Saturday, August 9, 2014
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Synopsis from publisher -
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?
My thoughts -
One of my favorite things is when a book that seems to be loved by readers I respect lives up to the hype. This was definitely one of those novels, and I had so much fun reading it. Alexia is a fantastic heroine - smart, quick-witted, and strong, she's not a Victorian lady to be taken lightly. I found her internal struggles with self-esteem to be quite honest, and I appreciated the way she didn't take herself too seriously, but also never dismissed her own abilities. Carriger's cast of characters was SO entertaining - I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite, but Lord Akeldama certainly tops the list.
This book was a true joy to read - Carriger clearly loves language, and plays with it to great effect. Her writing is witty and sharp, and had me laughing many times. As an example -
“The vampire's eyes were open, and he was staring at her intently. It was as though he were trying to speak to her with simply the power of a glare.
Alexia did not speak glare-ish.”
Moments like this were found throughout the book, making it easy to turn the pages. There were a few times that I thought the author might have played a bit loose with Victorian convention, but I suppose when you create and England that has accepted vampires and werewolves, you have a bit of license to change up the rules. This was one of the most fun novels I've read this year, and I'm looking forward to more adventures with Alexia.
Finished - 8/8/14
MPAA Rating - R for adult situations and fantasy violence
My rating - 4.5/5