03 May 2010

REVIEW: SOULLESS BY GAIL CARRIGER

Book Title: SOULLESS
Author Name: Gail Carriger
ISBN #: 978-0-316-05663-2
Publisher Name: Hachette Book Group
Date Released: October 2009
Genre: Steampunk/Historical
Book Format: Print

Back Cover Blurb:

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 is 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.




LYNETTE'S TWO CENTS:
The band has jumped on the wagon and has ridden off into the sunset. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in the steaming hot desert having been left behind to fend for myself because everyone had forgotten I was standing there when they rode off.

In a nutshell that is my review of SOULLESS. Good-bye, have a nice day.

Ha, ha. Seriously.

I didn't get it. Peeps! I didn't get how everyone pounced on this series and acted like it was like the best thing ever. I wonder if I felt lukewarm to SOULLESS because it was hyped up so much. I was expecting greatness, but what I got is a good read.

So, I need to stop complaining right, because there are a lot of pretty bad reads out there, right?

SOULLESS was a good story and I enjoyed how the second half progressed, the plot, the characterization, the romance was spot-on. I enjoyed it.

I just wish the first half was just as interesting!

Alexia (the heroine) is so full of character. More times than I can count, you can read a book and the characters seem flat. The story can be superbly written but the characters just seem like their doing the author's bidding. This is certainly not the case with SOULLESS. Alexia leaps off the pages. The woman is full of life. Whether you like her or not, she makes an impression on you.

Maybe too much of an impression, because honestly, in the beginning of SOULLESS, Alexia got on my last nerve. It wasn't until the middle and end of the book that I warmed up to her. Normally, I would've put the book down. The only reason I kept reading was 1, everyone kept saying what a great book it was and 2, I was tired of not finishing a book. So I finished SOULLESS.

Forgive the rambling. But I'm trying to figure out what about the story didn't capture me in the beginning.

• Heroine annoyed me
   o  She whined about stupid stuff when she should've been focused on something more serious things
  o She had such low self-image that it was little too annoying the way the hero would tell her what a great person she was and she would just snap back with something mean without any justification.
  o I hate it when someone is trying to help you and you throw it in their face. Sorry, I don't have patience for it in my real life and I don't have patience for it in my fictional life. I would've walked away. Just saying.

• Frankly, I didn't buy into the chemistry. Why did Connall like her so much? What was it about her that captured him besides the fact that she had unique abilities and was outspoken. You can be outspoken and still be an idiot and that's what she was at first.

• The plot kinda dragged. Despite her being in danger, it felt tacked on I guess. Like something needed to happen so let's throw this in there, type of thing. And no, I can't really explain what I mean. Umm . . . it didn't feel urgent enough, I guess. And in the end, the plot threads didn't really come together as cleanly as I would've liked. I wanted to know how she kept being in danger in the first half of the book when no one really knew how she was. I don't know if that was just me or I was just confused and missed something.

So after the first hundred and so pages things started happened. Like the romance. Alexia stopped being stupid and her romance with Connall heated up. She began to accept that he was interested in her.

Anyhoo. Once Alexia stopped being annoying, and she and Connall began their mating dance, SOULLESS became a hoot. It also became more interesting when Alexia's life was in danger.

So it's like SOULLESS was two separate books. Because the end of SOULLESS became great.

What I liked:

• Alexia really leaped off the pages then. She was still a strong character, but she became someone I could identify with more. Resourceful but not so full of herself. More approachable I guess.

• Chemistry with Lord Maccon
   o They had me laughing out loud. There was this one scene . . . and I don’t' have the book on me now, so I'm winging it . . .. There was this one scene where they were locked up. Connall is not clothed (long story) and she has her hand wrapped around his ding-dong. She's running her mouth like she always does and she's calling him by his title. He's like, under the circumstances, I think you should call me Connall. Of course, he said it in a much funnier way, and I was laughing my butt off.

• The romance carried the story for me.

• The suspense aspect was interesting. It happened like I thought it was going to, but it had twists and turns that I didn't expect and that's always a good thing.

Even with all this, I don't know if I'll continue the series. It was a good read, but I'm still on the fence about continuing. Right now, I DO KNOW that I won't buy the books. If I do continue, they will be library reads. Especially as I understand (and I could be wrong) that the next couple books in the series aren't so heavy on the romance side.

I don't think I'd be interested in them if their relationship isn't developed more in the next book, because I don't care about Alexia enough on her own. Now Alexia and Lord Maccon together that's a different story.

So peeps. Taking my review into consideration (if you can understand it of course-LOL) tell me, why should I continue on with the series? Have you read it? What makes it great for you?

BTW, yes I know that I really need to start taking notes when I'm reading so I don't sound like a deranged psycho when I type my review. I'm getting around to it.


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