Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless {The Parasol Protectorate #1}
Author: Gail Carriger
Publish Date: October 1, 2009 by Orbit
Pages: 357, paperback
Reason for reading: For fun =)

This book has earned a place in my favorites! I loved everything about it. Gail Carriger truly captured the essence of Victorian London while managing to be interesting, clever, inventive, and downright hysterical! Imagine a vampire wearing a cravat while speaking with a lisp - brilliant I tell you! This book combines my love of historical and paranormal literature and it was done seamlessly.

Alexia is impossible to dislike! She is everything that an English miss should be as far as decorum and standards go, but she is also intelligent, sarcastic, confident, fearless and wields a deadly parasol & set of hair pins {a girl after my own heart}. She also happens to be soulless. She is what is known as a "preternatural". She has the ability to nullify supernatural abilities upon physical contact. For example, if a vampire touches her, bye-bye fangs! Yet despite all her positive and supernatural attributes, she lacks the self-confidence to believe that an Earl would be interested in her. This makes perfect sense given the manner in which her family treats her.

Most of the other characters, including her love interest, are equally likable even when they're not trying to be. Lord Maccon comes across as a bit abrasive, but then again - you'd be cranky too if once a month you turned into a man-eating machine. {Which in fact, most of us ladies do so we can probably empathize! lol} He is a "catch of the first water" but is also unpolished and rough around the edges which makes him that much more fun to read. I loved him and his interaction with Alexia.

In fact, I thought that Alexia and Lord Maccon were a perfect match. An alpha female for an alpha male. They would bicker and irritate each other, but that's part of the attraction & passion between them. The fact that one could keep up with the other on an emotional level. Keep in mind that this is not a romance novel so the smut is kept to a minimum {damn!}. However, I love all the juicy little bits between Alexia & Maccon. In addition, you have the whole "I can't keep my hands off of you, but this is highly improper and we'll probably get caught - but that feels good so don't stop" element which was fantastic!

Now onto the supernatural elements of the story. Vampires and werewolves are the main beasties in the story. The concept is that vamps and weres have been inducted into society {think Sookie Stackhouse, but Victorian & British}. However, being of the inhuman kind, they have to follow a certain protocol set by the BUR-Bureau of Unnatural Registry. They are highly socially and politically organized and the ever-talented Ms. Carriger did a phenomenal job explaining the dynamics of the vamps and weres respectively. If vamps and weres did exist, they'd have to fill out paperwork too - just like the rest of us so this concept seemed very logical to me.

Finally, this book sticks as closely to the Victorian vernacular as possible without getting confusing or tiresome. As a fan of Jane Austen, I understand how daunting reading her novels can be. Many historical authors try to capture the language with their own books and frankly, some are better at it than others. Gail did a superb job of it!

I have read an overabundance of historical and paranormal romances lately. Most of them are dramatic, dark or intense or all of the above. It was truly refreshing to read something that as creative & humorous as Soulless and I cannot wait to start Changeless! I might just have a new auto-buy author =)


  1. Great review! I think what I appreciated most about this book was the humor. It was just laced in to the story, and helped along by doses of the absurd. A lot of fun, this one. I have the second in the series sitting on my shelf...must get to it!

  2. This sounds so good! I want to read it bad. Please share.

    Thanks and love ya.

  3. Definitely in my favorite books list! Glad you loved it as much as I did. =D

  4. Good review! this book has been "on the radar" for a while. I love the idea of juxtaposing the prim-&-proper Victorian with the "blood-lusting" vampire...with humor to boot. What's not to love? ....oh, and I'm Following this blog...too good to let slip past

    thank you,

  5. I really enjoyed this one, so much that I had to have Changeless, which I loved too :)

  6. I am still yet to read this one, but your review has definitely intrigued me a lot!

  7. @Aths: I LOVED this book!! I just finished the sequel and it was equally brilliant. The only problem is now I have to wait until Sept for book 3 *grr*

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historicals & paranormals with saucy, strong characters.



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