Thursday, July 21, 2011
Heartless is the latest in Gail Carriger's series starring Lady Alexia Maccon, formerly Alexia Tarabotti. She is a preternatural--born without a soul who lives in an alternate Victorian era where vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures have been accepted into mainstream British society. In this outing Alexia is approached by a mad ghost, babbling about a threat to the queen. Even though she is well along in her pregnancy (she waddles, for heaven's sake!), Alexia is soon on the trail--following clues that lead her into her husband's past. Added to that, she must deal with a sister who has joined the cause for votes for women, Madame Lefoux and her latest invention, and a plague of homicidal zombie porcupines, the latest in the vampires' efforts to kill her unborn child (and incidentally Lady Maccon as well). Will Alexia get to the bottom of the plot to kill Queen Victoria? Will she survive the plots against her own life? And just what sort of child will she give birth to--if she's given the chance?
It may well be that the bloom is off the rose on this series. Either that or Carriger is gearing up for another good one in Timeless (due out in March 2012). Soulless was really good. Blameless was good, but not great. Changeless was fabulous. And now Heartless is just okay. Alexia and her Lord Maccon are still marvelous characters. I could "listen" to their dialogue all day. But the action and story line in this one just isn't quite up to snuff. I found myself forcing my way to end...I shouldn't have to do that. I'm also not entirely sure that I like the way Carriger ended things in this one. It's really hard to write a decent review when everything you want to talk about is a spoiler....Let's just say that I'm giving this one a bare three stars and leave it at that.