‘Soulless’ by Gail Carriger

Initial Rating: Recommended (How I Rate Books)

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Genres: Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Victorian, humor, Parasol Protectorate

Similar books:

  • None

Previous books by the author/in the series I’ve reviewed:

  • None

Here’s the TL;DR for my review (SPOILERS!):

  • Pros
    • Nice Romance
    • Interesting Urban Fantasy/Steampunk/Victorian setting
    • Fun characters
    • Light book, doesn’t take self seriously
  • Mixed
  • Cons
    • The B-plot arc (aka the non-romance plot arc) was a bit weak

 

This is a romance novel, first and foremost. This is the love story of a Victorian gentlewoman and a Scottish Earl. At the same time this is the love story of a magic-destroying woman and a magical werewolf. At the same time this is the love story of a cultured woman of logic and a police officer. All at the same time.

Alexia Tarabotti is our heroine, a practical-to-a-fault woman of manners and logic who suffers from what she views as two maladies: being born without a soul, and being half-Italian. Lord Maccon  is our hero, a passionate werewolf who’s Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s right hand wolf. Forced together by circumstances, they must solve the case of a rash of inexplicable vampire and werewolf disappearances and appearances. A budding romance develops between them despite the differences in their stations (she’s a half-Italian in racist London, while he’s an Earl)

In this setting only people who are born with an overabundance of soul can become vampires and werewolves, whereas people born with no soul at all can negate all forms of the supernatural. Only soulless Alexia can tame the beast within Lord Maccon.

This book is fun, if light. The frame story was a mystery, with Alexia and Maccon working together to solve it. Quite frankly, I didn’t much like the main plot. The real heart of the story was the romance. Alexia was just a lark to read: she’s serious to the point of being ridiculous, with a wry sense of humor which was just a delight. Maccon was a fairly generic ‘Alpha werewolf’ type. I liked Alexia’s friends Miss Histlepenny and Lord Akuldama, two loopy characters whose flamboyant clothing choices help to hide hidden depths.

Give it whirl if you want. It’s a fun read. It has some sex scenes, all of which are vaguely awkward. This is above all a romance novel. The author has a humorous writing style, which I found to be appealing. This is a light book: it’s short, it’s humorous, and the author goes out of her way to make dire circumstances fun.

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