Kinx's Book Nook: Review: Soulless

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Published by Orbit Books
Released in October 2009
357 pages


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 is 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 really enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Soulless is my first foray into the steampunk genre and I've decided it’s not my favorite. I’ll start by saying that this book has been on my TBR list for a long time and I was really excited to read it. However, I was bit disappointed in it and when I was finished I had too many questions that went unanswered.

This book centers on Alexia Tarabotti who happens to be “soulless.” My first big question is what does it mean to be soulless; besides negating supernatural powers? I found it really confusing. The book doesn't touch on any spiritual implications of being soulless, only supernatural ones. There has to more to being soulless than just being the opposite of supernatural. I would have liked a little more depth into that aspect of the book.

I found Alexia to be a little difficult as times. One moment she is opinionated, strong-willed and stubborn and then she quickly turns into prim lady who hides behind etiquette and form. I didn't like that paradox in her character. I understand that it is Victorian England and certain etiquette must be maintained, but Alexia’s quick personality changes made her very inconsistent and difficult to appreciate.

However, I did enjoy the relationship between Alexia and Lord Maccon. Their constant bickering and sexual tension were very entertaining. Both characters are considered different in London society. While Alexia is somewhat considered out of favor, Lord Maccon must be tolerated and accepted due to his position and title, even though is from the wild lands of Scotland. Together they make the perfect couple who operate outside high society expectations.

Another appreciation I have for this book is that it can stand alone. There’s no cliffhanger that would want you to immediately read the second book. It had a nice ending that left you satisfied if you decided not read the other books in the series.


  1. This was also my 'gateway' book into the steampunk genre but I actually loved it and have since read the whole series. It's now one of my all time favorite series :) From there I've now dived into other steampunk series and it's definitely a genre you'll either love or hate lol. If you want to give steampunk another chance I'd recommend reading Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine. It's a bit more mild then the Parasol Protectorate series, but still loads of fun :)


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