Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Released: October 1, 2009
Format: e-book
Publisher: Orbin/YenView post

Gail Carriger‘s Soulless is my first foray into the world of steampunk. My friend House has been encouraging me to try the subgenre out and so I figured Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series would be a good place to start since it combines steampunk with urban fantasy and is styled as a comedy of manners. This, of course, results in awesomeness.

The protagonist in the series is Alexia Tarabotti, a rare supernatural being known as a preternatural, because she has no soul. (Vampires, ghosts and werewolves are mainstreaming in the series, but preternaturals are still something of a secret.) She’s a spinster with Italian heritage resulting in *gasp* olive skin and a strong nose, and she’s also quite outspoken, so she’s definitely not your typical Victorian young lady. She accidentally dispatches a vampire who attacks her at a ball, and then the fun in Soulless ensues, complete with romantic complications in the shape of Lord Maccon, the werewolf alpha.

This book is really well written. It reminds me a bit of Jane Austen since Carriger has some of the same sensibilities and mannerisms (though writing in a different period). Her writing suits the period to a T and she’s got a great cast of characters. My favourites are Floote (the butler), Professor Lyall (the werewolf beta) and Ivy (Alexia’s best friend) for her ridiculous hats. I’m going to purchase the second book in the series Changeless just as soon as payday rolls around.

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4 responses to “Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger”

  1. horseideology says :

    While I also enjoyed this book, I actually think the publisher is doing a disservice by promoting it as Steampunk. If anything it is Steampunk-lite, and apparently the worst reviews she has received over at Amazon have been steampunk fans who feel a bit betrayed (which wouldn’t have happened if the book had been promoted better IMO).

    I’ve written a review too and see some of the similarities between Austen but also the Gothic and Regency romance genres.
    http://sffbookworm.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/soulless-gail%c2%a0carriger/

  2. jenn says :

    I think you’re right about the way the book has been promoted. I liked it because I read a lot of urban fantasy and think it’s a great bridge into the steampunk genre but I can see why steampunk aficionados might be disappointed. That being said, the blurb on the book does mention vampires and werewolves so I don’t think they could have been entirely surprised.

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