Author: Gail Carriger
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
I have recently talked about this book in my Pastry Book Tag. It is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. It is a historical fiction/urban fantasy with steampunk elements in it. So, why do I love it?
Well, for one thing, there are werewolves and vampires in it. Also, the female protagonist is soulless but in a good way. Now, you might wonder, how can someone be soulless in a good way? The answer is simple, and it is what makes this book so different from anything else I’ve read in the past.By saying that Alexia is ‘soulless in a good way’, I mean that she retains her humanity. Her soullessness doesn’t make her evil. On the contrary, though Alexia tends to be more pragmatic and less sentimental, she’s still innocent and fresh and vulnerable.
On the other hand, Lord Maccon is an Alpha werewolf. His sentiments are very close to the surface. This is another thing that makes this book very different than the rest. Usually, people expect women to be sentimental and moody in comparison with men, who are expected to be more clear-headed and pragmatic. The fact that the two protagonists’ characters deviate so much from what the reader is expecting to see, is one of the things that distinguishes this series from others in this genre.
Moving on from the characters, let’s talk a bit about the plot. What I love about this book is that the action starts from the very first page. In the first paragraph, the author had already captured my interest and, by the end of the page, I had already decided that I was not going to sleep before finishing the book. As a plot, it is not very complex, it doesn’t have many twists and turns. However, it doesn’t get boring. I have re-read this book three times by now (and I first read it this spring!). Usually, when I’m re-reading books I skip parts that I don’t like as much or that I don’t find very interesting, in order to get to the parts that I love. I have never done that, with this book. I have never skipped a single word. The author knows how to capture her readers’ interest and after that she keeps them focused on the book and turning one page after the other.
Although I was able to predict the ending quite accurately, I wouldn’t accuse the author of writing a book with a predictable ending. I believe it is my personal flaw when it comes to endings and plot twists that they rarely surprise me ( and oftentimes when they do, it’s for no good reason). I’m afraid that I have, from a very young age, developed the uncanny ability to predict almost every plot twist and book ending of the books I’ve read with great precision. Thankfully, this doesn’t take the pleasure out of reading for me.
Finally, what I loved the most in this story was the writing. I loooved Gail Carriger’s writing. It’s the kind of witty, slightly humorous writing that keeps a small smile on your lips throughout the entire story. It makes the book very easy and fun to read.
All in all, this is a unique story with an original concept. I believe that anyone who likes reading books with paranormal and/or steampunk elements in them would very much enjoy it.
Have you read Soulless? If not, would like to read it? Have you ever read any of Gail Carriger’s other books? If you have, what did you think of them and which one would you suggest I read next? Have you read a similar book to this one that you think I should add to my tbr-list? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
And if you wish to buy Soulless, you can find it in the Book Depository website.