Fantasy · romance · steampunk

Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger


Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 416, Regular paperback (not mass market)
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance
Audience: 18+
Rating: 5 Stars

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?

SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I LOVED this book. No seriously. I didn’t go into it with high expectations. I don’t usually care for adult novels and the first 10 pages I was seriously worried Alexia would annoy but honestly it’s one of those books that I already want to reread.

Soulless had me smiling like an idiot into the pages. I kept wondering if people were looking at me while I was reading because I literally had to stop myself from giggling while in the quiet car on my way to and from work and it ended up sounding like I was choking.

But moving past fangirling, I loved the way Carriger wrote this. I’m not a huge fan of third person but the way she writes it barely bothered me at all. And while it was omniscient, there were still super suspenseful parts where I NEEDED to know what happened but the current focus was still just as good. Usually, I find that with books that switch POVs or are in third person omniscient, I lose interest if the focus goes somewhere else so the author can try to create suspense but that definitely didn’t happen with Soulless.

I also loved all the characters and boy does Carriger know how to create characters. I mean, I felt myself falling in love with even Floote the trusty butler who barely has more than a few paragraphs devoted to him.

As you can see by my obsessive (and probably incoherent I’m sorry) fangirling, I really loved this book and I can’t wait to pick up the others in the series. I’m super excited to read about the world in general since she has a Young Adult series built in the same world as well and a spin off from the series about a separate character!

So far the world and how the book is written kind of reminds of Deanna Raebourn’s Lady Julia series. I love that series and reading this is making want to reread that since it’s been so long. What a great way to pull myself out of the beginnings of a reading slump.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger


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