Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 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? (from the back of the book)

Review: This is one of the best books I've read recently. The author cites P.G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens as her inspirations and it certainly shows. The prose is light, funny, full of exquisite vocab and hilarious quips, but the story never degrades into farce. It's a strong story, deep, complex, the characters multi-faceted and unique.
What I enjoyed most about this book was watching Alexia struggle with the same basic emotions most of us do, despite being set in a wild alternate universe. Carriger has a great talent for story telling!

9 of 10

Awards: Compton Crook Award nominee for the best first novel of the year in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, or horror fiction
Locus Award finalist for Best First Novel
Locus placed her on their recommended reading list.
Soulless was one of just ten novels to receive the 2010 Alex Award from the American Library Association as a book written for adults that has a "special appeal" to young adults.
Publishers Weekly placed the book on their "Best Books of 2009" list, one of just five mass-market books to make the cut.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Pages: 384
Date Finished: 6-15-2011

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