Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger


I was tempted to write a two-word review to register my displeasure (and that review would have been “Werewolf. Handjob.”) but I thought it was only right that I should try to clear up others’ misconceptions about this book.

Soulless, by Gail Carriger, is marketed as a steampunk fantasy/horror novel. “Cool,” says I. “I enjoy a good fantasy/horror and the heroine sounds spunky and delightful.” It delivered on some of those things, and overdelivered on others…like the paranormal romance aspect. As in, this is a paranormal romance book and should probably be marketed as such.

In terms of the storyline: Alexia is a young Victorian lady with a few problems: she’s curvy, she’s half-Italian, she’s still unmarried, and she’s “soulless,” which makes her a medical curiosity and a neutralizer of paranormals like vampires. Newborn vampires start appearing, against the established rules of the vampire hives, and others begin to disappear. It’s up to Alexia and Lord Macoon, a handsome Scottish werewolf, to solve the mystery.

For what it’s worth, it is probably a very nice paranormal romance. I have literally no experience with this genre, so I can’t be definitive, but the pace was zippy enough that I was able to read it in two days. The worldbuilding was unique and thoughtful, and Carriger deserves kudos for putting her own spin on vampires and werewolves.  If you like vampires and werewolves and kicky heroines and Victorian England and romance, you will probably like this. I, unfortunately, am a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad romance hater, and so I came away disappointed.

Should Carriger decide to write a series focused entirely on Lord Akeldama, however, I will become a dedicated fan.

Bookwanderer Rating: Two out of five stars


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