Thursday, 27 January 2011

Book Review: Soulless- Gail Carriger

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)About: Soulless is written by Gail Carriger and was published in 2009. Genres it is normally filed under are steampunk and paranormal romance, but is sometimes found in the horror section, and it contains a fair bit of mystery and historical fantasy. It is the first in what will be 5 books, followed by Changeless ,Blameless, Heartless and Timeless.
Plot: The first thing that happens is the Alexia Tarrabotti is attacked by a vampire. Then she kills said vampire with her trusty parasol. What seems to annoy her most is a tie between the fact that the vampire does not know that she has no soul, and the fact she landed in the treacle tart. In victorian society, being soulless however is less of a problem than having a father who is Italian and dead. Then alpha werewolf Lord Maccon is sent to investigate, and they get drawn into a mystery involving registered vampires going missing and rogue vampires appearing. Alexia is forced to get to the bottom of things, whilst working with someone she believes has hated her since the hedgehog incident, being suspected of the crime, and not having a soul at all .
Opinions: The blurb drew me in, and gave me high hopes for this. I wasnt disappointed. From the start I was laughing at the way Miss Tarrabotti dealt with the rude vampire, and then with Lord Maccon and so on. The Alternate Victorian London was well though out, there were'nt any discontinuities. Victorian and Werewolf society contrast brilliantly- Lord Maccon's etiquitte around the full moon is particularly laughable. Both Maccon and Alexia are strong charactersThe supporting characters are excellent, such as Lord Aceldama, a flamboyantly gay vampire, the beta werewolf Lyall, hovering butler Floote and Miss Hisselpenny and her strange taste in hats. I like how Carriger took something that has been done numerous times(vampires and werewolves) and put her own spin on it. The only thing that pulls this books down is the romance with Maccon-after a good lot of fantasy. mystery and humour, the romance doesnt really fit. Apart from that, this is a brilliant concept and was pulled off perfectly.
In short
PlotSoulless Miss Tarabotti finds herself in a vampire/werewolf mystery
CharactersWell fleshed out with original personalities
Actiona lot, apart from the end
WarningsOne sex scene towards the end
WritingWitty and fast paced
OverallIts definately worth reading- and getting the next one too.

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Serifina xxx