Monday, November 9, 2009

My Take On Soulless by Gail Carriger

First off, this is not technically a YA book. I've seen it circulating the YA blogosphere quite a lot, I even won my autographed copy from one, so I was a little surprised to find out it was in fact an adult book. There are a few scenes that more delicate readers1 will have to skim over, so I'm gonna rate this book a strong PG13 for graphic adult situations2. Aside from the occasionaly "scene" this book read very much like a YA book. It was fast paced with excellent characters, just the right amount of mystery, and hilarious dialogue. It's an excellent crossover book for adults looking to get into YA or vise versa.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 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 is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

As for the book, it was fabulous! I couldn't get enough of Miss Alexia Tarrabotti and her everpresent parasol3! The setting was a lot different from what I usually read, but it was a great change of pace. The characters were vibrant and loveable, I especially loved reading about her flambouyant friend Lord Akeldama. I was always waiting to see what he'd wear next, and I was never dissapointed. Carriger was never sparse with her descriptions of the characters, the world, or the political workings thereof. The story was never slow or bogged down by details, though.
The character interaction was the high point for me. I especially loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's bickering and Alexia's relationship with her best friend, Miss Hisselpenny. They had this snide little thing where Alexia would insult Miss Hisselpenny's taste in headwear and Miss Hisselpenny would then criticise Alexia on her accademic pursuits. It was hilarious!
This book was a riotous introduction into the colorful, magical world of Miss Tarrabotti. It had me laughing out loud in innapropiate locals, but I've never been shy about that sorta thing, so I'd just say, "I'm sorry, but this is a really funny book! You'll have to excuse my laughter because it simply cannot be helped!"

I give Soulless...
Four zombies! This novel of vampires, werewolves, parasols, and steampunk (which is best read with tea4), is high up on my list of recommended reads5, and I eagerly await the release of the second volume in the Parasol Pretectorate Series, Changeless, in May.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

1 Such as myself. As I've stated before, I don't like smut in my reads, so when I encounter them I skim over them.
2 Keep in mind, however, that my idea of what's what might be a little more conservative than a-ver-age bear.
3 If you're in the market for more parasol shinanigans, read the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. It's got a slower pace, but the characters are fairly similar. The main premise is that Peabody is a witty and highly intelligent woman archeologist in a non-steampunk Victorian England, though the story takes place in Egypt. Her and her hot Archealogist husband solve mysteries and fight against grave robbers and such. They're very good. But I digress...
4. That's what Miss Carriger wrote on the inside flap. It was very cool of her. ^-^
5. A totally true claim. I'm lending it to my sisters and I've been dropping strong hints to my aunt that she would enjoy this series very much. So yeah, it's for everyone (over a certain age6).
6. It's my personal opinion that that age is 17.
***I am not recieving compensation for this review. All opinions expressed above are those of the author of this blog alone. Individual results may vary.***



Great review..I didn't even realize it was an Adult's sitting in my TBR pile, I'll read it eventually! :)

Taschima Cullen said...

Oh Oh Oh I bought this one this week!!! Can't wait to read it *.*

Jessica W. (Book Bound) said...

Thanks for the great review! It sounds like a very fun book. : D

Jessica W. - Book Bound

Moony said...

I've never heard of this book, but thanks to your great review my interest is piqued and I'll have to add this to my list of books to check out in the future. :)

pirate penguin said...

I admit that I didn't pay much attention to this book because the cover didn't really grab my attention... but you gave it such an awesome review that I will have to look into it! :)

loreleimarsh said...

A. I am glad to hear that you liked this, it's in my TBR pile and I've been antsy about it.
B. I love your rating system.
C. I love your footnotes!!

That is all.

Zombie Girrrl said...

@ Loreleimarsh: I'm glad I could shed light on a good book, and thank you!

That is all.

miss cindy :) said...

Oh, this sounds like my kind of book! Thanks for sharing, can't wait to read it :)

Dahlia said...

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Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I thought it way YA too. Thanks. This was a great review! I like the footnotes too!

hmsgofita said...

I was looking for this book in the teen section but was told it hangs out in the scifi fantasy section for adults! I really, really want to read it now!

boatbuilding said...

I'm a liverpool fan, and unfortanatly, the rest don't seem to be doing all that much at the moment, apart from getting paid copious amounts of cash, just for turning up to make up the numbers.

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