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Author Topic: My reviews of Soulless and Boneshaker  (Read 1055 times)
dminoz
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« on: November 03, 2010, 11:51:08 am »

I've just read Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and Gail Carriger's Soulless, and I've blogged my impressions here: http://dminoz.posterous.com/.

I think Ms Carriger is a real writing standout...
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 09:00:07 pm »

Souless was given away at The Asylum as a gift for every Member. I am not sure I would otherwise have read it, it is far away from my normal read, but I enjoyed it enough to buy the next two, which have less of the cringemaking elements I had to balance against the elements I enjoyed. Its the parts which are remiscent of slash which I find uncomfortable, this was toned down in the other two books thank god. The sexual politics expressed in the books are appropriate for the era, but the execution of them is modern and that is jarring.

The parts I like are the realization of this supernatural alternate Victorian Britain and the comedy of manners background. I think the first book just tries too hard, but Ms Carriger appears to have realized this and corrected it.
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 10:49:13 pm »

I'm reading the third Parasol Protectorate book (Blameless) now and I really enjoy the series (although I'm not particularly happy with a certain werewolf at the moment).

I tend to agree with some of your points regarding Boneshaker.  I found it somewhat laborious to slog through.  I found the world setting interesting, but the characters didn't grip me.  I ended up reading it in installments while reading several other books between installments.  I did like it enough to read the pseudo-sequel, Dreadnought, and I thoroughly enjoyed that book.  Perhaps because I found the characters more interesting and perhaps because the setting was not so claustrophobic (even though almost all of the action actually takes place in the smaller, more-enclosed space of a train), the book was much less constricted feeling.  I also liked the revelation regarding the current status of some of the main characters of Boneshaker in Dreadnought.  I found the sequel so enjoyable that I just downloaded the novella set in the same world, Clementine, as an e-book (actually I read them all on the Kindle App on my iPhone).
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Rockula
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 03:05:37 pm »

I loved 'Soulless' and will be reading the sequels. The elements that others seem to take humbrage too (the 'physical' stuff) seems quite tame to me and didn't reduce my reading pleasure. I liked the characters and finished thinking 'I'd like to hear more about these folks'.

I had one quibble though. I thought that Alexia, who is described as 'soulless' seemed to have plenty of it. Grin

I haven't read 'Boneshaker' and the more reviews I read the less enclined I am to bother.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 05:21:05 pm »

I liked Soulless and the 2 sequels.

If Lord of the Rings and Shakespeare could be considered as Blockbuster films (hmmm) then The Parasol Protectorate is a series on the Sci Fi Channel.

It's quite predictable in places, it's a bit over the top, a bit hammed up and a bit over acted – but it's bloody enjoyable to read and it leaves you with a smile on your face and a desire to see the next episode.
And besides, Shakespear was rubbish.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 05:34:12 pm »

And besides, Shakespear was rubbish.

I said that to my English teacher in 1976 and was given detention. Grin
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 05:38:40 pm »

I may have to re-evaluate my stance on Soulless. I initially kinda shelved it indefinatly, basicly labeling it "Twilight with Goggles" But I'm hearing some good reviews.
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Rockula
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 05:40:33 pm »

I may have to re-evaluate my stance on Soulless. I initially kinda shelved it indefinatly, basicly labeling it "Twilight with Goggles" But I'm hearing some good reviews.

'Soulless' has a plot, characters and humour. 'Twilight' is crap. There's yer difference. Grin
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Just call me Rob
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 05:50:01 pm »

I'd say it's more like Buffy with Goggles.
It's trashy, but it's good trashy.
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 01:46:45 am »

As previously stated Souless is worth reading and the sequels as well, but it is not a good introduction to the sub-genre if one is reading in SP for the first time for most people. There are exceptions, a friend of mine is into Harry Potter, epic fantasy and slash, and she would probably get more out of this than one or two of my normal first read recommendations. This and Stephen Hunt for her.

What is good is that it is pushing the boundaries of the sub-genre in a good way. 

The author is determined to reveal the rules of their world in a way the excellent Felix Castor series by Mike Carey (non SP) is also doing, it is being carefully plotted, not made up as it going along.

Jane Austen's Buffy The Vampire Slayer in goggles is perhaps a more comprehensive description.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 08:59:10 am »

Must admit that like Peter I wouldnt normally have picked up Soulless but having received the free copy at the Asylum I read it recently.  I really enjoyed it too and wouldnt say the slash stuff was paticularly off putting either, not within the context of the story, and it was so tongue in cheek that its just funny. 

I liked it so much that I picked up the other 2 and read them over one weekend so I shall definately be keeping an eye out for more.
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darkshines
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 09:06:31 am »

I have to be honest here, I got about a dozen pages in and gave up. But at least I tried!
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 10:45:03 pm »

I'm currently reading it. It might just be due to the swedish translation of victorian english but so far I'm finding it a bit awkward to read.
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 01:14:32 am »

Well I'll admit I've not read Boneshaker (having been left feeling a bit too *meh* about most of the books labeled as 'SP' out there) but as for Soulless (which I read having been given the free copy at the Asylum a few years ago) I just didn't get on with it (possibly because I'm not actually in the target audience i.e. not a 15-23 year old female) and so never bothered with the squeals and gave it away soon after I'd read it.
 
If I were to give an honest opinion of Soulless I'd say, it's almost too reminiscent of 'Twish*te' and the multitude of vampire/werewolf romance/erotica clones out there and Mr Harrow's summary of it as 'Buffy written by Jane Austen with goggles' is a fair summary and unless you're into that sort of stuff don't bother with it.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 11:03:05 am by Madasasteamfish » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2016, 03:53:25 am »

I liked Soulless better than Boneshaker, but that's just me. Still trying to hunt down the prequels, but they'll turn up. Used book stores...sooner or later everything winds up there...;0
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Will Howard
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 06:22:37 am »

And besides, Shakespear was rubbish.

I said that to my English teacher in 1976 and was given detention. Grin

Rubbish?  No.  Delightfully & subtly obscene?  Yes.
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Hez
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2016, 06:39:03 am »

And besides, Shakespear was rubbish.

I said that to my English teacher in 1976 and was given detention. Grin

Rubbish?  No.  Delightfully & subtly obscene?  Yes.

I said the same thing in an essay with proof and got a very good mark.  But she also wrote - "it is not meant to be read it is meant to be seen.  Tell me what you think after we watch the play."  She was right, I love many (NOT all) of the plays on stage.

I really enjoyed the Soulless series and the Finishing School series but the third set - not so much.  The characters are far too modern for their Victorian setting.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 06:41:49 am by Hez » Logged
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