Over on the side, you may have seen the widget where I post books I like. One of them is Soulless by Gail Carriger. I heard about it back in May after the BookExpo America show where it had been given out as an Advanced Reader/Review Copy (ARC), and the majority of my publishing friends who had gotten it and read it were raving about it. Now, I’ve been unconsciously a fan of steampunk for years. I *lurved* Brisco County, Jr. back in the day, though at the time, I thought it was just because of Bruce Campbell. I kept hearing how Soulless was a great mix of stempunk and fantasy with a bit of romance thrown in for spice. I wrote it down in a couple of places so I wouldn’t forget about it when it came out.
At the end of September, I decided to treat myself out to dinner and a movie, but since I was going to dinner by myself, I wanted to take a book with me. Borders had some coupons out at the time, so I stopped in there and checked out the new mass market releases. The cover for Soulless caught my eye and my first thought “Oh yeah! That’s the book I wanted to check out.” I picked it up and went on my merry way. I almost didn’t go to the movie because I had gotten sucked into the book. However, the call of G.I. Joe was just strong enough to pull me over to the theater. As soon as I got back home, though, I cracked open the book and read until I fell asleep. I spent the majority of the next day finishing it.
I really loved it. I liked the multiple storytelling points of view, the mix of comedy, fantasy elements, steampunk elements, and romance. Carriger weaves her story with a light touch so that you’re drawn into the story without getting whacked upside the head with all of the little details, even though they’re present. As a reader, I prefer the author having a strong voice and storytelling abilities over technical skills. By no means is Carriger lacking in the technical skills, but neither is she the most polished of writers. In this respect, she reminds me of Nora Roberts where I go into the story expecting to hear a great yarn, rather than a lecture on the proper placement of participles, and leave well-satisfied. If I finish reading and I feel like I’m jacked up on Jolt Cola, I know I’ve read a fabulous book. I felt that buzz when I finished Soulless and cannot wait for the sequel, Changeless.
Totally recommended to fans of paranormal romance, historical romance w/paranormal elements, and fans of steampunk fantasy who don’t mind romance in their books.
FTC disclaimer: as mentioned, I bought this at Borders with a coupon. However, I am totally whoring myself out for a chance at this prize pack because I *really, really, really* want to get my hands on the sequel. I still think the FTC needs to back off from sticking their noses in the realm of material culture critique (which is a whole ‘nother blog post I haven’t finished composing at this point, and Gail, do I get extra points for throwing down anthro terms?).