I am going to cheat with this blog and review three books at once. Soulless, Changeless and Blameless, together they make up the Parasol Protectorate series with Heartless and Timeless yet to be published. Gail Carriger is a relatively new author (Soulless was published in Oct 2009) but her books have become a great success. I have looked at these books for over a year but never got round to reading them, until recently. Little did I know what gems awaited me.
The books follow the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti, a feisty and independently stubborn lady who just happens to have no soul, as she finds her way in the world. And what a world, these stories take place in a Victorian era that never was. The genre is “Steampunk”, which I will admit to being a great fan of. Gail Carriger has blended; advanced steam technology, paranormal beings and strict Victorian society and come up with a world both engaging and thrilling. There are few fantasy settings that have managed to bring together the real world with the fantastic so seamlessly.
With her world being crammed with werewolves, vampires and ghosts it would have been easy for the setting to become dark and serious, but these books do not take themselves too seriously. I have rarely been as entertained as I have with these novels. They were a total joy to read and each page brought a smile to my face. Gail Carriger’s writing style is light and full of humour while also being full of detail and atmosphere. A lot of research into Victorian social etiquette and society just shines from the books. This makes everything believable and familiar while also keeping you enthralled with the fantasy. You get the sensation that the author fully enjoys the world she has created and enjoys writing it almost as much as I enjoyed reading it.
If you are looking for a light hearted read that blends humour with adventure and throws in a little romance on the side then these books tick all the boxes. If you go out and buy the first book (Soulless) then I would advise you to buy the next two at the same time (Changeless and Blameless). Because once you have read the first you will surely go out and buy the others straight away, so save yourself the time and get them together. That way you won’t waste valuable reading time. Heartless, the fourth book in the series is available for pre-order.
Gail Carriger is an author who excels in maintaining contact with her readership. If these books interest you at all then I would suggest visiting Gail’s web page www.gailcarriger.com where you will find a wealth of information and a “never ending interview” that is always being updated. Be warned there may be spoilers encountered. She also has blog, facebook and twitter pages where she keeps her fans continually updated on her books and random thoughts. Her blogs are funny and entertaining and ranges in subject from fashion to book promotions and character studies to web pages she has discovered. They are as entertaining to read as any I have come across.
My small review isn’t up to the task of doing the Parasol Protectorate full justice. This series is a world of entertainment squeezed into a few books. Read them for yourself and you are bound to become a fan.
5 STAR RATED