Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soulless: The graphic novel by Gail Carriger and Rem

Alexia Tarabotti is the model Victorian lady, as long as you overlook her rather strong Italian features, overabundance of curves, age, and lack of soul. And if you're the werewolf Lord Maccon you also have to overlook the hedgehog incident and the annoying habit of showing up at the most inconvenient times and places, such as the parlor beside a dead vampire. As Alexia skirts the travails of disappearing werewolves and vampires, her best friend's hats, and rather unseemly urges toward Lord Maccon, she must also decide what her place is in supernatural London society and if she'll be alive to claim it.

I'm not sure if we here at Wandering Librarians have really gone in depth about our love of Gail Carriger and all things Parasol Protectorate. Ms. Carriger is an absolute gem, who maintains a persona at all times and has blatantly above-average intelligence. We were quite excited about this being re-released as a graphic novel (I won't call it a manga because neither the artist nor the writer are Japanese, nor was the book created in Japan). I can't say that I was disappointed, or that it didn't meet my expectations, but for some reason I felt like something wasn't present.

I loved the illustrations, they were quite wonderful at encompassing the personalities that I got from the prose. The storyline had all the important bits of the book, and the not-so-important parts that made it delightful. I loved Lord Akeldama, he was just as magnificent, if not more so, in the graphic novel as the novel.

I think what I missed, having read the novel first, were the detailed descriptions of Alexia's thoughts and the explanations behind everything. I think if I had read this first, I still would have enjoyed it but not had the passion to recommend it to everyone I know that I have now. So what I suggest is that you read the novel first (or read the entire series straight through) and then read the graphic novel. You'll appreciate it more that way.

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