Creativity amped up on a double shot of espresso might just chip the surface of describing Gail Carriger's novel Soulless, the first in her steampunk romance series The Parasol Protectorate. The story begins with Miss Alexia Tarabotti, who, the reader discovers, has a father who is  - shamefully - both Italian and dead.

Carriger's alternate Victorian England is populated with vampires, werewolves and ghosts - all of which mingle properly in high society. The creation of these supernatural beings is explained as caused by an excess of soul; and the converse, having no soul, results in a being such as Miss Tarabotti - a "preternatural" with the remarkable ability to neutralize the powers of supernaturals.

Soulless was a delightful mix of Victorian romance and science-fiction steampunk, peppered with creatures from the horror genre. I really enjoyed the world that Carriger created and found Alexia to be a refreshingly smart, strong, and spunky heroine. Her innate ability to negate the powers of vampires and werewolves gives her a degree of fearlessness, and she is no more reluctant to whack a supernatural with her parasol than she is to speak her mind on science and philosophy. This novel was a fun and entertaining read, and I look forward to encountering Alexia again in future books.

4 Response to "Soulless"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    October 17, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I loved the "voice" and style of Soulless - witty and irreverent; a regency romance with a paranormal flair.

  2. ratatouille's archives says:
    October 17, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Hi! Her Book Self...
    This is my first-time posting a comment on your blog, but I must admit after reading your review of author Gail Carriger's book "Soulless" I plan to remove it from my basket and place it in my hands.
    Thanks, for sharing!

    My Book Self said,"This novel was a fun and entertaining read, and I look forward to encountering Alexia again in future books..."

    Ah! you, don't have to wait to long...Because she have already followed up the book "Soulless" with two other books in the series and they are: "Changeless" and "Blameless."

    In the meantime, if you do decide to read (and/or order both books) as you, and your readers, wait for book(s)...If you have time visit her website and dress the Victorian Paper Doll. (As a matter of fact, I do daily...visit her website(s.)

    DeeDee ;-D

    Gail Carriger's "Soulless"

  3. Casey (The Bookish Type) says:
    October 17, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Wow! This novel sounds awesome! It combines pretty much all of my favorite things! I will definitely have to check it out - thank you for the great review!

  4. Chrystal says:
    October 18, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. And thank you for the birthday wishes! :) I love arranging my books by colour... it makes me happy. And funny how you can pick out books by their spine that way eh?

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