Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title:  Soulless
Author:  Gail Carriger
Genre:  Steampunk
Publisher:  Orbit Books
Publication Date:  October 1, 2009
Series Info:  Book 1 in the Parasol Protectorate series
Cover Artist:  Lauren Panepinto
Who/What/Why/Where/How:  Purchased a copy with my own chump change.
Where to Buy:  Amazon

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced!

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Bear with me folks. This is my first attempt at a book review and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I’ve spent the last couple of days typing and retyping this and this is pretty much as ready as I’ll ever be so here we go.

I typically don’t read anything that hints at historical or Victorian era fiction. It’s not my cup of tea so to speak. So when I joined the Dirty Sexy Book Club and noticed that the first read for 2010 was Soulless, I may or may not have cringed a little. Aesthetically, the cover is beautiful. But I wasn’t sure if I was ready to dip my toe in that pool just yet. I promised myself I’d be more open to different genres so I picked up a copy. I found it strange that I found the book in the science fiction/fantasy section. What was stranger was the spine of the book was labeled Fantasy/Horror. At this point I was curious.

So I hunkered down and dove in. I think someone missed the mark when they suggested that the book be labeled Fantasy/Horror. Was there Romance? Absolutely. Was it Paranormal? Definitely. Was it Fantasy? Eh, I guess. Was it Horror? Not so much. Not even a tiny bit. I guess I can see where it might be considered a little bit scary. But it definitely wasn’t enough to slap a horror label on it. Then again it takes something really disturbing and gruesome to give me that ‘sleep with the lights on and with one eye open’ kind of vibe. So I may not be the best person to ask. It was even a tiny bit steampunky (that’s probably not a word but, it should be). It’s a definite plus if you’re wanting to dabble with the steampunk genre but not ready for the hardcore stuff just yet.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Every time I put it down I wanted to get back to it to see how Alexia would handle the various obstacles thrown at her. The cast of characters played well off each other and led to some funny interactions. So if you’re looking for a Victorian era, action filled, fun romance with a witty heroine this will probably work out for you.

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  1. Well done!! I think you did an excellent job with your review. I like how you told about where you were coming from as a reader and your conversational style. You gave me a feel for the book, and I wasn't bored reading it. I think you have a great future in front of you as a book reviewer. I really don't think you can go wrong if you just write from your heart.

  2. I absolutely loved this one! I can't wait for Changeless to come out! so glad you enjoyed it and your review was wonderful!

  3. Hi Jen - I like your new blog venture. It IS a great way to keep track of what you're reading. That's pretty much why I started DSB myself. Then it grows on you...

    You 'cringed' when you saw our pick was Soulless? That makes me smile, because I'm always hoping that our book selection jars people sometimes. It's all about trying stuff that you'd normally shun, and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

    Yeah, the classification on Soulless is baffling. I don't know what to call it myself.