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Spotlight on Steampunk: Soulless

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For Spotlight on Steampunk today, I have an awesome book that I’ve been waiting ages to get my hands on a copy of. I’m really glad to say that I enjoyed it- and the manga adaption! The manga will be part of a mini-reviews post tomorrow- so watch out for that soon (:

By Gail Carriger, published by Atom.

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Goodreads Synopsis: First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

My Review: I’ve heard so much about this book, so I had a little squealy fangirly moment when I found it in a charity store while I was shopping ;D It was one of the main books that made me decide to do a steampunk read-a-thon. I started it yesterday and, like a lot of the steampunk books I’ve read so far, it had me completely absorbed into the story!

The world, was just… ‘awesome,’ seems to sum it up the best, to me. It’s the same world (but different location-ish) to Gail Carriger’s new YA Etiquette and Espionage series: Meaning the Victorian society, with a twist. Vampires and Werewolves are accepted in society. Airships roam the skies. A brilliant steampunk vision! Gail’s writing is amazing. It brings the story and the setting to life really vividly. I could imagine everything so well!

Gail is really talented at weaving humor into a pretty grim plot, too. She’s conveyed some hilarious witty dialogue into what is actually, come to think of it, a pretty terrifying plot. I have no idea how it was possible, but Carriger has blended a grim, creepy plot about evil-seeming scientific schemes, a romance story, and loads of scenes that will make you laugh out loud, into one book. Genius writing, from a genius author!

The plot was great. It took me a little while to get used to the writing, because it’s a different style to a lot of books that I normally read, but after that, I really got stuck in to the story. The plot has a bit of everything thrown in; romance, action, horror, humor- you name it, pretty much! Everything was structured well and the events played out brilliantly. At no point was I bored: which was great. I think the events in the epilogue seemed a little too hasty, though! I was expecting for something (Trying VERY hard not to drop any spoilers here! Don’t worry, I won’t say anything by accident ;)) to take a lot longer to develop. And it seemed a little rushed to me: I wanted more conflict between the two characters, so there were more complications… and hopefully for the events of the epilogue to happen in the second book, at least… Okay, enough crypticness! I’ll stop babbling on about this now! D:

I loved Alexia. In Victorian times, from what I’ve learned and what I’ve read, girls never got to do anything, and everything was sexist and Alexia is just the opposite of every Victorian female stereotype. It’s hard not to fall in love with her. Inside, she’s conflicted with her Italian background and her Soullessness. And secretly, she has a tendency to be pretty violent, as revealed in the first chapter, where she used her parasol to fight off a vampire. She’s such a powerful-and witty- heroine! The love interest… I have very mixed feelings about. He has a really well developed personality and background, as a Werewolf… but I couldn’t like him as much as I wanted to. Of course, he was an awesome love interest- especially in a particular action-packed scene near the end of the book- but I don’t know why I couldn’t really connect with him! He seemed quite cold at points.

Overall, Soulless was a really great book. It was definitely worth the wait for, as I enjoyed reading it so much. The main protagonist was such a kick-butt, awesome character, and the plot really well developed, too. I loved delving into Gail’s steampunk vision of the Victorian era again after loving the concepts in Etiquette and Espionage… I’m definitely going to carry on with this series! The epilogue I really didn’t like: too fast!! however, everything was written beautifully, and that made up for it. Keep writing such engrossing stories, Gail! (:

My Rating:

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I purchased a copy of Soulless from a second hand bookstore.

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