Remember when I read Soulless by Gail Carriger? It was three years ago and I did my book reviews totally differently.
I recently finished the fifth, and final, book in the series. I just did one of those marathon series reads and wow. Awesome.
Carriger, there’s not enough thumbs in my house to put up for these books!
Since this is a series, the review will be a little different. Hope you like it. Feel free to leave me a comment.
The basic story:
Meet your heroine, Lady Alexia. She’s your typical Victorian woman – oh wait, she’s really not. She is brainy, of Italian descent, nosy, and apparently without a soul. That’s right. No soul.
In this Steampunk adventure series we explore a paranormal steampunk London. Vampires, yup they are very much real. Werewolves, too. Even ghosts. If you love the paranatural, this is right up your alley. And then there’s the preternatural. With Alexia’s touch, these creatures become mortal. Or in the case of a ghost, freed from this plane. The explanation, born with an excess of soul, these beings could continue on after death.
What I liked:
The talk of fashion, parasols, and tea. Everything must be done ever so properly, you know. A lady never goes out without her headgear and Lady Alexia’s dear friend has the most interesting assortment of hats only matched by Lord Akeldama, the local vampire, and his fabulous closet. These elements weave into the story just as natural as butter on bread. Political intrigue over a spot of tea, why of course!
This series has all the glory of steampunk in spades. Octomaton rampaging through London? Why yes, actually. Dirigibles, common mode of transport. Giant mechanical ladybug? What better toy for the Lady Alexia’s toddler? What I love more is that Carriger decided to run with the steampunk theme. She made the telegraph complete rubbish and created a steampunk method of communication that actually made sense.
You get it all. Carriger created an entire political society and fascinating science around the three main paranormal creatures. She then made werewolves very formal, far beyond simple pack law. She didn’t bother with the attempt to make these creatures “come out”, in her world everyone just knows they exist and the government already has offices and organizations in place to handle matters of the paranormal.
Gail Carriger captured the writing of the Victorian Era in a way that sounds formal yet ends up completely readable and enjoyable. You can see the heavy European influences in her life and for those Anglophiles among us, you recognize the kindred spirit.
Dirigible rides, kidnapped babies, assassination plots against the heroine and the Queen of England, a main character that marries a werewolf and moves next door to a vampire, secret societies, and politics. If that’s not a recipe for a wee bit of adventure then nothing is.
What I didn’t like:
Seriously? The series is over? What? Meanie!
Thank goodness there’s a sister series just starting and I’ve got book one sitting in my TBR. Whew. I’m seriously not ready to leave Lady Alexia’s Steampunk England.