Audiobook Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger

Audiobook Review: Heartless by Gail CarrigerHeartless by Gail Carriger
Narrator: Emily Gray
Length: 11 hrs, 19 mins
Series: Parasol Protectorate #4
Published by Hachette Audio on July 1, 2011
Genres: Humor, Paranormal, Romance, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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three-stars

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?

Guys, it’s so hard to review later books in series that are pretty much par for the course for the series. It makes me wish I did series as a single review, but that presents many difficulties too. So whatever, this will be a short review. I think. Though I’ve said that before and been laughably wrong. Heartless definitely left me whelmed, which is better than some of the books in the series, but also not as thrilling as the first installment.

Yet again, Carriger’s book is highly entertaining. They’re fun listens even when they’re infuriating, which this one was not. They keep my attention and I don’t really get tired of them. They’re also rather addictive. Carriger’s got a light, silly, snarky tone that I rather enjoy. All of her characters are basically parodies of themselves, but knowingly so. Also, Heartless had fairly minimal Ivy, which is always a blessing.

My favorite part of Heartless was the upping of the LGBTQ+ themes. Basically, I don’t want to spoil it, but another main character is revealed to have attraction to those of their same sex. Totally called it, though not the past romance. All I ask is that there be an actual gay ship in the last book, because for all that there are tons of gay characters, all of their romances have been split apart by circumstances.

Once again, though, the plot of Heartless seems rather minimal, and is accomplished by a change in narrative style. There were these weird bits from the perspective of ghosts, in an attempt to up the tension; this was ineffective, since this isn’t the sort of series to kill people off. Plus, that was just a weird change. Anyway, the ghosts warn that someone will try to kill the queen and Alexia’s off to solve the mystery, despite being MASSIVELY pregnant. I mean, there is a plot, but it’s all dependent on these ghosts being unable to say what’s happening clearly and it’s so artificial.

Then there’s the pregnancy. Those who know me well know that I have zero interest in pregnancy and babies. That said, Alexia’s pregnancy, while oft-mentioned, doesn’t really bother me. She’s not of a maternal frame of mind either, referring to her impending baby as the “infant inconvenience.” Actually, I think I was more concerned about the safety of her child than SHE was. Alexia spends the whole book getting knocked over, and I honestly don’t get how the kid came out of it okay. The comedic value of a pregnant woman falling over is minimal even to a hard-hearted bitch like me. It’s not funny, because of the danger inherent, at least to me.

Call me heartless, but Heartless was just okay. At this point, I’m still recommending sticking to book one as the strongest, but we’ll see how I feel after the final installment, Timeless.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

pregnant spin gif

One response to “Audiobook Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger”

  1. I’m glad you liked this more than Changeless! I’d be interested to see if my opinion changes with a reread. I read this series in such a fervor a few years ago that I just loved it all. I do love her snarky writing tone and Alexia’s attitude towards pregnancy is pretty hilarious. I really like this series a lot, but I have a feeling you would like her YA series more (can’t recall if you’ve read it yet).

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