Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: 'Soulless' by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger, 2009, Orbit, $7.99, softbound, 373 pages. Category/Genre: steampunk. Cover: good, but why is her back broken? We like the fog . . . Where we got it: bought it. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

We like this one, partly because it's a mishmash of steampunk and the supernatural, partly because it's well told and has excellent characters, and partly because of the humour. 

Alexia Tarabotti has a number of problems: she's a 25-year-old spinster (and half Italian, at that), she enjoys science far too much for a lady, and she's soulless. 

Being soulless means Alexia is a preternatural: able to nullify the supernatural with a touch. When she touches a werewolf or vampire, he becomes, for that moment, human again.

Alexia also has the irritating problem of a vampire trying to feed on her whilst she's enjoying a nice tea in the library. She ends up having to kill the vampire, which brings in the Bureau of Unnatural Registry and a burr under her saddle, Lord Conall Maccon, alpha werewolf and the fourth Earl of Woolsey. 

But Alexia soon has more to worry about than trading barbs with Maccon and wondering what sort of contraption his beta, Professor Randolph Lyall, is wearing on his face. Someone is causing lone werewolves to disappear and rove vampires to appear; and someone is after Alexia herself. 

Not only that, but Lord Maccon chooses now to kiss her. 

Note: mild language and graphic sexual situations. 

If you like this one, try: Soulless: The Manga by Gail Carriger; Changeless by Gail Carriger; Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger; and Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.   

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