I keep wanting to spell Gail C A R R I G E R with an N, as C A R R I N G E R. Evidently I'm not the only one. At my ARRT Romance Genre study meeting today the discussion leader spelled it with an N as well. I did not correct her; I had one of those momentary memory lapses and couldn't convince myself which way was correct. Anyway. This book is a mixing of my last two reviews, one paranormal romance and the other steampunk. In fact I think this book crosses every genre and has something for everyone. I think it should be required reading or something. Also, hot cover appeal. I enjoyed judging this book by its cover and not being disappointed at all.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This book is everything one could want in a Victorian steampunk paranormal Romance. Oddly enough--you won't realize until you read it--you'll love a book encompassing all these genres with the added benefit of a funny/sassy female hero w/out a soul (not as much of a hinderance or moral indicator as you might think) and a surly powerful shapeshifting Duke. The Duke and Alexia dance around their attraction with some verbal sparring that will make your head turn round.
Also, I love that this book is most certainly steampunk but the word "airship" was not bandied about like it was going out of style. For some reason it seems most steampunk books feel like they have to through those airships in right away and keep throwing them in so we remember that this is a steampunk book! No, the world building is much too sophisticated and wonderful.
The plot is sufficiently complicated and twisty, the society suffocating and dry (except Alexia's best friend who is also a girl and who she talks to about Things Other Than Boys--thus this book passes the Bechdel test!) The world building (as I mentioned)is fantastic, the suspense is tightly strung, the paranormal bits are seamlessly woven into the story and the Victorian age.
My only star-stealing gripe: for all her awesomeness Alexia can't take a compliment about her appearance. There is a reason behind this glaring fault, but it does grow thin after awhile. You know that girl who always self-depricates when you try to compliment her and you just want to shake that girl and tell her to say thank you and shut up? Sigh, that's Alexia. Also, her family is just so atrocious. They remind me of the Featheringtons in Julia Quinn's Bridgertons' series, but so much worse. Mostly I just think the compliment thing was overused a bit before resolution, is all. A bit Mary Sue-ish, if you will. Otherwise, Soulless is a very promising beginning to a unique series.
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