Prior to my Monday review of Little is Left to Tell, my Jon had so lovingly informed me (twice) that the last time I published something on Books & Tea was May 24, which was nearly three weeks ago. First, I didn’t realize he was such a consistent reader of my blog. Second, I blame it on my recent book breakup with Soulless by Gail Carriger.
Released: October 2009
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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?
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so devastated to not finish a book. Especially since Soulless by Gail Carriger seemed to have many characteristic that I adore in a novel. A strong female main character with a keen fashion sense and an affinity for tea…lots and lots of tea. Strong steampunk vibes and Victorian London’s high society. A narrative voice that is snarky and kind of pseudo-pretentious (I wish I could write like that!). Dreamy and awkward Lord Maccon, who just might be the only werewolf worthy of a swoon.
And yet it took me a month to read 150 pages of the novel (and that might actually be a generous estimate).
I so desperately wanted to finish Soulless that I forbade myself from reading any of the other library books I had borrowed back in APRIL, which ultimately means I had to return the Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater unread (along with Mosquitoland and the Wrath of the Dawn, blast it!).
It was the thing that impressed me the most upon cracking open the book for the very first time that wore me down– the voice. The snarky, pseudo-pretentious voice that made me snicker in my office during lunch time. After a while it just became tedious. It seemed to slow the book down a lot because it took the narrator– prone to digressions and such– forever to convey what was happening.
Also…vampires. Vampires are kind of lame, but that’s my fault, not Gail Carriger’s. I was aware that I thought vampires were lame when I borrowed this book, but you never know when you’ll read a book that will challenge your initial (or long-standing) perception of an idea. After all, I enjoyed Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handleland, which was a bit of a double whammy for me– vampires AND a steamy romance.
This is not the first time I’ve tried to read a book by Gail Carriger, either. Last year, I tried reading her Finishing School series, and I couldn’t even get past the first chapter, though at the time, I assumed it was because I wasn’t really in the mood to read a young adult novel. Perhaps that’s not the case after all? I’m not entirely prepared to give up on Gail Carriger yet though. She has another series set in the same world called the Custard Protocol, and it has piqued my interest. I’ve read that the writing is even more flowery, which means I will probably suffer through 150 pages before giving up again, but…there is something so irresistible about a dirigible adventure to India.
Have you read the Custard Protocol? Is it worth checking out?