Lora's Reviews > Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger
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Sep 07, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: did-not-finish
Recommended to Lora by: too many people to name
Recommended for: I suppose nearly everyone, since I seem to be one of the few who doesn't like it

*sigh* Boy, am I in the minority here! Every friend of mine has given this at least three stars, and here I am not even being able to finish it. Still, I don't hate this book, so before giving my reasons for not liking it, I will be fair and go over what I did like.

Our heroine, Miss Alexia Tarabotti, hasn't had an easy life. Besides being put on the shelf at the age of fifteen by her mother, she's had to deal with unjust criticism. While the people of today spend countless dollars on cancer-causing tanning beds and spray on tan in a cans that make them look like a walking Orange Julius, in Alexia's day and age it is simply not the fashion to have a little darker skin. Nope, alabaster is where it's at! So as you can imagine, the vampires fit in quite nicely. But not our poor Miss Tarabotti! She has been shamed and ridiculed for even having lightly tanned skin practically since she popped out of her mother's womb. And what about that dreadfully large nose Miss Tarabotti sports? Well, we can't have that, now can we? No, no, no! We'll have to take the hedge trimmers to that thing! Pfft.
As I'm sure a lot of people have, I've been on the receiving end of this kind of backwards thinking that Alexia's received from her family and peers, and it doesn't feel good. So I can sympathize with Alexia. She holds her head — and her nose — high, and lets it roll off her beautifully clad shoulders. I admire that. And . . . I'm afraid that's where my interest ended.

I have read of the neck nibbling (or gnawing, as the case may be) that ensues later on, and, for obvious reasons, I sincerely tried to make it to that part. But I guess even some good smut couldn't make me continue. For me, the writing made this nearly impossible to get into. Somehow it manages to read like fanfiction while still confusing me. I had to reread several passages in order to get even a semblance of what was happening in some scenes.

Besides these reasons, I couldn't get into the world Carriger created and, other than Miss Tarabotti, none of the characters (no, not even Lord Maccon) appealed to me. I realize this could've changed had I given it more time, but as of now I don't have the interest to do so. I believe that 50 - 100 pages is enough to tell if a book is for you or not, and I gave it 80.

To all fans of this series, especially those that are my friends, I'm sorry. I tried. :(
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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Lucy Sorry this one didn't appeal to you. You definitely gave it a fair shake with 80 pages. I liked the humor and found it different and refreshing, but I think your points are valid as well. Hope your next book is more enjoyable :)


Lora Thank you, Lucy. :)


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 07, 2011 12:10PM) (new)

Lora, I liked this one a little more than you it seems. But like you I got hung up on the complex language, and had to re-read passages to see what was going on. It's definitely not for everyone. I like your review


message 4: by Lora (last edited Sep 07, 2011 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lora Thanks, Kate. :)


Tatiana Lora, I've read the smut part. It wasn't that great either.


message 6: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo I wasn't overly that fussed about this book either, Lora.
I thought it was OK... it seemed to try too hard to be like 'HEY, LOOK AT ME I'M FUNNY'.
And I agree with Tatiana... the eventual smut was disappointing. :)


message 7: by Reynje (new)

Reynje Great review Lora! (I'm in a similar situation with a book my friends like and I really didn't.. I might use your "good first then the bad" tactic..)


Lora Tatiana, to be honest, I skimmed for smut (I am shameless) and I must agree with you and Jo. It was disappointing IMO. (view spoiler)

Jo, everyone says how funny these books are, but the humor most start after 80 pages. I didn't have the urge to laugh once.

And thanks, Reynje.


Kaethe Yeah, if you didn't find the fracas with the tea things and the vampire amusing, you weren't likely to be struck by the humor later on. Hope you have something more to your taste on deck!


message 10: by Lora (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lora I really think it is a matter of taste. And thanks, I'm sure I'll rustle up something.


Kaethe Happens to me all the time. Sometimes, despite elements that I should love, a book is just not my cuppa tea.


message 12: by Lora (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lora Me too. And I'm always finding things funny that others are like wha . . .?


message 13: by D.G. (new) - rated it 3 stars

D.G. To each their own and all that, Lora! All my friends have loved this book too but I just thought it was OK and have not desire continue the series.


Alyssa Is this a satirical novel that's meant to poke fun at PNR? Because after reading the blurb and the reviews, I still don't know what this book is about!


~Tina~ I remember liking this, but I also remember struggling with it. I'm glad you gave it a go though hun. Great review!


Kaethe Alyssa, I'd say that Carriger is using the conventions of Victorian romance novels and mystery novels in a fun way. I haven't read enough PNR to say that she's satirizing it. If anything, the second and third novels in the series are more steampunk Bond novels than anything else (she has a lot of fun with gadgetry). The plots aren't the point; the pleasure is all in the mash-up of various elements and the contrast between Miss Tarabotti's very silly family (think Pride and Prejudice)and her own seriousness.


message 17: by Mia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mia I actually enjoyed this book *after* 100 pages, haha. I was very much in your mood with it before then (not that it doesn't have it's problems).


message 18: by Lizz (new) - rated it 1 star

Lizz I appreciate your review because it has given me permission to stop reading this book. I hate quitting halfway through, but I just can't do it! For me it's also primarily the language. I also thought the "technological" aspect too token. I found this book on a "Best Steampunk" list on Goodreads, and it was my first one in the genre. I guess I'll have to try something else.


Carol I quit too.. for the same reasons.


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