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Finally got my hands on and devoured Heartless by Gail Carriger (even though I should have spent all weekend outlining for finals!), and absolutely LOVED it even if

1. There was a higher-than-proportional number of tragic love stories (I had to put the book down at page 230 because the combined depressing Biffy/Akeldama story and Lyall/Tarabotti story distressed me enough that I refused to continue because I don't stay up until 2:00am to read a book if it has such tragic stories right before I go to sleep -- which really just meant that I couldn't sleep because I kept on dwelling on the COMPLETE TRAGEDY of Lyall and Alexandria's father and how COMPLETELY DEPRESSING it was but in a tragic romantic way.)

2. I didn't understand two of Alexandria's major decisions.

First of all, I still fail to understand why she's giving up her child for adoption. Akeldama is great and all and I understand the practicality of having the other vampires stop trying to assassinate your child and that it's not like she would lose contact with her child or anything, but I still felt like she gave in too easily and what with finishing of Doctor Who with the Melody plotline this past year, I feel like I'm a bit over parents losing their children and then not having in-text emotional fallout.

Contrast this with Lafoux, who did fight for her child but then ... Alexandria decides to solve the problem by essentially making Lafoux the vampires' slave and her patents and inventions profiting them and her having to give up blood to them? This is supposed to be a GOOD idea? I mean, yeah, I guess she has contact with her son now, but I still feel like taking the child away from the vampires is a far BETTER solution.

I feel like Alexandria's indifference especially and how she thought that this rationally was the best thing for all involved when emotionally it makes no sense to me was .... strange. But I've fanwanked that as a side-effect of her preternatural-ness. I'm still not sure what "soul" is supposed to mean, and how the fact that she's soul-less is supposed to impact her personality, but a lot of the things people have indicated soulless people lack (one of them being faith) seem to be emotional-based things and she's supposed to be more logical/rational as a result.

Things I loved:

-turning around the tragic Biffy/Akeldama from last book and making it a practical thing that both parties needed to get over, with acknowledgement of how ridiculous it is of Akeldama (and very genre) to want Biffy to pine away for him

-the entire Lyall backstory, even though it was tragic. Although I think it was pretty rude of him to not give Alexandria her father's journals, even if he loved the man, because she never knew her father and given all the shit she's had to deal with during the course of her life, it probably has useful information. But the epic tragic-ness of the his love story is like ... everything that appeals to me about angst except for the happy ending I prefer all my tragic love stories to end with. (Yes, I know that doesn't make any sense.)

-Felicity being such a traitor took me by surprise, but then when I realized what this meant for the past few books, I was completely shocked! And horrified! And I think she's a horrible person and traitor.

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