RERUN Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

RERUN Review: Soulless by Gail CarrigerSoulless by Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
Published by Orbit October 1, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Steampunk
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

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 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?

RERUN Reviews features reviews by Debbie, previously published on Keep Calm Read Romance or Talk Supe — and reviews by Ali previously published on GingerRead Reviews.

Soulless is an enjoyable mix of urban fantasy, romance, humor, mystery and a good helping of steampunk. The novel was a welcomed breath of fresh air from my normal reading habits. Ok, so it’s not that much off my regular urban fantasy/romance novels, but with the addition of steampunk Victorian age, it almost felt like I was reading an almost different genre. I have to be honest and confess that it did take me a few moments to get adjusted to the proper English. It’s easy to tell that Carriger was heavily influenced by the works of Jane Austen and writers from that era, but I also found the heroine to posses characteristics similar to Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. Once I was acclimated to the proper speech, I was more than ready for all the tea parties, balls and tomfoolery this novel had to offer.

I found this book to be cute, clever, and funny. Carriger has created a cast of main and side characters that really gets the story moving and keeps you highly entertained while Alexia Tarabotti makes her mark in becoming some kind of super sleuth. Alexia is like the female Sherlock Holmes and I just couldn’t help but love her curious and sarcastic personality. She’s surrounded by entertaining secondary characters such as her over-the-top, fashion forward vampire friend Lord Akeldama (who I envisioned to look and act like Austen Scarlett from Project Runway); and her naive and vapid human best friend, Miss Ivy Hisselpenny, who has terrible taste is hats. The on-going bit of Alexia complaining about her friends terrible taste in headwear was hilarious.

Next we’ve got Alexia’s family. I have a love/hate relationship with the group family which includes her nosy, disparaging and overly social conscious mother, step-father and step-sisters. Although the interactions with her family was comical, I did grow tired of their constant diminishing remarks. I mean really, the continual berating about her olive complexion, roman nose and lack of a husband kinda got old. But I guess that’s what families are for right? Can’t live with them but you can’t live without them.

Last but not least we have Alexia’s love interest, the delicious Lord Conall Maccon, the Earl of Woolsey and Alpha leader of the local wolf pack. He’s also the lead investigator for all the supernatural activities in London. In the beginning of the novel, he’s actually quite perturbed by Miss Tarabotti and views her as a busybody. They squabble incessantly and one would initially think they hated each other but as we all know it’s just a mask to cover up their hunger for each other. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics between Alexia and Lord Maccon and those two just get way too cute when they start to warm up to each other.

The world that Gail Carriger has created in this series is very interesting and well done. I loved how she was able to ingrate the paranormal, steampunk and Victorian age. I loved the idea of supernatural creatures living so openly with the normal humans, especially in the era that the story takes place. With the setting, magic and unforgettable cast of characters, Soulless is a fantastic beginning to the Parasol Protectorate series. If you’re looking for something different, this highly entertaining historical fantasy is definitely a great book to read.

 

About Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy. Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in 18 different languages and has 13 NYT bestsellers via 7 different lists (including #1 in Manga). She was once an archaeologist and is overly fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.


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