As I put away my Kindle late last night, after finally finishing the fourth installment of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series I found myself unsure or, perhaps, even unable to reflect on my feelings as to the novel’s grand finale. This was not a bad novel of the series, and certainly much better than the second book, however, after finishing 4 books of the series I still find myself longing for the charm of the first novel, which was refreshingly unique. Don’t get me wrong – Ms. Carriger still manages to capture my attention with her witty writing, unorthodox heroine, and imaginative alternative reality of Queen Victoria’s England. However, with each further book I find myself unsatisfied as to the result. In this novel Alexia’s adventures continue when the ghost, in the late stages of poltergeist, appears to inform her incoherently of an imminent threat to the Queen’s life. As Queen’s muhjah Alexia can’t help but take matters into her own hands and sets out to solve the mystery. (There is Alexia we know and love.) While still being pursued by the vampires of the Westminster hive, who wish to see Alexia dead and her baby never born; Alexia’s posse devises a plan to give infant-inconvenience up for adoption to none other than Lord Akeldama, which in return should prevent the aforementioned Westminster vampires want of killing Alexia. (I must say, that I don’t exactly see the pure logic of this plan, but alas it is not the world I’ve built, so I take trust in Ms. Carriger’s plan).
In between attempted murder plots, thieving, and investigative action, we are treated to Ivy’s acceptance into the Parasol Protectorate, Alexia’s revelation as to Ms. Tunstell’s not-so-simple nature, and the latter’s trip to Scotland. (I was thoroughly disappointed that thereafter, Ms. Carriger all but forgotten poor Ms. Tunstell, as I was looking forward to seeing more of this character.)
Alexia continues on with investigation, which leads her to Kingair pack’s previously failed attempt on Queen’s life, and the following discovery of Professor Lyall’s true connection to Lord Conall Macon’s abandonment of Kingair as well as further information on Mr. Tarabotti’s unorthodox relations. (Here, I found myself terrified at an idea that Professor Lyall can play a not-so-pure role, but he is somewhat redeemed at his actions for there is reason behind them. However, I am sure there is a conflict to be had in regards to the knowledge Alexia now posses on this subject.) As the realization of the false chase sets in, Alexia finally realizes that the ghost’s warning was not in relation to the Queen of England, but rather the hive Queen, and the architect of this evil plot to be is none other than Alexia’s friend – Madame Lefoux.
A kaleidoscope of events takes place thereafter, including: full moon, a discovery of Felicity being a drone to the Westminster hive, octomoton ravaging the city of London and battling the werewolf pack on the way to Woolsey Castle, the birth of Mr. & Mrs. Macon’s baby girl – Prudence, geographical relocations of all parties involved and such…(*takes a deep breath*)
After finishing the book and reflecting on the numerous bits of information scattered throughout the novel, the events of the last few chapters and the aftermath - I am quite speechless. With all that has happened I am unable to see the purpose, and am somewhat disappointed in most all of the outcomes and progressions of the characters that I’ve come to care for. I am about to start the last and final book of the series, titled – Timeless Timeless and hope the resolution of the series brings some peace and redemption to these characters, at least in my eyes. As this novel does not have a cliffhanger ending, Ms. Carriger has wide options to hopefully surprise and revive my admiration for the Parasol Protectorate. Favorite Quotes:
“Why isna she crying?” complained Lord Maccon. “Shouldna she be crying? Aren’t all bairns supposed to cry?” “Perhaps she’s mute,” suggested Alexia. “Be a sensible thing with parents like us.” Lord Maccon looked properly horrified at the idea.
Carriger, Gail (2011-07-01). Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate) (p. vi). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.Notable Characters:
Ms. Ivy Tunstell
Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings