Book Review: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as "a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking." At the center of Soulless's "parasol protectorate" is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

Release Date: October 1, 2009
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Library

I've had Soulless on my TBR list for months now, and was really excited to see that my library had an eBook available.  I've recently moved and my new library loans eBooks---yay!

I read people's reviews of Soulless, saying what a great Steampunk novel it is, and to be honest, the term Steampunk kind of turned me off to it.  When I see "Steampunk", I think of combustion engines and trains.  I decided to investigate the term, and found the Wikipedia definition here.  Now I'm going to think of Steampunk as fiction, often paranormal fiction, set in Victorian-era Britain.  Sounds like historical paranormal fiction to me, which is right up my alley.  

With that settled, let me tell you about Soulless.  It took me a while to figure this book out.  Either I spaced out at the beginning or the book doesn't give you much backstory to go on.  I had to figure out for myself what a lot of things were: dewan, claviger, and I still don't know what BUR stands for.  Despite this lack of understanding, I really enjoyed the book.  I like Alexia immensely.  She has a lot of spunk.  I loved the way she stood up for herself.  I loved that she has a curvy figure and a good appetite.  But what I liked the most about her was how honest and straightforward she is.  There's no pussyfooting around with her, and I love that in a female main character.  The romance was a nice addition to the story, and was not so heavy-handed that it detracted from the plot.  The secondary characters were very well-fleshed out, especially Lord Akeldama.

Soulless loses stars for being hard to follow in the beginning.  I have a feeling I'm going to like the next book, Changeless, even more, now that the world-building is complete.

1 comment:

  1. This book is simply delicious with its wicked turn of phrase, loveable characters, and thrilling combination of genres. It is hard to imagine that it is Carriger's debut novel! Following in the vein of great mystery/romance novelists before her, her heroine is spunky and relatable. This was my first foray into the "steampunk" genre and I highly enjoyed it.


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