Soulless by Gail Carriger
Pages : 357
Genre : Paranormal, Romance, Steampunk
Series : The Parasol Protectorate, Book 1
My Rating :
From the back of the book :
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 is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced! Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and 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.
I’ve been juggling with the idea of this review for a while now, but since I’m about to read the next book, now seemed like a good time to share my thoughts on the first one.
I’ll admit that, at first, Soulless was a huge disappointment from me. Part of it did came from the book itself I guess, but mostly it came from a misunderstanding on what the book was about. I got my copy soon after it came out, and read only a handful of reviews before reading it myself. Still, from all the publicity I saw on the blogs and various websites, Soulless was to be a paranormal novel set in a steampunk world. While this isn’t false, it isn’t true either.
Because Soulless turned out to be more about a paranormal romance than about the steampunk world. While I don’t have some prejudice against paranormal romance (I even read and enjoyed a few of those), it was a bit disappointing to see how little place took the steampunk elements. You could have easily suppressed them and made it a victorian paranormal romance, without much changes to the storyline.
That being said, I did enjoy my reading of Soulless. After having taken some distance from it, I have kept a mostly good memory of my time with Alexia. She annoyed me a little at times, and there were some repetitions (mostly about her physical appearance), but the writing had some great moments, too. The book definitely gave me a couple of smiles, and while the romance was a bit too buttery for my personal taste, it will definitely please those who enjoy some scenes of romantic hotness.
Gail Carriger has a unique voice and I’m sure this will shine even more through the following books. Now that I know what I’m in for, I am looking forward to reading Changeless!
Series Reading Order :
- Heartless (date to come)
Nice Girls don’t Date Dead Men by Molly Harper
Pages : 376
Genre : Paranormal Romance, Humor, Vampires
My Rating :
With her job at an occult bookstore and her “vampire coming out” a few months in the past, you would thing that Jane’s life is now somewhat more stable. Except, it isn’t.
She still isn’t sure where she stands with Gabriel, her sexy sire who keeps disappearing for work – or so he says. As if her own love life wasn’t puzzle enough, she also has to deal with her grandma’s new fiancé, who seems to be hiding a deadly past, and her best friend’s Titanic themed wedding. Who said eternal life was all fun?
So Molly Harper did it again : what a fun vampire novel! Yes, this one had a lot more of the promised romance, but Jane’s humorous voice is still as clever and entertaining. I was glad to see that the author could add a little of the first without compromising Jane’s voice.
So, this book had a little less action and danger than the first one. As a story, I liked it a tiny little bit less than the previous book, Nice Girls don’t Have Fangs. But, what I really loved in this novel is how the relationships developed – and I’m talking about all kinds of relationships : love, family, friends, ghosty, etc. If this gives you any indication, I would say this novel reads more like a chick lit than like an urban fantasy novel. I wasn’t bored one second with it!
A huge part of the story centers around Zeb and Jolene’s upcoming Titanic themed wedding, and as usual the preparation for the Big Day is cause for lots of emotional situations. Add to the usual setting Jolene’s protective werewolf family and Zeb’s crazy controlling mother, and you are good for an unsettling adventure!
The characters in this series are so different one from the other and so entertaining, I would have a hard time picking a favorite. Jane’s interaction with them is in turns funny and touching, but the tone is generally light – even with her family, who mostly hasn’t come to terms with her new vampire status yet. Which reminds me that Jenni, Jane’s sister, is highly unlikable!
So, I really enjoyed this novel. Reading Molly Harper is like stuffing yourself with candy – without the guilt trip. And I really can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Nice Girls don’t Live Forever, coming December 2009!
Series Reading Order
- Nice Girls don’t Have Fangs
- Nice Girls don’t Date Dead Men
- Nice Girls don’t live Forever
Nice Girls don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper
Pages : 355
Genre : Paranormal Romance, Humor, Vampires
My Rating :
What it’s about :
Jane Jameson just lost her job as a librarian. That night, after a few drinks, she’s mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead on the side of the road. Lucky for her, there’s a mysterious stranger following her, and she wakes up a few days later with a nice dental addition.
As if dealing with a new love interest and her recent vampire condition wasn’t enough, Jane soon becomes the main suspect in a series of vampire murders. As her life (death?) hangs on the balance, surrounded by a new group of friends (among which is her deceased great-aunt Jettie), Jane has to find quickly who the real criminal is…
So I know this book is mostly marketed as a “paranormal romance”, but as far as I’m concerned, it could perfectly be categorized “paranormal humor”. Jenna was funny from start to finish, and there were a lot more laughs in this books than there were hot sexy scenes! I also love that Jane’s voice, although humoristic, had a certain variety to it : sometimes it was sarcastic, sometimes ironic, sometimes she just cleverly played with words. And since I prefer “books with romance” in them rather than straightforward romance novels, this was perfect for me!
After the media firestorm, most vampires realized they should have come out a century ago. If nothing else, maybe we all could have avoided the Goth movement.
It was entertaining and the story flew by easily. I really liked Jane, and I know she is the kind of character I could easily grow to love more in the next books. I was also pleasantly surprised by the great cast of characters surrounding her. They’re varied and interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know them through Jane’s narration.
Another nice and funny thing I appreciated are the brief excerpts of The Guide for the Newly Undead that begins each chapter. One of my favorites is chapter’s 6 excerpt :
New vampires are discouraged from trying to return to their normal human routines. Especially if those routines include tanning or working as a fireman. Your day will not end well.
I have read a few comparisons of this book to the Sookie Stackhouse’s series; since I haven’t read those, I can’t really compare, but from the little I know, I felt like Nice Girls don’t Have Fangs had an original and fun setting that could stand on its own. In fact, it felt really great to have characters going through what was more of a “daily life” story than a “save the world” story! The version of our world the author created was interesting, too, and I loved seeing how the supernatural creatures (vampires and ghosts) played their part in it. Seeing Jane having a hard time “coming out” as a vampire to her family was particularly interesting!
So, thank you Molly for sending me this book : it was an awesome, fun, entertaining and really hard to put down novel. I have already read the second book, and I just know that I’ll have to read the third one as soon as I can!