Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review: "Soulless" by Gail Carriger

It is late 19th century London, and the supernatural world is in turmoil.  It seems that many of the lone vampires and werewolves - those that do not belong to a hive or pack - have gone missing.  Newly (and illegally) created vampires are appearing and attacking.  One such vamp attacked Miss Alexia Tarabotti, not realizing that she was preternatural - or soulless.  But she is determined to fully investigate matters, with the help of her supernatural friends...  but getting so involved just might endanger her life, and possibly her newest gown as well.

This has been on my to read list for some time now, having been highly recommended by friends.  This is great for an over-the-top, exaggerated, and highly sarcastic look at High Society in this time period with a little paranormal and steampunk thrown in.  A lot of it is really very amusing...  and the way Alexia's romantic interest grows is kind of humorous.  Being a bit of a word nerd, I really got a kick out of the expansive vocabulary in use throughout the book.

But the thing is - nothing happens for nearly the first two-thirds of the book!  I was really having trouble sticking with it in the beginning; I kept putting it down, getting sleepy, or just straight-up found something more interesting to do.  The middle was a bit more interesting, but it wasn't until somewhere around page 200 (I read a mass-market paperback version) that I FINALLY became hooked and read it straight through to the end.  It felt like work until that point, and then I started to enjoy it.  So I'm not sure if the people who recommended it to me got into it right from the start, if they are only remembering the ending, or if the series as a whole just gets better from here.  Because I'll tell you, I'm not really feeling it.  It will take some major convincing for me to read on in this series!  Tell me what you think about it...

*****
Soulless
by Gail Carriger
Orbit, 2009
357 pages
Series:  The Parasol Protectorate #1
Source:  Library
*****

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4 comments:

Jean said...

I don't think I made it past page 50. It just didn't grab me at all. I'm impressed that you stuck with it so long!

ChristasBooks said...

It's too bad the beginning is slow. I still really want to read this though, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun

Lady Disdain said...

Yes, I remember feeling that the beginning was kind of slow, too. I enjoyed a lot of the word play like you, and the ironic look into the social etiquette of the time but she did spend a lot of time introducing the characters - sometimes action that occurs simultaneously is helpful during this world-building.

I never did read the second one, though - perhaps it does get better? It reminds me of the Amelia Peabody series, have you read them? They're set in Victorian times, with a snarky female protagonist, except she solves mysteries of ancient Egypt.

jmisgro said...

on my list for 2014...

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