Heartless (Gail Carriger)

Heartless is is the fourth novel in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.
[Here are my reviews of the other books.]
Finished on: 16.9.2015

Plot:
Alexia Tarabotti is eight months pregnant. But that doesn’t make her life any less demanding or her any less willing to take the demands on, even if slightly limited in her mobility. When a ghost appears in her living room, warning her and her husband Conall about an assassination attempt on the Queen, Alexia starts to investigate – she wouldn’t have it any other way. But between imminent childbirth, her sister Felicity and undead porcupines, investigations are not easily handled. Even if one’s husband is a handsome werewolf.

Heartless is another thoroughly enjoyable read in the series. Although I didn’t like all parts equally, I love how the characters in this world and the world itself continue to grow.

carriger_heartless

[SPOILERS]

Many years ago I wrote a couple of pages [German] of a detective story that never actually went anywhere, probably because I am not that much of a fan of detective stories. Be that as it may, the story’s protagonist was a seven months pregnant PI in Vienna, tasked with finding the missing brother of a young woman. Because it irked me that as soon as women get pregnant (in stories) they are bundled into bubble wrap and put into a corner until their kids are in school (in the best case). Then they get dusted off and are allowed to have a private and/or professional life again. As if becoming pregnant meant losing all interests and abilities outside of the baby.

Anyway, that is a long prelude to saying that I absolutely loved that we got a highly pregnant Alexia, action heroine and investigator who still retains her distinct personality and isn’t all about her child, even if the child is not unimportant to her. I’m glad somebody finished a story about a pregnant heroine.

But that’s not the only thing I loved about the book. In this one Lyall’s sexual orientation is finally revealed and he’s bisexual, which is all kinds of amazing (bisexual representation! his backstory with Alessandro!). And it seems like I could be right with my hunch about a Lyall/Biffy romance. At least it grows ever more likely.

Ivy grows ever more kick-ass as a character, and I appreciate her development in that way. I’m also still intrigued by Madame Lefoux. She’s not easily put into a box, which makes her a fascinating. And the more Akeldama we get, the better.

Unfortunately there were also a couple of things I didn’t like: I still don’t like Felicity being a character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And that it’s her that becomes the suffragette (to impress a man, apparently) really rubs me the wrong way. And I also thought that the Octomagon may have been a little much, generally speaking.

But nevertheless I am really enjoying this series and I can’t wait to find out how things continue with Alexia and her child.

Summarizing: Fun, fun, fun.

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