Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger

I would give this book 4 stars out of 5. I am completely new to this genre of books and I thought that I would get bogged down in the complex language that I sometimes associate with novels set in the Victorian era. So it took me a while to pick it up. But my am I glad that I did. (*INSERT SMUG LOOK HERE*) This is a supernatural book, following the life of Alexia Tarrabotti, who is soulless, meaning she is immune to supernatural creatures. This book is set in Victorian London, where Werewolves and Vampires are actually part of the society.

To some this doesn’t sound terribly intriguing but the reason that I would tell people to read this book is because of the writing. Far from being over complicated and hard to read it is actually stunning. It reminds us that we don’t have to just use words to tell a story. We can use words to recreate a time and a place, to make observations of society through dry humour and wit. Carriger’s writing took me write back to Victorian England, the imagery that she uses is exceptional and it made me feel like I was really there. Far from putting me off by setting this novel in a time and place I couldn’t relate to, she drew me in with her fascinating depictions and characters.

If you don’t appreciate skilled writing and need another reason to read this book then read it for the subtle humour. I was laughing my way through this book all the way. The characters in this book are really well formulated, they are brought to life in a way that I don’t usually feel, especially when the characters are supernatural. Alexia Tarrabotti is one of the cleverest and most humorous characters, that I have met and I loved all her expressions, her wit, and her strangeness that made her stand out in high society. It was a pleasure to read a character that didn’t have the perfect figure and succeeds at everything. Alexia is quirky, different but absolutely lovable and intelligent and witty. And don’t get me started on Ivy Hisselpenny, I wish she was real more than anything. The characters in the novel all have quirks and are not perfect and it was the most refreshing read.

The dry observations of society and the interactions between the characters combined with a very interesting plot made this novel very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a masterpiece of words. I loved the confident way that Carriger was able to embody the Victorian Age whilst not ostracising modern readers.

If you are looking for a new style of book to read, rather than what you are used to, you will not regret reading this, it is easy to read, really good fun and makes you fall in love with the power of words. Recommend for everyone!

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