oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

Gail Carriger, SOULLESS

I did a load of laundry and pondered changing one of my cool ideas for the Crimean War short story, because I don't think I have enough wordcount to accomplish it.

I posted pretty snow pictures over in the pro blog. We're supposed to be getting about another foot tonight.

I finished reading Gail Carriger's Soulless last night. I hadn't been reading the (many) reviews so I could read it unspoiled, but I assume most of them were positive. The book was really fun, with a sense of satiric humor that reminded me of romance author Janet Mullany's. Also, there are dirigibles.

It's set in an alternate Victorian England in which supernatural beings (mainly vampires, werewolves, and ghosts) became known in the Renaissance; the British empire's power is a result of supernatural advantages.  Science has also advanced more than in our world, thanks to the study of supernatural beings, so there's an element of steampunk as well as gaslight fantasy.  On top of all that, it's a funny book, with a number of sly pokes at historical romance.  It mixes some modern sensibilities with those of the period.  If you read historicals, you'll recognize several character types, particularly in the heroine's family.

The heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, is a half-Italian bluestocking of twenty-six, which results in her family having decided she was a spinster at an early age.  She suffers from little self-doubt, however, except in regards to her marriageability, and is both sarcastic and outspoken.   She has a contentious relationship with the alpha of London's werewolves, Conall Maccon, that's a delight; her vampire informant, Lord Akeldama, is the classic Gay Best Friend who was a little too over the top for me, but I went with it, and was happy with his character's depths by the end.  I particularly liked the beta of London's werewolves, Professor Lyall, who is of the unobtrusively competent type.

I liked the omniscient pov, which I think was a better choice than limited, and was okay with a few slippages in diction (at least, they felt like slippages, despite it being an alternate Victorian world).  I am already planning to buy the second in the series, Changeless, which is due out in March.

Did I mention I recommend this book?

Indiebound | Powell's | Borders | Amazon | B & N.
Tags: romance, sf/f
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