story unfolds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, you really need to read the first 3 books of the series before this one will make sense.

    It's pretty clear that we are building up to a bigger climax in the final book. The humour is growing a little stale after 3 books (although there is a new element to joke about---Alexia's almost-completed pregnancy). Meanwhile, Alexia solves some problems and creates new ones. The Grand Mystery is unfolding and some of the questions that we thought were solved in previous books are raised again. (You REALLY have to have read the previous books for this to make sense.)

    One big plus is that this book focuses a good deal of time on one of the more interesting secondary characters: Lord Akeldama (who was almost entirely absent from Book the Third). I like the fact that we don't have His Lordship's full biography, but we get some interesting hints about the vampire he is...and the man he once was. And, just generally, he is an amusing player to watch---clearly, the author had lots of fun writing his dialog and I had fun listening to it.

    I'm finding the series enjoyable in a light, beach-reading kind of way: amusing, reasonably well-written...and mostly harmless.

    The series finishes with a fifth book and, if you've gotten this far, you probably want to finish the series (I did, and yes, it really does end after five books).

    I'm still of mixed opinions about Emily Gray's reading. She gets many of the characterizations nailed down well (Lord Akeldama being excellently delivered), but I think she does a so-so (at best) job with the Scottish and French accents, when required. This book required less of that than the previous two, but it was still a distraction when Lord Maccon was being read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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