Book Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

How strange to go into a review full of groveling apologies. I liked this book a great deal through, say, the first quarter of it. But something about the writing style became rather tiresome to my eyes after that point. And, most peculiar of all, I’m not so sure the issue is with the book as much it is with, well, me. But I just could not get over, or under, or around a sense of the author as a very obvious puppeteer, blatantly pulling strings and trying to show her readers just how amazingly clever she is, rather than interested in spinning a decent yarn.


What bothers me most is that on one level I can sort of admit the appeal of this style, but that it may just be I happened to pick the book up at a moment in my life when frippery like this simply would not grab me. (FWIW, after reading several of the Tuesday Next books I came to a similar conclusion regarding Jasper Fforde. Though the descent from liking it to being overcome by the lack of substance and relentlessly cute style to the point of nausea was far slower.)

Eh, I suppose the final takeaway from this concerns an admittedly rather curious image in my mind of jelly doughnuts. I rather like them when they’re well made, but no matter how well made they are I have no real interest in eating three dozen of them in one sitting. And, yes, ultimately that’s where this book left me. So, on that downright bizarre thought I leave this book and this series behind me. (Bizarre as in I have no idea where such a conceit comes to me from. The part of my subconscious that always wanted to be a police officer? If so, it is a deeply repressed and hidden element lurking there, indeed.)

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