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Soulless Volume 1

February 14, 2012

Soulless volume 1
Story by:
Gail Carriger
Art by: Rem
Published by: Yen Press
from the publisher: The life of a spinster in Victorian London isn’t an easy one on the best of days, but such a life becomes infinitely more complicated when said spinster is “soulless” — a preternatural bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds. Miss Alexia Tarabotti has this unique distinction, and when she is assailed at a formal gathering by a rove vampire, an encounter that results in the death of the half-starved creature, her circumstances become exponentially more complicated indeed! Now caught up in an intrigue with life or death stakes, Alexia must rely on all her talents to outmatch the forces conspiring against her, but it may be the man who has caught her eye — Lord Conall Maccon — and their budding flirtation that truly drives her to her wit’s end!
my ramblings: Uh…hey guys! ^^ Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while…things have just been crazy and blogging wasn’t my main priority. This semester has been a little less hectic than others, so maybe I’ll hunker down and actually review some more things. psh, I’m not even sure I believe myself at this point  Anyway…on to my first review in literally months!

I must admit that I haven’t read the original novels for this series (it’s simply a matter of time, it’s just that I have so many books I try to buy every month, haha), so I didn’t know much about what I was getting into other than seeing Rem’s gorgeous art, knowing that there was steampunk (which is obviously awesome), and a few pages worth of preview from Yen and the preview of the original novel on Amazon. That being said, this adaptation is EXCELLENT.

Soulless is fun and witty and there were very few things that I found wrong with the book. I love that it’s a little bit oversized from a normal manga volume (which I believe is the norm for OEL volumes from Yen) and that it has the color pages that I know are common to Yen~ There were no glaring typos that I noticed and everything flowed well (though I think that this has a lot to do with the fact that the series already exists in novel form and has thus been worked with).

Alexia is a lovely protagonist. She is capable and has a fabulous sense of humor, and one of the first things she does in the volume is leave a party for the sanctuary of a library and some treacle tart. While the men in her life (namely the werewolf Lord Maccon and her gay best friend [and vampire] Lord Akeldama) help her with the things she encounters, Alexia isn’t the type to take things sitting down and actively works to solve the problems in London on her own.

The closest Japanese manga that I can relate the series to is Stepping on Roses by Rinko Ueda, only for the almost romance novel-esque portions of the volume near the end and for the almost lack of lead up to the obvious romance between Alexia and Lord Conall Maccon. This was one of the few problems I had with the volume; in the adaptation at least it seemed like there was no build-up to the romance, they are at each other’s throats and then all of a sudden seemingly in love. I will have to read the original novel to see if the same issue exists, but at this point it’s something I can only criticize the adaptation of.

Rem’s art just gorgeous and fits the semi-steampunk feeling of the novel. I say “semi” because it was somewhat lacking in that department for me. The cover obviously features Alexia wearing a small top hat with brass goggles and a mechanical bat wing, but within the volume itself the only real steampunk aspect was in the first few pages when Professor Lyall is wearing his “glassicals” (which was a part of the preview I read of the original novel and decidedly less funny in the adaptation, but still humorous). There were other places in which small contraptions appear, but they didn’t strike me as being steampunk, only as being of the time period. Again, this might be a lack of transfer from the original, but I’m not sure.

Overall, I loved this volume and would definitely suggest it!

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