Author: Gail Carriger and Rem
Series: Soulless Graphic Novel #1
Published: March 1 2012 by Orbit/Yen Press
Length: 244 pages
Warnings: Nudity (a fair bit of it), highly suggestive situations, violence 15+
Other info: This is an adaptation of the first book in the Parasol Protectorate
Summary : 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.
Review: If you’ve read the novels (which are amazing-go read!), you’ll know the plot to this already-it’s the events of book one, Soulless, with the more...adult...scenes cut out. For those of you who haven’t read it, Alexia Tarabotti is a (relatively-late twenties/early thirties, can’t remember, both of which by Victorian standards, consigns you to a single life) older unmarried woman whose father is Italian and dead, and she doesn’t have a soul. The last thing doesn’t really hinder her in Victorian society-for the most part, anyway. It does lead to problems in other areas. After accidentally killing a vampire (and some treacle tart), the people who come to clear it up are Conall Maccon and Proffessor Randolph Lyall-the Alpha and Beta of the local werewolf pack. From there, with werewolves appearing and disappearing, Conall flirting (quite badly by human standards) with her, and a lot of other things happening, Alexia’s problems are quite bad compared to the loss of treacle tart. That is saying something.
Ever since I heard there’d be a graphic novel adaptation, I knew I’d want to read it (I even had a go at designing my own cover. It went in the bin). And knowing I liked Rem’s art style (from reading Vampire Kisses) and the first three in the Parasol Protectorate series, I was sure it’d be good.
Compared to the novel, it is lacking a little bit. Although being quite true, there were some things I’d have liked to see more of. Floote, the butler, Ivy’s hats and quite a few more things didn’t get the emphasis that they deserved. It also felt as if it was trying to cram everything in to the five or six chapters that graphic novels tend to have.
On its own though...great. It covered all the major plot points, and made a good read with a mix of romance and action in alternating parts.
The characters didn’t have too much of a backstory that’s explored in this, but we do get a little bit of an idea of the history between Conall and Alexia through subtly exchanged words.
The defining feature to this, for me, was the art (I already knew the characters and plot quite well). It’s a rounded flowing style, and consistent throughout. Alexia and Conall were drawn the way I’d imagined them, and Akeldama was a little more...eccentric in the way he was than I thought he’d be. Shame you never saw him in colour. If the next volumes follow the format of opening pages in colour, and the series stays till volume four, I can’t wait. I will be forever thankful to this for changing my image of Lyall, my favourite character, from that of my biology teacher with different hair to one of the cutest, most huggable guys ever.
I think my favourite thing about the art was Rem’s attempt to cover up Conall’s private parts at the end of the book. Something that my mind didn’t try to do when reading the novel.
Overall: Strength 5 tea – slightly lacking compared to the novel, but amazing in its own right.