Monday, February 6, 2012


Soulless by Gail Carriger
Orbit, 2009
357 pages
Romance; Paranormal; Historical; Steampunk
4/5 stars

Source: Present from my parents.

I've been wanting to read this for a while after seeing many enthusiastic review but I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I picked it up. Was it steampunk? Paranormal? A romance? Kind of all of those but most especially the last two with the steampunk elements appearing but not being very developed in my opinion. Of course, this is a series so there's lots of potential for more to come.

The main character is Alexia, an Italian looking spinster who just happens to be soulless. This means that whenever she touches one of the paranormal creatures such as a vampire or werewolf, they are transformed into a harmless human. Such creatures are acknowledged by the rest of human society and are governed by their own strict rules. Until they are not, as new creations appear without being brought up in their society rules and others mysteriously disappear. Most baffling!  Of course Alexia is drawn in to this through her unique power but also due to her forthrightness and curiosity; no one can keep her away.

Not even the alpha wolf of her parts, Lord Maccon. Their relationship is full of back and forth, reminiscent as pointed out by the Book Smugglers of Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson to their disappointment but my delight. It seemed familiar and utterly charmed me but I couldn't figure out why.  This is the reason why I ultimately felt that the romance part of the book was the main plot despite the many subgenres poking their way in.  I am hopeful that when I read the second book, I will be just as enthralled with their dynamic.

As for the rest of the story, I actually found it a bit confusing, attempting to decipher how Carriger governs her supernatural creatures as well as trying to uncover the mystery. I did figure out a few tiny things but not nearly enough. Oh well, at least I greatly enjoyed the journey!

For additional fun, check out this dress up doll and a video of how the cover for the third book Blameless came to be created-I interacted with these even before reading and it was so much fun! These are some great marketing tools. I highly recommend you check these out even if you have no interest in the book itself.


  1. Great review I have been intrigued by these books for a while now, but never actually sure if I would like them. After your review I think I might!!

  2. I loved Soulless and agree with you that it is more of a romance than anything else. It has been awhile since I read them but I think the rest of the series focuses more on the mystery and supernatural elements.

  3. Ooo! I loved this book, so I'm really glad you enjoyed it overall. :) Thanks for the link to that video, too, I'm going to have to check it out when my browser isn't all wonky.


    Author Nova Ren Suma shares her favorite romantic book scene at The Midnight Garden!

  4. Oh my gosh, a mixture of steampunk, paranormal, and romance with a little bit of mystery all add up to make the perfect book for me! Those are all some of my favourite genres!! :) And the whole idea of being able to touch supernatural creatures and turn them into humans is such a creative and original idea -- I love it!

    Awesome review, B!! I'm definitely intrigued to pick this one up now -- despite the confusing parts, it sounds like a really great book! :)

  5. I've been meaning to read this series for a while. Might have to set aside some time to read it!

  6. It's funny that your mention of Amelia Peabody made me curious enough to look up that series(and your reviews). Now I think I HAVE to read that series! :)


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