Friday, February 26, 2010

Review by Shellie: Soulless by Gail Carriger


Genre: Urban Fantasy; Steam Punk; Alternative Reality… and more

Set Up:

In an alternative Victorian London within a steam punk setting, this story depicts a society which is very much like it would have been 130 years ago – excluding the steam punk of course. The only difference is that it includes Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghosts as an accepted part of society.

The main character, Alexia, is special. She is a preternatural, which actually means she is soulless. This has special circumstances for all the supernatural beings in the story. Besides that, she is a spinster, curvy, feisty, and intellectual. All being characteristics which have not been looked upon as positive for a woman living during this time period.

The story includes a set of supernatural characters including a hunky Alpha werewolf, a swishy male vampire with an 18th century fashion sense, and a delicate friend with a love for bad hats. They are all mixed up within a mystery where some intense romance ensues, combined with an amazing mishmash of sub genres –  mixing urban fantasy, steam punk, and alternative reality.

 My Thoughts:

Amazingly this was my first steam punk novel, and second urban fantasy. What a great fun read. It made me laugh out loud, giggle, and blush. It has some very interesting yet tasteful romantic interludes, as well as a few evil and funny entanglements. I love feisty women with parasols.

The language is intelligent and felt just enough like the period in which it was set, but understandable for a modern reader. It is also wryly funny, and Alexia is determined to go against the societal norm for women. Which makes her a wonderful and strong female character. My favorite.

Highly recommended for an intellectual, humorous, and fun read. I give Soulless - 4 stars. I am looking forward to the next book in her series which is called Changeless, and then Blameless.

Other reviews of Soulless:


Author Bio:


Ms. Carriger began writing in order to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a harem of Armenian lovers, where she insists on tea imported directly from London and cats that pee into toilets. She is fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit. Soulless is her first book.

Contact Gail at Goodreads,Twitter, her Blog.

If you enjoy upbeat tweets and funny posts with a slight Victorian and steampunk fashion bent – she is one to follow.


This book is appropriate for several challenges linked to the badges below:

21757   unboundrosie

boybutton Speculatice Fiction Challenge 34023982391_7a3d1b0979_o 



This book was borrowed from my favorite place to find books – the local library.

Amazon purchasing information US/UK/Canada The Book Depository Euro/AUD

Links for your reviews are all welcome! Thanks for reading Layers of Thought.


Misty said...

Great review; I agree completely. And thanks for the mention, sugar. =D

Unknown said...

Misty -
Thanks - we totally agreed on this book it was a well needed fun one for me.

You bet - You do some fantastic reviews!

Anonymous said...

This has been on my 'to read' list for a while; I keep getting sidetracked from it. While I'm not certain I'd enjoy alternate reality/steampunk, the author's style does seem to be amazingly witty and funny. Thanks for reviewing this one, Shellie -- I'll make an effor to read this next!

Unknown said...

Nicole -
I think you will like it. It is so different from RELEASE. Its funny instead of scary.

They did an amazing job marketing this book.

And don't let the steam punk thing deter you it doesn't play a huge amount in the story. It does look to be a big interest right now - I also have a feeling it may get bigger. I think two author's on the Nebula ballot have steam punk works there.

Whats really great about this particular book is that is available at libraries now... so no need to purchase it. Although copies of it are going for very cheap on Amazon.

You can connect with Gail on Goodreads she's in my friend list. :)

DCMetroreader said...

I've never heard the term "steam punk" before so I;m going to have to look it up.

I have an award for you here

Have a terrific weekend!

Unknown said...

Thanks Kim!

Ill be right over to pick this one up... :)

Yes steam punk is an unusual sub genre generated from Victorian books like Frankenstein, and a few of Jules Verne's works.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed the book and I'm familiar with steam punk, but I'm wondering when the obsession with vampires and werewolves is going to end.

Unknown said...

Charlie -

I don't think with everyone it will... as for me.. very shortly. :)

Donna said...

I really must move this one up on my TBR, you've made it sound like such a fun trip in book. Very nice review, thanks!

Unknown said...

Donna -
It was a nicely needed break.
I hope you like it as much as I did.

I will be looking out for your thoughts, since your the "guru of UF". :)

ediFanoB said...

normally I don't read urban fantasy but Soulless took my heart by storm. I read this sassy, steamy, smart book within two days and can't wait to read CHANGELESS and BLAMELESS.

Your review hit the bull's eye!

Unknown said...

ediFanoB -
Thanks! Me too on all accounts.

My husband wanted to know why I was cracking up for the few days it took me to read.

Carriger is definitely a very smart, creative writer, and Orbit did a brilliant job marketing it.

I noted you rated it 5. I've been second guessing my 4 stars...

Have a great Sunday! :)

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