Soulless ~ Gail Carriger

  • Title: Soulless
  • Author: Gail Carriger
  • Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
  • Genre: PNR, Steampunk
  • Format: eBook & Audio
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

*Potential Spoiler*

Review:  Alexia is different from other people. Not counting her independent spirit, forthright curiosity, steadfast adherence to spinsterhood, and gleeful indulgence in unladylike topics like science, anatomy & murder, Alexia lacks a soul and her touch temporarily turns supernaturals back to their human state. That makes her a bit of a threat. Just a little.

Written vs Audio:

I began the story by reading a handful of chapters and the quirky narrative made me smile. Due to changes in my schedule, I got the audio version of story in order to finish the story on a long drive. Listening to a story is very different from reading one. If I had just read Soulless, I probably would have liked it more than listening to it. The vocal narrator managed to make the Alpha Wolf sound constipated, Lord Alkeldama sounded like gay vampire that was constantly high, and made it glaringly apparent when Alexia went out of character & made several dumb decisions or illogical leaps that caused more confusion.

The clever foundation for the story becomes tarnished as the tale comes to an awkward climax and conclusion. Badly timed sexual tension between Alexia & Lord Maccon made for eye rolling rather than amused grins about the two of them getting together. The mystery started out very promising but it became a lumpy blot of prejudiced bigots who wanted to “clean up” England. I had a hard time imagining the hired thugs taking down vampires and werewolves. All the bad guys and their hired help sounded like contemptuous, life stupid individuals who should have been caught red handed much sooner than they did. Lord Maccon sounded like a sinus infected Britain trying to talk without a noticeable accent… it started out funny and ended as an annoyance.

To be fair, at some point, I want to come back to this story and read the written format. The story would be more enjoyable if I can picture it without external influence. Sadly, the reader for the audio book made this story go from something funny & interesting to slap-dash entertainment and silly trivialities.

The story is amusing. My advice is to avoid the audio version and go straight to the written book.

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