Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Miss Tarabotti was not one of life's milk-water misses--in fact, quite the opposite. Many a gentleman had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice--that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation."

Soulless – Gail Carriger

357 pages

Genre:  Urban Fantasy; Paranormal; Steampunk; Romance

Summary:  Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a soulless, perpetual spinster in Victorian London.  One day, she accidentally kills a rouge vampire at a dinner party in an act of self-defense, and a series of events begin to unravel that leave Alexia running for her life.  Will everything catch up to her, or will she somehow find a way to defeat these forces that she can’t seem to escape?

Review:  Soulless didn’t draw me in from the very beginning; in fact, I set it aside for a few weeks and read some other books instead.  Once I decided to give it another try and got 100 pages in, however, I was hooked.  Gail Carriger’s writing is quite whimsical and fun, and wit is absolutely dripping from every page of this book.  There were many parts where I was absolutely laughing out loud. 

While some of the plot elements were a bit predictable, the characters were vibrant and full of life, and I loved that this book was told from Alexia’s point of view.  Alexia was so surly, sarcastic, and strong, and I thought it was great that she was so unconventional.  I haven’t often encountered tough ladies like her in literature dealing with the Victorian era.  Lord Maccon was also a wonderful character, and I loved the way in which he and Alexia played off one another.  Even though he was only in the book every once in awhile, Lord Alkedama was probably my favorite character of all, and I absolutely loved the description of his harem, along with all of the random terms of endearment he used.

Sometimes I get a little iffy in regard to books that deal with werewolves and vampires, but I really liked the interplay between the characters in Soulless.  Their interactions seemed believable, and making the supernatural beings members of high society was quite a nice touch.

Even though I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book at the beginning, I’m really glad I read it and I do plan on continuing with the series.  If you like supernatural themes mixed with Victorian high society and super tough female protagonists, give Soulless a try.

Rating: 3/5

Other Books in The Parasol Protectorate Series:  Changeless (Book 2), Blameless (Book 3), Heartless (Book 4; expected to be released in July 2011), Timeless (Book 5; expected to be released in 2012)

Read-alikes:  Twilight – Stephenie Meyer, The Vampire Chronicles – Anne Rice