Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in romantic_sffh,
Calico Reaction

Carriger, Gail: Soulless

Soulless (2009)
Written by: Gail Carriger
Genre: Paranormal Steampunk Romance
Pages: 373 (Mass Market Paperback)

The premise: ganked from 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 a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: But it's close to a must have. The only reason I didn't put it up that high is because the label might suggest the historical parts are accurate, and since I have no way of knowing, I don't want to inadvertently mislead you. I will say this: if you remote liked Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog (at least, the Victorian period) and you enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal romance, you should give Soulless a shot. It's a hybrid of the Willis (ignoring time travel and focusing on the comedy of manners) and paranormal romance, with a splash of steampunk thrown in for window dressing. As long as you come to this book expecting something fun, you should be fine. Hell, I had mixed thoughts on the Willis, but I ended up enjoying the hell out of this. Don't get me wrong: if I'd read this book when I wasn't in the right mood for it, I probably would've hated the tone and humor. But I was in the right mood for it and found myself delighted and fascinated with the premise. I look forward to seeing how this series progresses, so much so that I bought the second book in the series the day after I finished this one. It's just fun, something I can kick back with and enjoy. I'm glad I broke down and finally read this.

Review style: Aside from listing little bits I liked, I want to talk about Carriger's concept of soul, why the Victorian humor worked for me, and the blend of genres that Carriger's slapped together. Expect spoilers, but if you've already read the book or just don't care about them, you're welcome to check out the full review at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Gail Carriger's SOULLESS

Happy Reading!

DON'T MISS OUT: You also have a chance to win one of three signed copies of Lyn Benedict's debut, SINS & SHADOWS. To enter, click here. Deadline to enter: 4/24

Last but not least, one signed copy is available of Maria V. Snyder's INSIDE OUT. To enter, click here. Deadline to enter: 4/27


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson
June: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

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