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Joint Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title: Soulless

Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Romance, Horror/Fantasy

Publisher: Orbit
Publishing Date: September 29, 2009
Paperback: 384 pages

Stand Alone or series: Book one in a planned series, titled The Parasol Protectorate.

Summary: (from amazon.com)
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.


We are doing something different with this here review: instead of our usual joint template, we are going with a more laid-back layout, due to our mixed feelings concerning Soulless. Warning: There may be some very MINOR spoilers ahead!

Ana’s Take:

Soulless was one of my most anticipated reads of 2009 ever since I heard about it towards the end of the last year. The setting is Victorian times with steampunk elements, with werewolves and vampires, a quirky spinster soulless heroine who can cancel the aforementioned creatures’ supernaturality (yay, new made-up word) and whose “power” would lead her to be a major player in the supernatural world. For all intents and purposes, I was supposed to absolutely adore this book. Even the very manner in which I came by to own an arc of it was, to me, an indication that this book and I were meant to be: I was on Twitter one day, back when folks were at the BEA and Sarah from the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books tweeted that she was in line to talk to the author, I tweeted saying “OMG I SO want her book” and Sarah, whom I have never met, nor exchanged emails with or anything, offered to get me a signed copy and mail it to me. (seriously, how awesome is that?) . I got the book and kept it until last week when it was the time to read it.

I opened the book and started to read. It begins with our intrepid heroine, Miss Alexia Tarabotti who is a half-Italian, dark haired, somewhat ugly, spinster (I could feel something stirring at the back of my mind) sitting alone in a room trying to eat treacle tarts when she is attacked by a vampire. Her first reaction is to think how inappropriate it was to be attacked so and how the tarts were going to be wasted like that (a warning signal started to sound in my ears), then a fight ensues and she kills him with her trusted parasol. Before I could recover from the shock of that revelation, a man walks into the room, one Lord Maccon who was described as a huge, gruff man who could not abide Alexia’s logic and their dialogue is replete with half bickering half attraction.

At that very moment, I felt like I was struck by lightning.

Because, if you remove the “vampire” from the equation and replace the character names with “Amelia” and “Emerson,” you have Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody set up right there! From the characters’ physical description, to Alexia’s quirkiness, to the H/H dynamics, DOWN TO THE TRUSTED PARASOL.

I had a moment of utter befuddlement then. I sent Thea a flurry of emails in which I went through a Grief Cycle. First it was Denial: “This can’t be happening.” Then, it was Anger: “I can’t believe this. Down to the trusted parasol??????” Then it was Depression: “I so wanted to love this book, Thea,” and finally, Acceptance: in which I decided to resume reading. Because of the premise of the soulless character, because of my expectations, I decided to carry on. I hoped that the characters would grow on their own, that the story itself would be sufficient to nullify this first impression.

I read another 200 pages of it. I really tried to get involved in the story but two things prevented me from doing so. One, every time Alexia thought or spoke I had Amelia Peabody’s voice at the back of my mind. I am aware of being completely unfair here – she is not EXACTLY like Amelia, but her quirkiness is close enough, familiar enough for me not to be comfortable with it. Plus at some parts it felt SO forced. The success of this book relies heavily in the reader’s ability to fall in love with Alexia’s originality – but she is not an Original to me. I don’t know. Maybe other people who read Amelia Peabody would like Soulless because it reminds them of Peabody.

The other point that made me step back and not enjoy this as much: there is a lot of romance here. Like, a LOT. I have no problem with romance, heck it is my favourite genre and even in other genres, whenever there is romance , I am happy. But the spine of the book says: Horror/Fantasy. And there is no HORROR in this book at all. Yes, there are Fantasy elements but in my not so modest opinion, Soulless was completely mislabeled. This should be Paranormal Romance. The mislabeling makes me angry: what is wrong with labeling a book for what it is? If you are publishing something that is clearly Paranormal Romance, OWN IT. The worst thing is this: I can see that people who like Paranormal Romance and would completely enjoy Soulless will give this a pass and not pick it up because of the Horror/Fantasy label!

Having said that, if I like romance why did it prevent me from liking this? Because there was one scene where Alexia and Maccon have been captured, are locked in a cell, were given one hour to live and they decide that it was the best time for making out. COME ON.

That was when I realised that I was predisposed NOT to like this book from the get go and decided to put it away. It made me sad, but I was aware that perhaps I was not being fair. I needed a second opinion, preferably from someone who also loves Amelia Peabody. I needed Thea. And so I sent the book to her.

Thea’s Take:

As Ana’s said before me, Soulless was a book we were BOTH very excited about (in fact, I’m the one that alerted Ana’s attention to said book). I was more than a little jealous when she told me she received an ARC, but I waited patiently for my turn with the book. And then, when Ana finally started to read it, the emails started to pour in. Ana was completely dejected and let down – and she desperately needed a second opinion. And, thus, she immediately sent the book to me after she could not finish it. At this point, I was very nervous, and had brought my reader expectations down a whole bunch. But, I was willing to give Soulless a fair shot.

And…the result? I’m left with mixed feelings.

On the dominant side of these mixed emotions is a firm agreement with Ana. Alexia Tarabotti is indeed very much Amelia Peabody, right down to the physical descriptions: long, unruly dark locks, a lack of self-esteem in the appearance department, darker tanned skin, the generous curves so out of vogue with the current fashions, and of course, the Parasol. If you’ve read Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody books, you will recognize this immediately. Heck, even the names are similar, phonetically: Alexia Tarabotti vs. Amelia Peabody. Perhaps Ms. Carriger is a huge fan of Amelia’s – I know that both Ana and I certainly are! – and this was an homage of sorts. But there’s a difference between homage and that uncomfortable too-close sensation, and unfortunately, Alexia inspired the latter in me. Keep in mind, there’s also Lord Maccon who is every bit Emerson Radcliffe to Alexia’s Amelia. He’s growly and loud and brawny and attractive, and of course, completely taken with Alexia’s pigheaded, logical nature.

In itself, this isn’t too bad – I found that I could keep reading despite some disappointment in the originality department. But then…other things started to pop up. Other Amelia-isms, for example:

‘Alexia!’ Lord Maccon groaned his frustration. Miss Tarabotti realized that the earl’s use of her given name indicated a certain degree of irritation on his part.
~ from Soulless


‘Forget Ramses,’ Emerson said. ‘I insist, Amelia, that you tell me what is worrying you.’ Despite his smile he was not in good temper with me; his use of my proper name indicated as much. ‘Peabody,’ my maiden name, is the one he uses in moments of marital or professional approbation. With a sigh, I yielded.
~ from Lion in the Valley

It’s more than a little bit distracting, and I could immediately understand Ana’s frustration with the book. I have to concur with Ana’s claim that the lynchpin of Soulless is in the quirkiness and originality of its heroine, Alexia, and the awkward affections of Lord Maccon. And I’m cool with trying to emulate Amelia Peabody’s quirky narrative. BUT, unfortunately, the sparkle of the dynamic between Alexia and Maccon is not nearly so vibrant when you’ve seen it before – and done much better, even – with Amelia and her dear Emerson.

There were also a number of stylistic and plotting things that bothered me. Alexia’s heritage as a half-italian with tanned skin and a prominent nose and ample bosoms were on a constant loop throughout the book; the hideousness of Miss Ivy’s hats were also emphasized at every appearance of the character; the vampire Lord Akaldama’s flamboyance was flared at every possible occasion. In fact, this is what bothered me the most – more so than the Amelia similarities, Soulless suffered from EXCESS. The repetitiveness of the same descriptions, the excessive discussion of the clothes so and so was wearing, or anytime Lord Akaldama opened his mouth to speak (every other word was italicized, and punctuated with some silly endearment like “sugarplumb!“).

Too much.

Also, thematically, Soulless suffers from this excess. As Ana mentioned above, the fantasy/horror label is something of a misnomer – this is much more of a paranormal romance, with fantasy elements (not so much any horror, at least, not in my opinion). And it is a damn shame because doubtless, the eager fantasy and horror fans who have been waiting for this book or who decide to give it a shot will be scratching their heads, and the romance readers who are more likely to love this book will bypass it entirely!

Also, there are the steampunk fans to take into consideration. You may have seen that Soulless is also marketed as a Steampunk novel, and this is, in my opinion, one of the most egregious flaws.

There is really nothing steampunk about it. Yes, there is an appearance of ONE dirigible, but it’s in the periphery, as two characters are walking in Hyde Park. There’s an automaton, and some dramatic steam powered machines and theories at the end of the novel, but it none of it seems necessary or integral to the plot in the slightest. There’s no reason why this could not have simply been a Victorian Era novel. Not to mention, Soulless tries to blend Vampires, Werewolves, a Victorian B.P.R.D., AND Steampunk all in a single book! It’s a little too much (again, the excess), and though not impossible to pull off (see Mike Mignola’s Hellboy), it’s a tall order and just doesn’t work here.

Instead, the sparse and shakily integrated steampunk elements come across as trying to take advantage of a burgeoning new market, as opposed to having artistic integrity to the novel. And it’s a shame, because the paranormal element was actually quite intriguing. Which brings me to my final point…

Now, it appears like Ana and I have been ragging on this book for an entire review. Well, we have. BUT while it is important to note these weaknesses, I have to say that Soulless is not without its strengths. Even though I found myself less than impressed with the writing, the mislabeled genre, and the eerily familiar characters, I cannot deny that there was something in this novel that kept me reading. I think that the paranormal aspect of the book was fascinating – I loved the idea of a “soulless” protagonist who has the ability to nullify supernatural powers with a single touch, and the history behind the vampires and werewolves and their full integration into English society (even if Ms. Carriger didn’t quite pull this off believably). I wish that Ms. Carriger focused less on trying to integrate the unnecessary steampunk elements into the book, less on the repetition of descriptions and character quirks that felt forced, and instead focused on this brilliant premise. I loved the idea of an octopus being the moniker of a zealous anti-supernatural faction. While I thought that certain passages were awkward and clunky, and that neither Alexia nor Maccon come off as entirely genuine (Alexia’s use of certain anachronisms, such as:

Huh, she thought. I do not buy it. I definitely do not feel protected.

…were jarringly out of place with the time period, and Lord Maccon’s “Scottish” heritage never really felt genuine either), I still felt drawn to these characters against all odds. I love the Amelia Peabody and Emerson-type dynamic, so even this paler imitation was admittedly fun.

And, most importantly, I finished the book.

Now keep in mind, I also felt a compulsion to finish the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, and those certainly were not good books. But the point is, there’s something there. Ms. Carriger, like Ms. Meyer, has the ability to keep a reader wanting to read the book. And, given the good ideas that were buried underneath the disappointments and less-than-impressive writing, I think there’s something worthwhile here, and Ms. Carriger can only improve as an author. So, I will be picking up the next novel – I can’t help myself.


Ana: DNF

Thea: 4 – Bad, but not without merit / 6 – Good, with reservations It’s a schizophrenic rating for me because on the whole, the novel had serious problems. BUT there’s promise in there, and I’ll be reading the next book just to see where it goes.

Reading Next: Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

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  • katiebabs
    October 2, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Ana and I have talked about both our opinions about Soulless. I haven’t read the Amelia Peabody books so I can see why Ana felt the way she did.

    Because I am a die hard romance fan as we all know, I didn’t mind the interactions between Alexia and Maccon. I loved the balance of paranormal, romance and these elements that would be Steampunk.

    It seems even publishers are not sure what a true Steampunk is. The diehard fans know but those who are just starting to jump on the Steampunk bandwagon like myself is doing it slowly, so maybe that is why there is a mix of different genres rolled into one to make it more appealing.

    It also seems with Steampunk it is more paranormal. One such Steampunk I read was Wicked Gentlemen, a MM so called Steampunk. I couldn’t see any Steampunk elements in that book at all except the setting was Victorian England and the one protagonist was a demon. It read more like a paranormal to me.

    Here I am rambling, Hee. But I adored Soulless so, so much. I cannot wait for more adventures from Alexia and her parasol. Maybe she will go off to Egypt and meet Amelia?

  • KMont
    October 2, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Aye carumba. Ya know….I do make my own decisions about what I want to read – I do. But after reading this review, which is as always well written and therefore defended, I think I’ll give Soulless a pass for a bit. I’ve got so much to read and don’t think I’ll miss it for now.

    I’m really, really disappointed that the steampunk elements aren’t as strongly present as was implied. We started seeing this subgenre’s emergence played up – oh that rascally hype – for a while now and this is the second one I’ve heard doesn’t really swing the steampunk. That just…disappoints me, man.

    I can get on board with it being more a paranormal romance, and I’ve not read Amelia Peabody, who I know have a stronger urge to read, really. But not having read her, maybe I wouldn’t have te Peabody alike-ness issues yall did. Still, it’s very disconcerting to hear that Soulless is that similar to that series.

    And god could I go off on the mislabeling. I. SO. Could. 👿

  • katiebabs
    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Perhaps I need to read some Amelia Peabody?

    This was your plan from the start to pimp out Amelia Peabody to me! You evil, evil book pimps!! Do you ever stop!! *shakes fist and heads off to library*

  • Ciar Cullen
    October 2, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I may give this a try anyway, although that’s three for three reviews I’ve seen. I’m a diehard Amelia fan and don’t want to be irrate over that issue. One thing this book has is a spectacular cover and a lot of great advance promo.

    But I need to give it a shot, despite the fact that the author ripped my first page at dear author to shreds saying it “was not a steampunk…” grrr and then mentioned this book grrrrrr which evidently also is not steampunk

    Hey, I’m not a purist for any genre, and I’m going to give it a whirl and review it myself.

  • Aoife
    October 2, 2009 at 6:16 am

    This is an excellent review, and describes exactly both what I didn’t like about Soulless, and the bits that I did enjoy. I love Peabody and Emerson, but I completely missed the similarities until you pointed them out. Ultimately the one of the things that bothered me the most about Soulless was what you both pointed out: I had the strong feeling that it was written to cash in on a trend, rather than Carriger having any deep knowledge, understanding, or appreciation of Steampunk. My younger daughter, who is into Steampunk, skimmed Soulless last night, and commented that putting a corset on a character and referencing goggles and a dirigible doesn’t make a book Steampunk, which pretty much sums up my own feeling.

    And the Americanisms and anachronistic language constantly flipped me out of the book. All in all, it just felt a little sloppy.

    Great review!

  • janicu
    October 2, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I disagree about the steampunk elements not being a big part of the book. I thought the whole mad scientists angle was rather steampunk? And steampunk also often refers to victorian/baroque settings etc plus adventure.. I wouldn’t say this novel is ALL steampunk, but it’s there.

    I think the biggest issue is probably how this book reminds you two too much of Elizabeth Peters, and I haven’t read that book/series? so I couldn’t confirm or deny it 🙂

    Anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot, but I think I viewed the excess and over-the-top bits as part of the fun. I had a lot of FUN reading this book and I think romance readers would like it (not sure why it’s labelled horror/fantasy either, it should be labelled PNR!)

  • Lustyreader
    October 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Ever since I heard the hints on Twitter of your difficulties reading this I have been eagerly anticipating your joint review.

    I haven’t read Amelia Peabody (and agree with KB, do your pimping ways never rest?!?) and know nothing about steampunk so doubt I will have any of the same issues when I read it.

    As other commenters mentioned, but bears repeating: Thank you for the detail, honesty, and fresh voices in your reviews. I always feel so well informed after coming here.

  • Jessica Kennedy
    October 2, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Great review.

    I loved Soulless. The excess, the minor steampunk, the fashion, and the romance were points I loved about the book. It was a very fun read and I can’t wait for Changeless to release in April.

    I haven’t read Amelia Peabody but I’m guessing I’d enjoy it. 🙂 And the similarities would probably annoy me if I’d read that series beforehand too.

    The genre labeling is odd. I thought it had elements of horror. That abomination/automation thing scared the shit out of me. But it is mostly a historic paranormal romance. I didn’t read it for the steampunk at all.

  • Britt, Book Habitue
    October 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hmm… I think I’ll pass and go reread the Amelia Peabody stuff instead! 😀

  • Adrienne
    October 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

    So glad I have you guys to read and review so I don’t waste my money on books when there are others to buy!! -thanks for the review

  • KarenS
    October 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Thank you for another excellent review! I’ve wanted to read Soulless ever since I picked up the ARC at BEA in May, but each time I skimmed through it, I put it down. And then I clicked on a link to a group reading of the first chapter by some actors (I think) and was further turned off. I stopped listening to the reading about five minutes in because I feared I’d never read Soulless if I continued. Your review has helped me decide this isn’t a book I have to read now. I think I will eventually read the ARC I have, but I’ll tackle more of TBR pile first and wait until I hit a lull.

  • Bettina
    October 2, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I’m a big fan of paranormal romance and heard that this was going to be a steampunk romance so I’m giving it a shot.

    I’m at chapter 3 right now, and the one thing that is a little offputting is the head-hopping that’s going on. The writer unfortunately switches POV constantly within a scene, which for a romance reader is a little jarring. Other than that, I don’t know Amelia Peabody, so that’s not putting me off.

  • Carolyn Crane (CJ)
    October 2, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for this thoughtful, interesting review! I’ve seen instances where writers have unconsciously internalized a beloved work, and their work has echoes of that internalized work.

    I’ve been planning on getting this, and as a person who isn’t familiar with Amelia Peabody or a purist on steampunk, I wonder how I’ll come out on it.

  • SonomaLass
    October 2, 2009 at 11:25 am

    This is on my TBR pile, part of my educator’s discount haul from Borders this week. I love steampunk and alternate Victorian settings, enough that I’m willing to try overcoming my paranormal fatigue. I like but don’t love Elizabeth Peters, and haven’t read anything by her in ages, so that aspect shouldn’t trouble me.

    The genre labeling thing is an ongoing problem — one book I considered this week is marketed as romance by its author, as general fiction by Borders, and as chick lit by the publisher. Wow. I was surprised to see the horror label on Soulless, but then my Borders had it filed in sci-fi/fantasy, and several people have told me it’s definitely romance. I’m hoping that means it has cross-genre elements that I will like, because I usually enjoy books that aren’t smack in the middle of genre traditions.

    I know authors get little say in these sorts of decisions; looks like Gail Carriger won the cover art sweepstakes but lost out in genre classification. I’m the danger of being misclassified doesn’t stop authors from crossing genre lines, though.

  • SonomaLass
    October 2, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Um, yay for editors who don’t proofread? That last line should read “I’m GLAD the danger of being misclassified doesn’t stop authors from crossing genre lines.”

  • Angie
    October 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Interesting where you two fell on this one. I waffled back and forth whether or not to pick it up. For some reason I had a hard time committing to reading it. But once I started I was in. I thought the whole thing was a fun romp. Nothing too serious, and the stylistic choices and repetition seemed quite intentional to me, and as such didn’t bother me. But, as so many others have said, I haven’t read the Peabody books and know too well how unfortunate similarities to another series can break a book. I just had this happen with one I just finished reading and had such high hopes for. *sigh*

    I wonder sometimes if we cripple ourselves with expectations? And don’t necessarily give the book a chance. But I’ve gone back and forth on the one I just finished and there’s no two ways about it. It was lame.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to CHANGELESS. 🙂

  • Li
    October 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    V interesting book discussion – thanks!

    I’m a shameless Amelia Peabody fangirl, so I’m really curious about this book now. I’ve been trying to find an excerpt online, but no luck – anyone have a link?

  • Rhiannon Hart
    October 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Ciar–I was ripped to shreds on Dear Author too! Maybe we should start a support group. 😳

    SHAME! But, one less unread book to keep me awake at night. I’m intrigued by the Peabody books now though.

  • SonomaLass
    October 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Recently someone recommended a book to me that I could not read. I’ll never know if I would have liked it or not, but it was Jacobean, with a Scottish hero named Jamie, and I could not get past that at all.

    Intentional or unintentional, sometimes associations with other books really affect whether you can enjoy a book.

  • danielle
    October 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Really? I JUST got my copy in the mail yesterday, and I was literally jumping up and down with excitment. Dang.

  • Gail Dayton
    October 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I want to ask about your definition of “steampunk”- Is it the cool mechanicals that make it steampunk? Or the Victorian era, or what?

    I personally lean toward the wideangle view of it– anything that is set in the era of steam, with magic/fantastical elements to it. Do y’all agree?

    I consider the Naomi Novik dragon books to be at least steampunk-ish. I call my own books (New Blood and those following) steampunk–but they do have mechanical critters… I just wonder how y’all would define it.

  • heidenkind
    October 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Wow. Hmmm, I think maybe I’ll re-read Amelia Peabody first. =\

  • Ana
    October 3, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for all the comments! :mrgreen:

    Gail – interesting question. It seems that there is a lot of discussion about the very definition of Steampunk. I like Scott Westerfeld’s one – I recently read Leviathan and there is an afterword in which he says that Steampunk is about “Possible futures and alternate pasts” in which steam power is used.

    To me , in order to a book to be considered full blow Steampunk, the society the story portrays, the story itself needs to be UNABLE to function without those elements. In Soulless, there are a couple of dirigibles, and some automatons but Alexia’s day to day life is not at all affected by those elements.

    I am not of course, an expert. 😀

  • Ana
    October 3, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Li – You can go to the author’s site and listen to a free sample here: http://www.gailcarriger.com/

    Hope that helps! :mrgreen:

  • Gwenhwyfar
    October 5, 2009 at 8:36 am


    Thought it was hysterical and actually got peevish with children who kept demanding mundane things from me (dinner, lunch, laundry…) and would not let me alone to read.

    Haven’t read any Amelia Peabody, but liked this so much, may just head out to library.

    Can’t wait for the Changeless!

  • Li
    October 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks Ana! I listened to the first minute or so (audiobooks and I do not get along) and it sounded reasonably promising – will have to go look for it in the bookstore.

  • Maili
    October 6, 2009 at 11:58 am


    To me , in order to a book to be considered full blow Steampunk, the society the story portrays, the story itself needs to be UNABLE to function without those elements.

    That’s an excellent short answer. Yeah, I’m with you on that.

  • Heather Massey
    October 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Thea and Ana, thanks for such a thoughtful, in-depth review.

    @Gail To me, a wide-angle view implies using steampunk as an umbrella term for pure steampunk, steampunk hybrids, and stories with steampunk elements, which is a different matter than actually defining the nature of steampunk.

    We *could* define steampunk as anything with steampunk elements no matter how few or numerous, but I think that would lead to misrepresentations of stories, especially if a reader is looking for wall-to-wall steampunk but gets only one or two elements. Publishers can only fit a word or two on a book’s spine, so it’s up to authors and readers to communicate with each other about what that marketing label actually means.

    For what it’s worth, after reading NEW BLOOD, I personally define it as alt-historical fantasy romance with steampunk elements. I really dig your mechanical critters, but didn’t feel they were front and center enough to make the book pure steampunk (other readers’ mileages may vary).

    However, NEW BLOOD could work very well to introduce readers new to steampunk. They’d get a taste, to test the waters as it were, instead of a wall-to-wall infusion. Pure steampunk has a fierce learning curve, so it’s great to see hybrids available that make the learning curve fun.

  • Adult Fic, I Read That Too | Karen Healey
    May 11, 2010 at 5:46 am

    […] The inestimable Book Smugglers scoffed at this scene, and I cannot imagine why. If I had perhaps an hour to live and a hot dude to adore who adored me […]

  • Jen
    September 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I wanted to thank the Book Smugglers for setting me onto the Amelia Peabody series.

    I can most certainly see where Amelia and Alexia intersect and I have to say, I much preferred Amelia to Alexia even though I was introduced to Alexia first!

    Thanks again!

  • kendall
    April 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I had just finished reading Blameless and was interested to find more books similar to the Parasol Protectorate Series, so I googled it and found this review and book reviewing site (which I love by the way, yay! for new material to read).

    I was quite surprised to read the review and the rating to the book, because I quite enjoyed this series. It definitely made me want to pick up the Amelia Peabody books and see just how similar they were.

    After reading the first book in the Amelia series, I can completely understand why you guys were so turned away from Soulless. The similarities are quite startling, and to me now that I have read some of the original, soulless feels like a fanfiction of the Amelia series, instead of it being its own series. However I do quite like fanfiction, so I’ll continue to read the Soulless books ;), but it will forever now slightly bother me the similarities in the two series. I will also continue to read and enjoy Amelia 😀

    Thanks for the review and turning me onto a nice new series for me to read 🙂

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