Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: HEARTLESS by Gail Carriger

Yesterday I finished HEARTLESS by Gail Carriger. Once again, Carriger delivered an amazing story!

Alexia Maccon is pregnant. Very pregnant. Weeks away from delivery, as a matter of fact. And the expected child is the progeny of a soulless (Lady Maccon) and a werewolf, Lord Connall Maccon. Of course life isn't easy for the country's only soulless in the employ of the crown, especially when the vampires fear the child in Alexia's womb. Not to mention the fact that SOMEONE is trying to kill the Queen, as Alexia discovers when a ghost appears from beneath the floorboards to tell her.

Like Carriger's previous volumes, HEARTLESS weaves an engaging tale with filled with wit, drama, and a mild touch of violence, both from a pregnant heroine's parasol, and some supernatural teeth. Lovers of Carriger's unique vocabulary will finish this novel with a plethora of new words to throw into your everyday speech, perfect for leaving even the most astute conversationalist discombobulated by your outlandish mode of articulation.

In the past, I have praised Carriger for her masterful execution of third-person-omniscient narration. It is one of the features I enjoy the most about her work. I was disappointed that HEARTLESS remained almost exclusively in third-person-limited, following Lady Maccon throughout the entire book, except for a few paragraphs dotted throughout the book. From a reasonable perspective, this novel would have been way too long had Carriger kept to a TPO POV. Too much happened in this book that was already pushing 400 pages, and following the other characters for any given time would have drawn out the novel in unnecessary ways. But I do miss that TPO. Rest assured, readers, that this in no way hinders your enjoyment of the book. It is still excellent, just slightly different from the previous three novels.

My only true complaint is that Carriger seemed to run out of euphemisms for pregnancy. I did get a little tired with her reminders of Alexia's "current condition." The only phrase that I found to be overused. I must admit that I LOVED the term "infant inconvenience." Hilarious.

Thank you, again, Ms. Carriger for a wonderful tale! I look forward to the conclusion next year. And to those of you who have not read HEARTLESS, go get it. NOW!


  1. I've read Soulless and enjoyed it. This review makes me want to continue on in the series! The phrase "infant inconvenience" that you quoted gave me a good chuckle. :)

  2. That's definitely a phrase Carriger came up with :)