Friday, February 15, 2013

Soulless - Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1)
Publisher: Orbit Books
Paperback: 357 pages
Published date: 2009
FTC: bought at library book sale

My brother and I were talking books the other day and noticed there's a book heirarchy when it comes to publishing: hardback, trade covers, and mass paperbacks.  There's a certain level of quality (I think) if a book is published directly to mass paperback.  When I had read reviews about Soulless and the subsequent parasol books I was really looking forward to reading them.  But when I found and bought this copy at a library book sale for 25 cents and then found out it's only available in mass paperback (not counting eformat) I realized it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  It's a fun and easy read that's heavy on the romance angle.  Would I pick up book #2 for 25 cents?  Totally.  Would I outright buy it? Nope.

Back of the book:

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 accidently 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 is 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:

First of all, you have to not take this book seriously.  It's supposed to be light, fun, and the epitome of a bubble bath book or airplane read.

Two, the soulless thing -- you can't dwell too much on that aspect either.  It doesn't make too much sense, although perhaps in subsequent books it's explained better.  I found the main point of her being "soulless" was to single her out more, give her the ability to protect herself (her touch makes werewolves go back to human form and vampires retract their teeth), and makes an easier way for her to hook up with the sexy werewolf Lord Maccon (and have him think she smells different and appealing, less like food - Twilight a bit anyone?).

Three, expect romance.  I mean I was but really there's a bunch of make out scenes, he just happens to be naked moments, and well, you get what I mean.

And four.  This isn't a steampunk novel with romance.  It's definitely a romance novel with vampires, werewolves, and a touch of steampunk.   I kind of wish it was written more fully (seriously figure out your point a view and stick with it), a bit darker, and with more steampunkish elements instead of the light romance paperback that it is.  O well.

There were some pretty fun side characters though. I thoroughly enjoyed Alexia's gay vampire friend Lord Akeldama and his entourage.  I also thought Alexia's family a silly mix between Cinderella and Elizabeth Bennet's family in Pride and Prejudice: comedic enough to be believable.  I also truly liked Alexia's character - even though I don't think she looks anything like her picture on the cover.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Also Reviewed By:

A Little Bookish
Fyrefly's Book Blog