17 January 2013

Review: Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soulless has been recommended to me more often than most books over the last year, and the concept of a Victorian soulless vampire hunting comedy of manners (of a sort) scratches many, many itches for me. Even better? It mostly succeeds.

The story is quick and painless - Alexia kills a vampire in self-defense, and her soulless nature causes a bit of a controversy among the social circles in play in London at the time. She's called upon to investigate, meets werewolves, and so on. It's a lean, simple story that works, it's a fun read, and it balances the line between concept and execution perfectly.

With that said, two glaring problems: one, the book constantly jumps between referring to our heroine as "Alexia" and "Miss Tarabotti," which took me forever to get used to. It was incredibly jarring (even if tonally appropriate), and did plenty to suck me out of the narrative. The other is the surprising amount of romance tropes within the book. It's not to say that the elements were bad or poorly done, but for a book that doesn't position itself as a romance novel, and yet dedicates entire chapters to bodice-ripping romantic elements, it was also surprising. I especially wonder how later books in the series will handle that aspect, given the way this book ended.

I really, really enjoyed this, and will be seeking out the next books sooner rather than later. Definitely recommended for anyone looking for some fun to go along with their genre stuff.

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