Bry's Reviews > Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger
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Mar 19, 10

bookshelves: 2010, historical-fiction, urban-fantasy, steampunk, mystery, favorites
Read from March 16 to 19, 2010

"And what new gown will you be wearing, Mama?" Alexia asked sharply. "Something appropriate, or your customary style - a gown better suited to a lady half your age?"

"Alexia!" hissed Ivy.

Mrs. Loontwill turned flinty eyes on her eldest daughter, "Regardless of what I am wearing, it is clear you will not be there to see it!" With that, she swept from the room.

Felicity's eyes were dancing with merriment. "You are perfectly correct, of course. The gown she picked out is daringly low cut, frilly, and pale pink."

********

I love it. In the midst of all the supernatural problems surrounding Alexia (missing werewolves and vampires, her own repeated attempted abductions, and the political upheaval surrounding the supernatural races) there is always time for an argument concerning fashion and time to goad your crazy mother! Just such an amazing amalgamation of genres! You have urban fantasy, romance, steampunk, mystery, and comedy. Just amazing. You have to love it!

Alexia is a woman who is too modern for her time period in terms of her intelligence, yet at the same time is still stuck in real time period when it comes to sexuality. Also, she is never below using her sex to her advantage, whether it is to garner sympathy in an attempt to escape trouble or pretend to be dumber than she to have others underestimate her. All in all an interesting mix of modern ideas and Victorian ideals.

Conall could have been fleshed out a bit more but hopefully in the next book we will get to see more of his personality. In this book you see him as a strong (yet weak when it comes to Alexia), usually angry, somewhat ill-mannered (at least for Victorian times) smart man. He was obviously sexually interested in Alexia, but sometimes his other interests in her weren't as clear. You could tell that he cared for her but I wasn't always sure why.

The best characters though came in the forms of Professor Lyall and Floot the butler. Both were strong, quiet, smart, and fiercely loyal men. I can see their roles in the upcoming novels greatly increasing both in plot and importance.

The settings, fashions, and technology were all well described without being overwhelming. Just enough to intrigue you and keep you reading, while still remaining focused on the characters and plot.

All in all this was just a fantastic book that should be read by anyone who is into the urban fantasy, Victorian-era, or steampunk genres.
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