hylidae: Bartido from Grim Grimoire, a PS2 game. (Default)
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Title: Soulless
Series: The Parasol Protectorate (First in the series)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genres: Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Vampires & Werewolves, Romance
Pages: 384 for paperback

The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti, is a fuddy-duddy spinster more educated and assertive than she should be. She is also a soulless, a being that 'shorts out' paranormal powers. Combined with a desire to get in on the action, she is a constant problem to Conall Maccon. Essentially he runs the government branch that manages the paranormal along with the local werewolf pack. When Alexia is attacked by an random vampire, she plunges headlong into a mystery that threatens the delicate balance of paranormal and normal.

NGL, aside from the steampunk these aren't really my genres. That said, I really had fun with this book and will check out the sequels. The biggest seller to me is the tongue-in-cheek narrative. You get a solid (if slightly predictable) story, distinctive and fun characters, interesting mixture of mythos and world-buildinging, along with many chuckles. Its not deep, but its quality fun.

Likes
  • Mythos, especially how the paranormal coexist with humanity (or not in the case of the US). In the open to boot. Actually the intersection of paranormal and mad science is pretty interesting, and I hope its explored more in the sequels.
  • Funny narrative
  • Main plot, a tad predictable but logically consistent and enjoyable
  • The cast. My favorite is probably Prof. Lyall.
  • The ladyfriendship between Ivy and Alexia. Its parts snarky and parts sweet.
  • How everyone just shakes their heads at the Alexia/Maccon romance.
  • Minimal angst, aside from Alexia's love/hate relationship with her spinsterhood

Dislikes
  • The descriptors tend to get repetitive. Did you know that Alexia is tan, Maccon is manly, and Akeldama has a limp wrist? :D
  • The beginning leads you to believe Alexia is more of an action girl than she is. Not that she just sits around and waits for adventure, but she's not mowing down undead either.
Meh
  • The romance. Its not bad, but Maccon is a surly manly man. While I like those characters, they don't do much for me romance wise. Its mostly just a personal preference thing. If you like surly manly men in romantic situations, you'll probably love this.
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hylidae: Bartido from Grim Grimoire, a PS2 game. (Default)
hylidae

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