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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)

Soulless - Gail Carriger, Gail Carriger It's quite difficult to rate a book like this, since it was a lot of fun to read, but can hardly be considered Great Literature. It is, after all about an alternate-history Victorian-era London, peopled with vampires and werewolves (most of whom seem very civilized indeed) and our heroine who happens to be soulless. I wish there was a way of rating all quick-read-entertaining books on their own merit, rather than plopping them down side by side next to Eugenides "The Marriage Plot" which I've been hired to write a review. Frankly, if I only read books like this, I'd probably give it a four out or five, and might have anyway but for some really sloppy point of view issues (it's written in free indirect discourse, 3rd person limited, but keeps slipping off into all sort of undisciplined POVs), and too much reliance on somewhat overdone sex scenes. As I said, it is fun to read, and the voice is decidedly, and somewhat wickedly, witty (I think a building described as having "excitable buttresses" is almost worth the entire cost of the book). But I do wish the author might have spent a little less time fumbling about in the pantaloons of one particularly attractive werewolf, and more time exploring what it actually means, and feels like, to be born without a soul. So much possible character motivation there, and I'm afraid it was squandered in favor of a relentless number of groping scenes. Still, I chuckled frequently and found the plot moved along at a quick pace. Don't expect Dickens, but enjoy.