Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SOULLESS by Gail Carriger: My First Steampunk

I've been wanting to read this one since I enjoyed Gail Carriger on a Sci/Fi panel at ALA a few years back. I loved it! I really didn't know what to expect. I've been searching for a Steampunk novel to read for a while, but haven't really stumbled upon anything that intrigued me. So, I went back to this one, since it's been on my list for a while anyway, having made the the Alex Award list in 2010.

Let me begin with your quickie synopsis:
Alexia Tarabotti, a woman without a soul who is viewed as unable to marry, works with werewolf Lord Conall Maccon to clear her name after she accidentally kills a vampire and is suspected of the disappearances of other undead members of high society.

In case you were a little confused by the mention of vampires and werewolves, let me give you some background on Gail Carriger's version of Steampunk.
See now? And it totally works! Throwing vampires and werewolves into proper Victorian high society works brilliantly in the hands of Gail Carriger. 
Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster at the ripe old age of 26 (yikes!). She's got quite a brain on her, so she inserts herself into investigations and other activities of the local law enforcement. Although the investigation in this story begins not by her own busybody-ness but after a vampire attacks her. The fallout from the attack starts a domino of events that leads to a discovery of a secret society with sinister goals.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! At first, it felt a little slow for me and I wasn't sure I would continue. But the beautiful language and the depth of the main character kept me going. I'm glad I did. As I read, I highlighted passage after passage of highly entertaining writing and witty banter. I concluded wishing the story would continue. It really is wickedly funny. Alexia Tarabotti is now one of my all-time favorite characters!

I would be remiss if I neglected to tell you that Gail Garriger now has a teen series set in this world called The Finishing School series. I haven't read it, but from the reviews I've seen, it's appropriate for middle school readers. Whereas this book, as an Alex Award book, is an adult book appropriate for older teens.

I don't have a trailer, but you should really visit Gail Carriger's website. It's chock-full of so many goodies!

Read this one, if you haven't yet! You'll love it.