Friday, June 17, 2011

{Review} Soulless by Gail Carriger

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as "a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking." At the center of Soulless's "parasol protectorate" is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.
Title : Soulless {The Parasol Protectorate, book 1}
Author : Gail Carriger
Publication : 1st October 2011
Publisher : Orbit
357 pages

Soulless is the first book of The Parasol Protectorate serie. There will be 5 books in this serie.

My review

As I'm French, deciding to read this book in English was perhaps not my best idea this week. Indeed, the level is quite high and the expressions are sometimes a bit old-fashioned. It's voluntary and fully consistent with the style but even if I understood it quite well I read this novel a lot slower than the other books I usually read in English. However, despite my slowness, Soulless was an awesome read.

I utterly loved the ambiance and the atmosphere which reminded me of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. The world developed by Gail Carriger looks really vivid and alive, it was so easy for me to dive in it. I think that Victorian London is really a great place to set paranormal books. In general this kind of atmospheres is always very pleasant.

The characters are really interesting and they charmed me. Alexia is typically the kind of characters that I love. She is intelligent sarcastic, snarky and fierce. Lord Maccon, gosh, I'm sure every woman will love him, starting with me. There is an awesome chemistry between the two of them and their dialogues are really witty. It was such a pleasure to watch them interact as they are both strong willed characters.

The secondary characters are also full of surprises and they are all important for the story, whether it's Lord Akeldama, Professor Lyall or my favorite secondary character : Floote, the butler. The it-must-be-said smoochy, and sometimes sexy, scenes are really well described and often very funny.

Soulless is also a very pristine novel. Indeed, the existence of supernatural creatures is not at all explained by magic or witchcraft. On the contrary everything is explained thanks to sciences and I really loved this aspect of the story. I saw a lot of people who got bored by this but I found it really enjoyable : scientists trying to find explanations, making crazy experiments. I studied sciences so that may explain why I liked it.

The plot is fast-paced, especially in the second half of the book. The last third kept me hooked and spellbound all along. The writing is really pleasant even if you need some time to get used to it. There're a few repetitions and it's sometimes a bit predictable but the storytelling is compelling.

To sum up, I really loved Soulless. It's a brilliant novel with a lot of humor and interesting characters. The ending is really satisfying, in fact you could read it as a stand-alone novel, as nearly all the threads are resolved. However I will definitively read the next one Changeless, without a doubt. I don't know if I will be brave enough to read it in English, as it was a long though totally delightful read, or if I will be patient and wait for the French translation but I will certainly read it.

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  1. J'ai adoré ce livre et surtout le lire en anglais ! J'ai aimé les personnages et surtout Miss Tarabotti ! Je lirai la suite en anglais également ! Désolée si mon commentaire n'est pas en anglais (flemme ! :))

  2. Pas de problème Frankie :D C'est déjà très gentil à toi d'être passée ici. Merci beaucoup pour ton commentaire :D Oui j'adore Miss Tarabotti, bon et Lord Maccon aussi lool :) Vraiment c'est une vraie découverte et un coup de coeur.

  3. It seems to me that the french traduction is for the end of the year so, maybe, you can wait a little (^-^)
    Congratulations for this blog Lilie, it's beautiful and you're really good in english ^^

  4. Thank you Wilhelmina for your comment and this piece of news. And really thanks a lot for the blog :) It's touching me because it's a lot of work!


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