Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger


I read Soulless (2009) because of the Steampunk Challenge. This challenge is an exploration of the steampunk genre, which is ideal for me, because I hadn’t read anything in this genre until I read Soulless.

The story takes place in Victorian England. Supernatural beings are accepted and integrated members of society. Although there are also ghosts, we only learn about werewolves and vampires.

Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster of 25 who goes to parties just to chaperone her younger step-sisters. She is not expected to find a man for herself. Still, she is special in a way, because she is a preternatural, which is the opposite of supernatural: she has no soul. When she touches a vampire or werewolf, they lose their supernatural powers.

At the beginning of the book we find her killing a rove vampire who has tried to attack her. Soon, Lord Maccon and his crew are present to find out what happened. Lord Maccon and Alexia can’t stand each other. He’s Scottish, loud, big and a werewolf. He works for the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, a civil service division.

The vampire she killed has not been registered anywhere and Alexia goes on a quest to discover the origins of the rove vampires (several more have been discovered). Lord Maccon is on the same quest and they find themselves in each other’s company quite a bit. Such a pity they can’t stand each other!

There is a kidnapping, some really gory experiments, a gay vampire, a love interest, a romance, and lots more. The steampunk element was not strong. There were a few items, such as a tea maker on a carriage but it seemed a bit unnecessary and redundant.

In all, I loved reading this story. The writing style was very funny and uplifting. Even the gory parts and the romantic parts were described in a way that hinted at a lot but didn’t spell it out.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book: via Bookmooch as I wanted to read it for the Steampunk challenge

I read this in: the original language, English.

Extra: Check out my review of the second and third books in this series, Changeless and Blameless.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

25 Responses to Soulless by Gail Carriger

  1. I’m so glad you read this, Judith! I loved this book – it’s so refreshing and funny isn’t it? I have Blameless at home to read soo and I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Aleksandra says:

    I loved Soulless 🙂 I liked Changeless, too & I’ll read Blameless soon… I don’t know if you’re planning to read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, but you definitely should! There are lots of steampunk elements in it & I loved it 🙂 I’m planning to read the sequel Behemoth for the steampunk challenge 🙂 Happy reading!

    • leeswammes says:

      Aleksandra, I’ve heard good things about Leviathan so I would like to read it. For now, our library hasn’t got it, so I have to rely on Bookmooch. 🙂

  3. Ah, so that’s steampunk! It sounds very fanciful and imaginative.

  4. Alex says:

    I’m a fan of steampunk, and of course this book keeps popping up. I’ve lately decided to give the whole vampire vs. werewolf thing a break, but people are so enthusiastic about this one that might give it a go soon.

    • leeswammes says:

      Alex, it didn’t disturb me at all that there were werewolves and vampires in this book. In this book they are integrated in society and it’s not too silly.

  5. Misha Mathew says:

    I have head such a lot about this book. I usually try to avoid all the books with a lot of hype about them. But your review makes me want to read the book. Thanks!

  6. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about steampunk lately but not about specific books of that genre. I’ll put this one on my “maybe” TBR 🙂

  7. Iris says:

    I don’t think I would give it 5 out of 5 stars and I do think the many sex references might have been a bit too much for me, even if they weren’t explicit. But I liked this book nonetheless. I’m glad you did as well and even more than I did, it seems!

    • leeswammes says:

      I didn’t mind the sex references, Iris. I thought they were done quite implicitly. It helps that I recently tried to read erotic fiction (too much for me!), compared to that, this was peanuts.

  8. Dorte H says:

    Ah, so this is steampunk!

    Well, I like Victorian + ghosts, but am not so sure about wherevolves 😀

  9. Amanda says:

    You review made this book sound so much fun, I’m heading over to the Book Depository to grab a copy!

  10. Rachel says:

    I really want to read this book. I keep hearing such good reviews. I need to move it up my TBR list.

    • leeswammes says:

      Soulless is not a book I expected to like, Rachel. But for the steampunk challenge, I thought I’ll give it a go. And it was much more fun than I expected.

  11. I loved Soulless. It was really funny. I liked Changeless too, all the way up until the last chapter which I found frustrating. I did get Blameless, but haven’t read it yet. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

  12. rikkiscraps says:

    Good review, Judith. I’m already looking forward to reading it.

  13. Jenni says:

    This book looks really interesting. I originally found your post because I was looking to see what others felt about Justin Cronin’s The Passage, but then this review caught my eye. I’m adding it to my list!

  14. Pingback: Soulless by Gail Carriger – toe curlingly hilarious « A Baby Illustrator

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