Book Review: Soulless by: Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 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?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking. 

'Soulless' had all the right pieces, I just think the author couldn't quite fit them together correctly. Reading this book was quick, the characters were witty and straight out of Victorian England. 'Soulless' was a tone clash of authors Katie MacAlister and Jane Austen. It had the wit and humor of Ms. MacAlister and the conversations and character mannerisms from Ms. Austen. By adding a splash of paranormal and steampunk into the already present history and comedy, well, these elements, all seemingly awesome alone, kind of jumbled up the book making it seem like it couldn't quite tell what it wanted to be when it grew up, a steampunk or a paranormal. In turn that made it a bit harder for the reader to wrap thier mind around.

The writing style and the use of words and verbiage is what saved this book in my eyes. Ms. Carriger certainly has a way with words, so much so, that as I was reading, I was reminded of Lord Tennyson, how she strings each sentence meticulously. I loved Lord Maccon and I loved Alexia...they were both such strong wonderful characters, I wish they just could have helped this book more. I conclude that it was just, OK.

  1. With the rise in popularity of steampunk trends, do you think the dialog and environment created in Soulless fitting within the paranormal genre?
I think the dialog and environment was all steampunk but the characters were totally paranormal. It didn't fit quite right.
  1. For better or worse, Soulless throws together a lot of unconventional story elements.  What ones worked for you?  What ones didn't?  Will you be reading the next book in the series, Changeless?
I loved the steampunk and paranormal aspects by themselves but I hated them together, I think it just felt like to much at one time. I don't think I will read the next one, but...never say never.
  1. The comedic tone of the novel was ever present even when the novel was at it's darkest plot-threads. Do you think this added to the depth of the novel and characters or did it trivialize the plot?
I think  by doing this the author stayed true to who her characters and her story, so I say she did excellent by leaving them in.

Received from: purchased
For more information or for purchasing visit Gail Carriger's webpage.

I give this book 3/5 stars. ★ ★ ★ 

Monica S.

Copyright The Bibliophilic Book Blog 2009-2010


  1. Great review. Thanks for being honest. I have heard so many mixed reviews of this one. It is on my list. Thanks for the review.

  2. Sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if it's something I would enjoy. By the way, I have an award for you. :)

  3. Thanks for the honest review-I liked the cover of this one-but maybe I will not read it now.

  4. I'm sorry all the elements didn't work out for you, there were definitely a lot of them, which went over some and fell flat for others. Thanks for your honest opinion and the review! ♥ Parajunkee

  5. I've heard that this book has a lot going on, but I'm still looking forward to reading it.

    How have I not come across your blog before?! I'm so glad you stopped by mine. Looking forward to having more time to check out your past reviews later this week :)

    Tara SG
    25 Hour Books

  6. 3/5? Perhaps I will just see if my library ever gets it in, instead of buying it...Thanks for the review!


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