Caris's Reviews > Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger
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Jun 25, 10

bookshelves: romance, 2010
Recommended to Caris by: rbrs
Read from June 20 to 24, 2010, read count: 1

I hate vampires. I have a strong dislike of werewolves, but I fucking hate vampires. Robert Pattinson, yeah, I think he’s dreamy, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put a stake through his fragile, airbrushed chest. I wouldn’t shed a tear as he muttered those incomprehensible little nothings with his dying breath.

Because vampires are stupid. The whole mythology has been driven into the ground. It’s no longer romantic. Shit, it’s not even interesting. It’s easy. Way, way too easy.

And that’s why Carriger’s effort is so impressive. Somehow, she managed to make both vampires and romance readable. And I think it’s because she didn’t really focus on either. Instead, she opted to craft a clever little plot that forces the story to move.

Don’t get me wrong. At many points, it’s put-your-eyes-out cute. I mean, she writes herself in as the main character, often refers to werewolves as puppies, and includes that atrocious happy ending. But all of this, I think, can be forgiven. She’s writing within the confines of about a million different genres, as other reviewers have pointed out. But I think it’s these genre rules that save her. She can’t really write a traditional romance, because she’s got those werewolves to contend with. And then there are those vampires who have to coexist with that steampunk business. And let us not forget about the sci-fi and the political satire.

My point is, for better or worse, it seems to work. By giving at least a little attention to each of her genres (granted, some receive a lot more than others), she keeps any one from getting stagnant, which, in my opinion, is the biggest problem with genres. All of the romances I’ve read have had this problem. They get too wrapped up in themselves and become completely uninteresting. But this book is never gets to that place.

I am experiencing no small admiration of Carriger’s mind. She is a very clever woman.

Now I’m starting to feel bad. I think I’ve said too many good things. Hmmm.

So she’s got this parasol, right? And it’s really important. It’s ugly, but important. The significance of this accessory is so pronounced that the series is named for it. She uses it to defend herself against a vampire, then to shield herself from the sun for a while. And then she forgets it, but keeps thinking about it, wishing it were near.

I don’t think that parasol means shit.
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Reading Progress

06/22/2010 page 138
39.0% "If it wasn't for the romance, this would be a fine bit of fluff." 59 comments
06/24/2010 page 270
76.0% "Baby, hold me tight so I don't turn into a werewolf." 9 comments

Comments (showing 1-48 of 48) (48 new)

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Megan Ok, I'm new to this group thing. How did you see that this is the next book to read? Should it be in my updates somewhere?


Eh?Eh! I thought the same thing about "Parasol Protectorate"! If it's so vital that the series is named after it, why doesn't it show up more?

Nice review. You explain why you like this romance while still retaining your manliness.


Caris Thanks. But it doesn't come across as self-consciously manly, does it?


Sparrow I know. I was actually super disappointed that the parasol didn't mean shit. It was like when the pirates don't go a' seafaring. Sigh. But it was easier to get past. If they do a movie version, they'd better use the parasol more, though.

You are wrong about vampires. When they cycle around again as monsters-of-the-moment, I'll write some kind of social commentary/vampire romance that will breathe new life into the genre and make you and Ceridwen eat your vampire-hating words.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Vampires are stupid. Fact.


Caris Meredith wrote: "You are wrong about vampires."

Horseshit.


Ceridwen wrote: "Vampires are stupid. Fact."

Word.


Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "Vampires are stupid. Fact."

False.


Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "Vampires are stupid. Fact."

Do you think Heathcliff is stupid? He's my favorite vampire.


message 9: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony "Vampires are stupid. Fact."

True.


Eh?Eh! I love vampires. I don't want to be bitten by one or replace the warm apple pie with a block of ice, ifyouknowwhatimean, but they're an interesting way to explore immortality outside of the confines of religion.


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2010 01:03PM) (new)

o you think Heathcliff is stupid? He's my favorite vampire.

You're right - he's a great vampire. I guess I just hate the paranormal romance stuff where plucky protags sleep with gross walking corpses, because that's wrong. That's something you should see a doctor about. Ewwww.*

Vampires are High Functioning Zombies. I will repeat this line until the end of time, because I believe it.

*This book is not about that, for the record. It's about bestiality.


Caris Ceridwen wrote: "I guess I just hate...where plucky protags sleep with gross walking corpses..."

Goddamnit. Now you're gonna make me switch teams.


message 13: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2010 11:02AM) (new)

Why? Is corpsesecks worse than dogsecks in your book?


Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "Vampires are High Functioning Zombies. I will repeat this line until the end of time, because I believe it."

Undeadist.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Better than being a Deadite.


Sparrow Do all Asian people look alike to you also?


Eh?Eh! They all look alike to me.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Ha! You should start a group called Gross Undead Romantic Leads Are Not Gross. GURLANG. The acronym needs work.


Sparrow Eh! wrote: "They all look alike to me."

Racist.

Ceridwen wrote: "Ha! You should start a group called Gross Undead Romantic Leads Are Not Gross. GURLANG. The acronym needs work."

This is a v. good idea. Stop the injustice! Immortals need gurlfrends, too!


message 20: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2010 01:02PM) (new)

From what I can tell from these kinds of books, the undead are swimming in an ocean of willing poontang. They need no help from me. But, the indefinably special but overlooked young ladies could use a helping hand hooking them up with the right corpse who can really see their inner beauty.


Sparrow MATCHMAKER TO THE IMMORTALS! I've been wanting to find a fall-back career, in case this law thing doesn't work out.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, there is this already.


Sparrow Oh yeah. I forgot about that. awww. So romantic! But, again, where are the vamps? Always so marginalized. So under-appreciated. If only teen girls knew about them, they might finally get the respect they deserve.


message 24: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Careful, ladies. All this bloodletting is going to attract the you-know-whos.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Esteban wrote: "Careful, ladies. All this bloodletting is going to attract the you-know-whos."

What? This book is not about a woman coupling with the undead, so it's okay!

Have I ruined your pleasure of reading forever though, with my light-hearted criticisms of things I enjoyed? That was certainly my intent. ;)


Caris Ceridwen wrote: "Why? Is corpsesecks worse than dogsecks in your book?"

Like a thousand times better. Right up there with twincest. I feel I've been misunderstood.


Miriam I don’t think that parasol means shit.

I think the parasol was her nod to the fact that she totally ripped off her protagonist from Amelia Peabody, who always carries one to poke people with.


message 29: by Caris (last edited Jun 25, 2010 03:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Caris Miriam wrote: "I don’t think that parasol means shit.

I think the parasol was her nod to the fact that she totally ripped off her protagonist from Amelia Peabody, who always carries one to poke people with."


Oh, man. When I rip something off, I try to cover my tracks.


message 30: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi Great review I'm going to put this on my TBR shelf


Caris Ha. Have fun with it.


message 32: by Katheryn (new) - added it

Katheryn Then why did you read this book if you don't like vampires? huh. Doesn't really make sense.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

We conned him into it, kind of like a murder/suicide pact or a game of roshambo. I'm not even kidding. He did like the book though, so it all worked out.


message 34: by Katheryn (new) - added it

Katheryn Oh alrighty then. haha


Sparrow Yeah, I was going to say it was because of an S&M club we all stumbled into one night down a dark internet alley. Because, really, we read and finished Skye O'Malley. We should seek psychiatric help.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Come now, this wasn't nearly as bad as Skye, not by half. I don't think one person gets raped!


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked it fine.

We should read Pimpernel!


Sparrow I liked this book. I'm just saying that as a group we are sadomasochists (spellcheck wants me to say soda-masochists. I assume that means a person who destroys herself through consumption of diet coke). This book is one googleplex times better than Skye.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Aha. I am with you on the S&M, especially after Rode Hard. Jesus, was that bad.

Pimpernel!


Caris Elizabeth wrote: "Sparrow wrote: "Yeah, I was going to say it was because of an S&M club we all stumbled into one night down a dark internet alley. Because, really, we read and finished Skye O'Malley. We should se..."

I'm going to have to catch up later. Too much Shakespeare to read. :(


Annie Seaton Someone told me my book wasn't selling because no one reads steampunk. Gail Carriger proved them wrong... I loved the whole series.. including the parasol!
Annie Seaton


Caris Uh...congrats on the book?


Annie Seaton Wnter of the Passion Flower -steampunk novellaWinter of the Passion Flower


Eh?Eh! Caris wrote: "Uh...congrats on the book?"

Hah!


Caris Gertt wrote: "if you hate vampires and dislike werewolves, why would you select this book to read?? It clearly states it is about both vampires and werewolves??"

It was for a book group. I took one for the team.


Sparrow Also, see messages 33-45. People are not doing their homework before commenting. tisk tisk.


message 47: by Rowan (new) - added it

Rowan Simetra I agree about how sexy romantic vampires, werewolves and zombies are overated


Miriam Sparrow wrote: "Also, see messages 33-45. People are not doing their homework before commenting. tisk tisk."

And it's not like this comment thread is overwhelmingly long. Lazy.


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