Soulless by Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Romance
Release Date: October 1st 2009
Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is labouring 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 was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then 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? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
My thoughts: Soulless is an absolute delight to read. The book is terribly fun and made me squee a great number of times. It made me grin, laugh, and stay up ’till midnight. I should also mention that there is tea.
Soulless was an amazing snowy-day read that features a charming and colorful group of characters. Alexia Tarabotti is a preternatural-a being that is able to remove all supernatural powers as long as she is touching the person. I can not express how much I adore Alexia. She is the very definition of a great main character. She is intelligent, well read, strong, and independent. As Alexia is a spinster, she has relinquished herself to staying in the background of social gatherings and thus her life has been quiet. This all changes when she is very, very rudely attacked by a vampire.
Quirky, loveable, charming, colorful, and unique. All these words describe the characters in Soulless perfectly. I found myself loving the rest of the characters as much as I love Alexia. They are all so very wonderful. I just wanted to invite them all to a tea-party. If I could host such a tea-part I would arrange the place cards so that Lord Akeldama must sit next to me. I found him to be absolutely ridiculous but in a strangely good way. It would be very fun to have a conversation with him. I would also have Ivy sit next to me. I absolutely loved her terrible hats!
What I loved most about Soulless is how Carriger masterfully weaves together the genres of romance, paranormal, and a bit of steampunk. The steampunk Victorian world she created had the charm that I always find in steampunk and still stayed true to Victorian views and rules. Carriger works in details about the role females had during the Victorian era and shows it subtly through Alexia’s narration and the events that unfold in the story. I felt very sorry for Alexia in some parts and it is all thanks to those little details that Carriger wrote. The romance and paranormal was balanced out so that one genre did not take over the other. The supernatural creatures were written in a good-humoured way. They are fun to read about but I was still able to take them seriously.
The writing is another big reason why I loved this book. Carriger’s writing flows well, and is filled with humour and wit. It was incredibly engaging. I just wanted the book to go on forever so I could read more of the writing.
Despite that I love this novel dearly there is one thing that I didn’t like in the book: the scenes where Lord Maccon and Alexia canoodle. I found it to be a bit awkward and got in the way of the story. This is my only qualm.
Written with fast pacing, brilliant characters, a mix of genres, and greatness Soulless is a great book to read. I find it to be a very girly book but it is girly in a smart way. I highly recommend it.