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Month in review

Reviews
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise by Gene Luen Yang
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Chi's Sweet Home 02 by Kanata Konami
Dear Tabby by Carolyn Crimi
Doctor Who: The Forgotten by Tony Lee
Empire State: A Love Story (or Not) by Jason Shiga
The Eternal Hourglass by Erica Kirov
Gem by Holly Hobbie
The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi
The Last Suppers (audio) by Diane Mott Davidson
The Locket by Stacey Jay
Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Keeper by Kathi Appelt
On a Windy Night by Nancy Raines Day
One Of Those Days by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Piece of Mind by Rob Reger
The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
Ribbit Rabbit by Candace Ryan
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
The Shadows by Jacqueline West
Son of Slappy by R.L. Stine
Sophie and the Next-Door Monsters by Chris Case
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Stuck on Earth by David Klass
To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella
Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
Who's There? by Carole Lexa Schaefer

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Soulless: 03/25/13

cover art

Soulless by Gail Carriger is the first of the Parasol Protectorate series. It's a paranormal mystery romance mashup with some steampunk thrown in for good measure. The original series has spawned a graphic novel adaptation and a YA series.

The book like a parody of Crocodile on the Sandbank (assuming, though that Amelia Peabody and Evelyn are one person). Of course Elizabeth Peter's book is in itself a parody of the H. Rider Haggard books Peabody is such a fan of reading. Anyway, like Peter's book, Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster with a deceased father. Her father was Italian, a fan of improper but enlightening books. Alexia, has inherited from him — her looks (not a popular thing in Victorian England) and her soullessness.

The proper term used in the book is preternatural. A person's amount of soul determines how attractive they are to various paranormal groups — the two big ones in the British Empire being werewolves and vampires. Alexia can't be changed into either because when she's in physical contact with a paranormal, they temporarily lose their paranormal abilities (and become human).

Soulless introduces the reader to an alternate Victorian London where paranormal creatures live openly and are regulated. There's also the alternate technology — akin to the devices described by H.G. Wells and Jules Verne but expanded to fit the paranormal world. Finally, Queen Victoria has her own group of agents to keep watch on illegal paranormal activity. Think Torchwood, but call it BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry).

Although this book is primary about Alexia learning how her powers fit into the world of paranormals and BUR, and her finding romance, there's also a mystery. Paranormal creatures who are neither vampires, nor werewolves are rampaging in London. Therein is the true heart and soul of Soulless.

So although the series has been out for ages, I'm only now become a rabid fan. I have Stephanie, bookseller extraordinaire, at the Hayward Bookshop for that. See, I don't like the cover — I still don't. Bustle or no bustle, I want to realign Alexia's broken spine every time I look at it. Stephanie, though, patiently wore me down by asking every single time I stopped by the store if I had read the series yet. Eventually, I gave in. I'm glad I did. I'm about to start the third book, Blameless.

Five stars

Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 00:28:38

Bookworm1858

Haha-good job Stephanie! I was distracted by the lovely color of her outfit and didn't even look at her spine. Now I need to pick up the rest of the series.



Comment #2: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 22:18:16

Pussreboots

Stephanie (and the other staff) is wonderful. I'm lucky to have such a great bookstore so close to home! I'm eager to start Blameless but I have to wait for my husband to finish first (as he patiently waited for me to read the first two).