Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Review: Heartless

And moving right along we've reached the penultimate book in the Parasol Protectorate series so there's not much I can say to introduce it now, just the usual warning that due to how this this series is set up by summarizing the book I spoil a large twist from earlier books. Thankfully this one isn't as bad as the others, nothing jaw-droppingly surprising happened in the third book but if you haven't read the second book yet then just read that first and then look at my reviews in case you aren't sure if you want to continue.

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia and Connall are back together and finally know what their baby will be, something different from either of them, a skin-stealer, and that's why the vampires have been putting up a fuss about their marriage from the very start. So, even though that is resolved now, their lives aren't quiet enough to let them simply prepare for the baby's arrival, the politics of London's supernatural society continue to shift and change and cause rather major problems for everyone involved. 

The Good: Even though I'm about to outline why I thought this book was rather weak it was still a fun read and I was interested to see that some of the side characters are becoming steadily more important with more time and characterization spent on them. I'm used to stories that are more or less one long story broken into chunks of some kind (episodes, books, updates) and therefore don't add onto the main cast as much since the story is already going. This series is a bit different since you could split it into a few stories all within a larger story and that gives it a chance to elevate these characters without taking away from the rest of the cast, I rather like this and wouldn't mind seeing other stories do similarly.

The Bad: Looking back on this series as a whole this was the weakest book in it and in some ways I wish three and four had been rewritten to combine the two since no big plot revelations really happened in either and this book feels like it's just tidying up a few loose ends in preparation for the last book/setting the stage by creating a few extra conflicts for it. Speaking of that, I've just been a bit unhappy with how Madame Lefoux has been portrayed this entire series. Perhaps I should have waited until the Timeless review to bring it up but she feels like an entirely different character if you compare the second volume to this one or the fifth, and not because of growth but just because it feels like Carriger changed her mind about her partway through and either couldn't or didn't rewrite everything else to be in line.

Sorry this is a bit short but unfortunately I was unable to finish writing this while I still had the book in front of me so some of the plots of 3/4/5 are starting to blend together in my mind and I don't want to talk about something which didn't actually happen in this book. Since it's a bit weak I'm going to give it only a 3 out of 5 (which I know I give to a lot of things but a 3 is average and, well, most things are average), onto the final one!

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