Friday, January 15, 2010

HBIC Review Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger posted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews

A Blog with Bite January Adult Selection

Tinas quick synopsis: Soulless is a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy and paranormal goodies galore. Prickly Alexia Tarabotti is unmarriageable, she's also soulless, an oddity and a secret even in a 19th-century London that accepts and integrates werewolf packs, vampire hives and ghosts. Lord Maccon, an Alpha werewolf and government official, is causing many problems for Alexia…one of them being hot flashes everytime he looks at her……..another being the fact they can’t stand each other....sound familiar, yet another I hate you, NOW kiss me you fool books. After Alexia kills a vampire with her parasol, (which was hilariously funny) she and Maccon must work together to solve a supernatural mystery that grows quite steampunkly (is that a word?) romantic.

The world-building in Soulless was clever and well written in regards to creating steampunk London; the visual detail really put you in this crazy world, though I didn’t connect to the paranormal aspect Carriger tried to create. I loved the British dialog but the mixing of Jane Austin meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t work for me. Perhaps I’m in a foul mood today, because my love going into Soulless dried up after page 100. The dialog to me became verbose and all of Alexia’s funny quirks that I liked in the beginning of the story got on my nerves towards the end of the book.

I did enjoy the love story between Alexia and Maccon, it was like reading about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett only Ninja style with mad skills. The book was very humorous, yet I felt the mixture of plots were competing against each other. It was hard to immerse myself in this environment because the story couldn't decide if it was a love story, a gothic story, a paranormal story, a British humor story or a book all about Alexia's prominent nose. Is there a problem with olive skinned, dark haired women in England or something??????

Every author puts their own spin on concepts of vampires and werewolves, and for the most part she sticks to the basics (like blood and undead) she adds her own flare to things - like how vampires have influenced fashion and I quote, "pale, my dears is very much in"….ugh- vampires with fashion how delightful!! I think I prefer the sparkly ones next to high society vamps. Not all the paranormal aspects were bad, I loved the werewolves in this and Alexia's gifts as a soul sucker kicked major how do I say this...Arse....I'm so not up to date on my British lingo, I've begged my husband to speak in a British accent...its so sexy....he won't do it...shucks.......guess all those Brit actors will have to do it for me.....

The book was a quick read and at points very fun, I like my paranormal edgy so this didn't deliver for me...... Steampunk and British culture fans will have a blast with this one….hard core paranormal junkies- it’s a toss-up.

BWB Rating 2/4,  Paranormal, steampunk, love story

Discussion Questions

1.With the rise in popularity of steampunk trends, do you think the dialog and environment created in Soulless fitting within the paranormal genre? No- the reason being, I couldn't connect the steampunk with the society and the paranormal. Perhaps I like my PR dark and edgy and intense, I thought this was more of a comedy.

2.For better or worse, Soulless throws together a lot of unconventional story elements. What ones worked for you? What ones didn't? Will you be reading the next book in the series, Changeless?
I liked the love story, and the whole society Carriger carried, but I couldnt connect them all to the paranmoral world, it was funny for a few hours then I just lost my interest......I will not read Changeless.

3.The comedic tone of the novel was ever present even when the novel was at it's darkest plot-threads. Do you think this added to the depth of the novel and characters or did it trivialize the plot? For me it was trivialized, and thats why I thought the paranormal threads didn't work, thunking a vampire on the head with a parasol....(funny, but not typical vampire genre)


ParaJunkee said...

Loved your review darlin'! Do you really try and talk your hubby into speaking with a brit accent? LMAO. Ninja style also cracked me up. I loved the book, but I'm not a stickler for trivialities...and of course I felt like I got a vocab lesson with this one. Any book that can expand my vocabulary and entertain. I really like it that we have such different tastes, make this reviewing thing so much more interesting. If we all wrote the same thing no one would read this crap right??? LOL ♥ Parajunkee