I am very pleased to present a review for Gail Carriger’s fourth Parasol Protectorate novel. First, because my students love the series and I know they will be happy to see Heartless on display when they return to school in a few short weeks. Second, because I had the pleasure of meeting Gail at a dinner at ALA in New Orleans. She is easy to talk to, and I was charmed by the fact that she is genuinely having fun with her books. She loves making things up and figuring things out. Little wonder they are so enjoyable. She is also enthusiast about romance and comedy, which shines through in her writing. (Take a look at her website FAQs for a taste.)
I also had a chance to ask about her current work. Turns out she is writing a YA series about a finishing school housed in connected dirigibles floating above England, to be published by Little, Brown. The series is set in the same world (though an earlier time) as the Parasol Protectorate. This interview on the Bookyurt blog offers more details.
And now back to today’s review. The first in the Parasol series, Soulless, won a 2010 Alex Award. The fifth and final installment, Timeless, is slated for release on Match 1, 2012.
Adult/High School–In this installment in the series, preternatural Lady Alexia Maccon is heavily pregnant and waddling her way through one adventure after another. This time the impending birth has the entire supernatural world in London on edge because her offspring, the product of her marriage to Lord Maccon, Woolsey pack leader and heart-stoppingly handsome werewolf, may just prove the undoing of the supernatural set. As in the earlier novels, of course someone is trying to kill Lady Alexia and that is where the fun always begins. The fine British wit that sparkles on every page will have readers laughing out loud as Lady Alexia, after a warning from a mad and disintegrating ghost, is off to uncover a plot to kill Queen Victoria. Her comical adventures unearth a plot even bigger and scarier than the one she imagines and the outcome, which will leave readers in stitches and begging for the fifthth and final installment, will turn Lord and Lady Maccon’s world upside-down. Along with their somewhat steamy romance, readers also find out about other love affairs that shape the characters and the plot, including the moving story of Lord Maccon’s beta, Professor Lyall, and the deep and abiding love between Biffy, the newest werewolf cub in the Woolsey Pack, and the tartly fabulous Lord Akeldama, the flamboyant rove vampire for whom Biffy used to be a drone. These books just keep getting better and better.–Caroline Bartels, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY