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review 2017-09-18 21:29
Pinky up while fighting
Soulless - Gail Carriger,Gail Carriger

 

Lord Conall Maccon,Earl of Woolsey, was Alpha of the local werewolves, and as a result, he had access to a wide array of truly vicious methods of dealing with Miss Alexia Tarabotti. 

Alexia is a preternatual, she has no soul and is therefore, something between the living and the supernatural. Whenever she touches a supernatural she renders any powers or offshoots of their supernatural ability moot. 
Conall is an Alpha werewolf leading the Woolsey pack and works for BUR, an organization that monitors, investigates, and keeps supernaturals in check. 
Alexia and Conall's back and forth sassy and grumpy chemistry was fun to follow along with but the supernatural world dominated this story.

The puritans left Queen Elizabeth's England for the New World because the queen sanctioned the supernatural presence in the British Isle. The Colonies had been entirely backward ever since: religious fingers in all their dealings with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. It made America into a deeply superstitious place. 

It's the Victorian age and with a bit of alternate history, the world knows about supernaturals. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and the very rare preternaturals all knowingly exist. It took me until around 40% before I felt comfortable in the story. The pace and tone is written in a bit of a frenetic way and with so many new terms, beings, frameworks, and relationships thrown at me, it took awhile for me to catch up. 

"I am beginning to understand," she said in a quiet deadly voice, "who is the monster." 

The story is written with a bit tongue in cheek, is it more damning that our heroine is a preternatural or spinster? English decorum must always be displayed, regardless if one is dealing with vampires, werewolves, or villainous scientists. I liked this bit of irony on manners and how the author subtly took a jab at cultural norms, ideals, and human nature. 

I could have stood for more structure and development of relationships and less of the felt forced in steam punk components but overall, this was a fun world to visit for a couple hours. I'll read the next in the series and hopefully the groundwork laid in this one will allow me to hit the story running and secondary characters and relationships will flourish more.

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review 2017-02-09 18:52
Oh my
Soulless - Gail Carriger,Gail Carriger

When I picked this book up, on my online library, I expected nothing really. I had this idea that this book was for the really young teenagers. Perhaps around 13-14 years old. It certainly is not... Just a warning. Now that that is out of the way let me try to express what I feel about this book. How it made me crack up with uncontrollably laughter because of the dry, sneaky comments, how I want a werewolf like Maccon just because he is so absolutely adorable, how Alexia never does what is expected of her and how she manages to piss everyone of around her while still being the cutest. I think it is pretty safe to say that I am excited for this book and how it turned out. So excited in fact that I can not wait for to read the next one!  

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review 2016-09-12 00:00
Soulless
Soulless - Robert J. Crane Q:
He took a drink of his and I took a deep sip of mine, taking care not to make the face that was struggling to get out, that mixture of putrid desire to spit and horror that drinking so vile a liquid was socially acceptable.
(c)
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review 2016-07-28 00:00
Soulless Creatures
Soulless Creatures - Katharine Grubb Soulless Creatures - Katharine Grubb I have some mixed feelings about this novel. Like her other book, [[ASIN:B00AAC5FKS Falling For Your Madness]], the characters are unique and intriguing, but the book didn't capture me in the same way.

Set in the 80's at Oklahoma University, Soulless Creatures is about 3 students: Jonathan, the rich kid desperate to transcend his status by living a modern day Walden; Roy, the street wise ladies' man who is trying to transcend his druggie mom's and con man dad's legacy by making something of himself; and Abby, the "angel" both boys idolize, who despite her level head has a bit of growing up to do.

The hijinx begin immediately, as Roy's dad and girlfriend steal Roy's car on the way to school, Roy, with his roommate Jonathan's help, make plans to get Roy into the dorm floor President position, and Abby enters public college with fear, uncertainty, and a secret boyfriend. They all meet during a chance minor collision in the local Walmart parking lot, and after finding each other again on campus, become friends.

I have to say, though, that I didn't really get into the story until Jonathan decides to hold a test to see if Roy really has a soul, the real stakes of the book in which the prize is Jonathan's sweet car. Sweet, innocent Abby is elected as judge for the competition, which takes the rest of the semester to complete.

I almost abandoned the story, initially, because it took a while to get to the good part, but went back to give it a chance after reading the author's other stories. It's not my favorite of hers, but it's not bad. It's a touching story with unexpected results, which I both enjoyed and didn't. I think in the end my disconnect was that it just wasn't my type of story. But well written and interesting enough, so it fairly earned the four stars I'm giving it.
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review 2016-07-05 00:00
Soulless
Soulless - T. Baggins Now, this was everything a good, old-fashioned vampire novel should be: gothic, dark, brutal, bloody, and sexy.

Baggins' writing is visceral and evocative, without ever venturing into purple. She gives us brilliant characters: I fell in love with Nicholas from first sight. He makes a bargain with the devil (so to speak), and yet never loses his snark, his wit, his defiance. Ban is the perfect gothic vampire, torn between his desires, his devotion to his master Sebastian, and his more human side. I loved how the author made both men prime examples for strength and endurance. For perseverance.
Sebastian is evil in pure form, a villain who's actually frightening inside and out. Even the supporting characters turned out to be real gems, from Martha to Grandma Robinson to Dr. Flowers, the van Helsing of this tale.

It was pure pleasure to read Nicholas and Ban's back and forth. Baggins not only wrote some of the best dialogue I've read in a while, but also some very erotic sex. Yes, it could have been a bit bloodier. Nicholas' surprisingly kinky mind already supplied the right idea:

Transfixed, Nicholas had a sudden vision of himself: stripped to the waist, flesh cut in dozens of places, rivulets of blood decorating his cheeks, biceps, nipples. Offering himself as a feast, an unfolding banquet for all Ban's senses....

Unfortunately, we never see anything like this. But what I got was more than able to make up for it: a sweet awkwardness and a lush eroticism that doesn't need to be blatantly explicit to be hot as hell. (In other words: None of the cheap porn hyperbole that seems so common for m/m romance nowadays, and that's the exact opposite of “erotic”.)

There were some editing issues: a few anachronisms, „hair“ where it should've been „hand“, present tense where past tense was required, people calling Ban „Ban“ when he still went by his birthname „Hob“... The pacing was a bit uneven too. There's a long sequence in the middle where everything comes to a stop so that Ban can tell about his past. It was a fascinating tale, yes, but the inclusion felt rather heavy-handed.
And then there was the end. Frankly, I would have been happier without the last chapter. But it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I'd already spoilered myself – as per usual – and thought I'd be enraged; but in fact I think Baggins handled the thing with an asexual woman and a gay man having children quite well.

Usually I would have retracted a star for the proofreading and pacing issues. But I can't bring myself to: Just like Nicholas was starved for touch, I was starving for a good vampire story. And even more so for well-written m/m with grown-up men (okay, and vampires) having intelligent conversations, and actually erotic sex. It's unbelievable how rare these things are. So, in the m/m world, this is a real treasure.

As I gather, S.A. Reid / T. Baggins has already left the lands of m/m and vanished in a poof of fairy dust? If this is true, it's a real shame le sigh
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