Josh Reviews: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Posted October 6, 2012 by Joshua Burns in / 4 Comments

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless
Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, 365 pages
Published: October 1st, 2009
ISBN #: 9780316056632 / 0316056634
Genre: Steampunk
My Copy: borrowed
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
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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’s biggest strength, as with its descendants, is Alexia’s voice, both what she says to herself and to others. What goes through a twenty-six year old’s head the first time she feels the heat of a werewolf’s kiss is a real crowd pleaser. Having already read the next two books in this series, I did not know one could find such romance in this series. I am significantly peeved that Gail has turned the plot as she has in the following books so as to build more of the world. This world-building initiative complicates what would otherwise be a Jane Austen novel with a little more spunk. Now what we have is Jane Austen does steampunk spunk with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.

Having reviewed the other two books first has complicated my score for this one. I think it is worlds beyond those sequels I have read. I made the grave error as a reviewer of giving a high five to the middle book without having consulted with its originator.

One can already see, as Soulless wraps up, its imminent degradation. Each successive generation will be made more stompy and less rompy. Even the characterizations of Lord Akeldama, an ancient and foppish vampire (quite a cad), and Lord Maccon are reduced as the world turns. But be comforted dear reader characters such as Ivy Hisselpenny, Alexia’s best friend and foil, and Biffy, Lord Akeldama’s favorite companion, gain some time in the spotlight. We will learn more about Alexia’s father, whose Kama Sutra books get mentioned every time Maccon and Alexia consort, making me wonder how much of a daddy issue that she has. I am sure by book five we will learn all about her mysterious father.

Books in this series:
Soulless Changeless by Gail Carriger Blameless Heartless Timeless

Recommended: for a humorous romp by a cup of tea
Like this, like that: Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price and the Season of the Moon series by S. M. Reine.


About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.

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4 responses to “Josh Reviews: Soulless by Gail Carriger

  1. Oh I love the series, it’s a really nice book and when I finished I wondered how Gail could write a second one as good, but yes it’s really great as well. Now I need to read the fourth book. great review!

  2. Josh..i own a box set of like the first four books and I haven’t read them *face palm* thanks for reminding me why I need to read them! Fantastic review!