Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate series


Alexia Tarabotti is soulless, which means (among other things) that when she is touching vampires and werewolves, they turn mortal. On top of being soulless, she is also a spinster (at 26) and now she’s suspected of being involved in the disappearance of different supernaturals. Together with friends such as Ivy Hisselpenny (who wears crazy hats), Lord Maccon (a handsome werewolf), and Lord Akeldama (flamboyantly gay vampire), hopefully she can get to the bottom of it.

What I Liked

  • I love this world! It takes place in Victorian steampunk England – with vampires and werewolves. The society is fascinating but also logical. There are governmental branches for the supernatural (vampire, werewolf, and ghost) and well as the preternatural (soulless, what the main character is). Vampires have pushed themselves into high society – where fashion and the arts reign. They function as hives – a queen and many drones. Werewolves have an Alpha, a Beta, a Gamma, etc. but are structured in a much brasher way.
  • I love the characters. Recently I’ve really appreciated authentic characters. I’ve read too many books where the author claims something of a character, but never shows us that side of the character. Gail Carriger does not do that. Her characters are unique and unpredictable – but their actions always match their personality.
  • I love the visual images provided. Her stories are so visual without being overly descriptive. This would be a great book to make into a movie.
  • It was a romance novel. I didn’t expect this to be a romance novel, and it falls pretty solidly under fantasy otherwise. But it also had the pretty standard romance plot, which I found I enjoyed.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The pacing was a little bit off. The action came in spurts. I’ll forgive it though, since the next books are better (!) and the world is so fantastic.
  • (Spoiler in white, highlight to read.) The ending got really grizzly. It reminded me a lot of Angelfall and its ending as well.

In Conclusion

If you like the idea of a Victorian steampunk fantasy with vampires and werewolves, this is the book for you!

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

1 year ago: Book Review: World After by Susan Ee


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