Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Lady Alexia and Lord Maccon are moving in to Lord Akeldama's neighborhood. Their child is to be adopted by the vampire, which will cause the other vampires to give up their plan to assassinate the child.

They learn from a ghost of a plot to kill the Queen (I wondered at this point whether they meant of England or of the vampires). Alexia spends the rest of the novel waddling about in her state of advanced pregnancy, trying to find clues as to who is plotting the assassination, and how they plan to go about it.

In the midst of this, her sister shows up, claiming she has been thrown out of the house for associating with a women's suffrage organization, but it turns out she has more sneaky things on her mind. Biffy, the new werewolf in Lord Maccon's pack, is having a lot of trouble adjusting to his change, so Alexia tries to come up with some novel approaches to that problem, as well. She ends up recruiting her friend, Ivy, into her spur-of-the-moment spy organization, The Parasol Protectorate, when she needs someone to be her eyes and ears up with her husband's old pack in Scotland.

One of the truly amusing repeating bits in this novel is Lord Akeldama's ongoing terms of endearment, primarily used to refer to his friend, Alexia, but we also realize he never seems to call anyone by their actual name. One of my personal favorites was, "my little dipped biscuit". There's some good steampunk elements here when Madame LeFoux goes on a rampage in a mechanical flame-throwing octopus.

In fact, almost none of the novel deals with Alexia's baby directly, except for the very beginning and very end of the book. I suppose we'll get to find out more in the next book in the series.

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