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?
©2011 Hachette Audio (P)2011 Gail Carriger
Oh my! Where to begin? There are too many wonderful things in this book to cover them all and do so without giving away any major plot points or spoilers!
First of all, let’s begin with the absolutely lovely change in tenor in Connall and Alexia’s relationship. In the past, they’ve relied heavily on barbed comments and physical affection to communicate their love for one another. In book four, we finally see them learning to communicate through words. I’m so happy to see this evolution in their relationship. While the humor of their earlier exchanges was fun to witness, this new aspect of their relationship is far more realistic and more enjoyable for the reader . They are now truly believable as a couple. It’s nice to see Connall’s affectionate and gentle side when it comes to tending to his wife.
As always, Carriger is a master at juggling the several relationships she’s established throughout the series. There were a few heart wrenching moments for poor Biffy as he struggles to adapt to his new life in the Woolsey Pack. But again, Lord Maccon’s newfound softer side comes in to play here, which is quite sweet.
I was so pleased to learn more about Professor Lyall. I had always wondered certain things about him, and Ms. Carriger does not disappoint in providing him a suitable and complex background.
Madam Lefoux gets considerable page time, but that being said, I felt like she was here and there and then gone again without really contributing much substance to the story in the earlier pages. However, that might have been exactly how Ms. Carriger wanted it. The inventor’s flighty appearances and distracted demeanor are a direct result of something that occurs later in the book. So her harried appearances are quite believable when you get the pay off at the end.
Speaking of relationships, one of the most interesting aspects of the book is how – over time – the Woosley Pack and Westminster Hive become more and more intertwined. I’m fascinated how these two groups, who have been enemies, are slowly becoming… not friends, but at least tolerated allies. The evolution of this relationship has been slow and steady. Kudos to Ms. Carriger for making it a highly believable event when it finally comes to fruition!
The reader's tremendous job made my experience of listening to Heartless most enjoyable.
What I love about Emily Gray's performance is how I do not get lost and confuse regarding characters.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
Heartless is probably my favorite book of this series so far. Always enjoy the steam punk aspects of the books and this one does not disappoint. Alexia is her usual brilliant and enterprising self and is still a trouble-maker! The end is especially good with a big battle ending and a huge ooops moment. You also get to see what is special (supernatural?) about their child. I am not usually fond of supernatural stories but I like this one because it plays into the society aspects of period England. I am also glad that Carriger dropped the romance aspect of it mostly after book one. I think if you're looking for supernatural sexy stuff there's many many other books out there. So I would recommend this to people who enjoy steam punk and Jane Austin combined.
As for the narrator. I absolutely love her for this series. My only issue is that she cannot do a French accent worth beans! But her others are good.
Who doesn't love a pregnant heroine? Alexia doesn't let the infant inconvenience stop her when a ghost tracks her down and informs her of a plot to kill the queen. She also takes upon herself to help Biffy acclimate to his new immortal life among the Wosley pack. To make matters worse, her sister shows up at her new home in London in need of a place to stay. As usual, Heartless is full of humor and wit and brings us one set closer to figuring out why everyone is so worried about the child Alexia is carrying. The book ends on a cliffhanger, with the child finally being born and Alexia realizing that while her child is not a preternatural, she is definitely not human either. I can't wait to get started on Timeless!
Live life Joyfully!
I love the accents, it brings the story to life beautifully. The expressions of emotions capture Gail Carriger's intentions beautifully
This series has the most entertaining and unexpected twists I have experienced in a long time. Gail has taken well researched and understood fantastical creatures - vampires, werewolves etc. and cast them in a new light. Its a fabulous adventure story with a strong female lead which I adore! Every time I read or listen to it again I discover a new dimension
The life of the characters is brought out, you feel you are sitting there watching the going-ons of the different people, it is a delight to listen to each character being expressed with such care as to reflect the intentions of the author
I laughed ...a lot! I was highly entertained from start to finish and only hope to encounter situations in which I can use some of the beautifully crafted lines.
I probably will listen to Heartless again, at least a few scenes, ecause I have all in the series and I am not listening to them back to back.
This was first Steampunk book I have read,so no comparisons come to mind.
The sardonic tone of the characters. Certain scenes I wouldn't have read as matter of factly as Ms. Gray, but while listening to them I appreciated her interpretation.
It is not a laugh-out-loud book, but there is humor, sarcasm. Quite appealing to my dry sense of humor.
Well done. Not too over the top. Nice touches of over the top, but well contained
I loved this series - very inventive. This alternate world was expertly crafted and consistent all the way through the series.
Lady Alexia Macon (which might be spelled wrong - hey, it was an audiobook!!), because she was funny, compassionate, funny, practical, hysterical, and up to all the challenges this strange tale threw at her. Did I mention funny?
Emily Gray's reading was flawless! She does accents so well, and she was able to bring out the unique traits of each of her characters with her readings of them. Good job to her, and Mr. Gray (husband? brother? father? no relative but a coincidence of names?) who directed the series. Ms. Gray was my favorite thing about the entire series, and I've since been downloading another series she has narrated and looking for any others. Check out Jasper Fford's very amusing Thursday Next series, where Ms. Gray narrates books 2 and on in the series.
Not at all. I wanted it to last and last, but I kept devouring them so quickly my 1 credit per month couldn't keep up. I must admit I spent far more $$ than I should have to quench my thirst for the next book, and was sad when I read the last one.
Loads of fun, well constructed and consistent universe, and absolutely top-notch narration. Let's have more Emily Gray-read books!!
Disciple of the written word and Audible fanatic. I am an Urban and Epic Fantasy Fan. I also enjoy some Paranormal Romance.
Alexia is so entertaining I look forward to her misadventures. This is a great teaming up of author and narrator. Emily does a wonderful job of differentiating voices. Take a moment to listen to the sample and you will see what I mean. The series is funny and lighthearted.
The narrator is wonderful! I have never heard a female narrator do so many different characters - especially men - so well. I always knew who was talking by the voice. If you like a good plot, strong characters, an interesting steampunk story and lots of fun - even when the moment is tense - you will love this series. I sometimes found myself laughing out loud as I listened. I am actually considering listening to the whole series again when I'm done - something I have never done before - that is how good this series is.
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