Vampires and werewolves are not the dark brooding creatures of the night--(a cliché that has been jammed down our throats a lot lately), but are creatures that despite their differences have to deal with England's social standing and decorum (side-lined with a lot of steampunk) in an alternative Jane Austen induced Victorian London.
Heartless is probably my favourite of the Parasol books so far, possibly because of the plot twists and the dramatic build up behind Alexia's ever expanding I.I (an anocrym that you will understand when you read the books). And, as always, Lord Akeledama.
The steampunk inventions remain ingenious and deliciously silly at the same time, one particular scene at the end of the book was quite a memorable image that will not leave my head for a long time.
Heartless does have its dramatic moments, but the characters are all laced with a desire to always be classy and exceedingly British--thus, there is no shortage of funny dialogue--but this can sometimes take the edge off the more serious chapters. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is best left up to the reader. Some scenes had me laughing aloud at the sheer determination of the characters to always retain that stiff upper lip, no matter how trying the situation.
Needless to say, every witty retort will bring a smile to your face. I class the Parasol books as comedy supernatural fiction, a genre that is certainly welcome on my bookshelf!
I have noticed in some of the amazon reviews, people criticise Alexia as being a little `too' pragmatic and logical, particularly in Heartless. Yes, Alexia is most certainly not a damsel in distress, and not a stereotypical female of historical setting. But I feel these are characteristics that should be celebrated, not frowned upon. Alexia's grumpiness, her forthrightness and mostly importantly, her bluntness--are never--ever--boring.