Science fiction and fantasy
Soulless: The Manga: Volume One
by Gail Carriger and Rem
The artwork is mostly in black and white, aside from the first six pages. This makes it look as if the publisher ran out of money before finishing, rather than being a deliberate artistic choice. Nevertheless, it's quite pretty art in a strong manga style. Some panels are exaggerated, with relatively indistinct faces, but they are mixed in with more detailed work. The characters being portrayed are often supernaturally beautiful and youthful, and they tend to hang out in upper-class drawing rooms and ballrooms. There are a few bloodstains, and there's quite a lot of cleavage, but visually it's rather mild and suitable for older teens. The story has some nudity, but the artist has drawn it carefully so that nothing explicit is in evidence.
This graphic novel introduces a world of horror staples in which nothing is more catastrophic than the potential for running out of tea and treacle tart. The monsters are almost a sideshow. It's sweet, funny, and romantic. It's also very undemanding. The main character is plucky, witty, and has a way with hedgehogs, so she's very likeable. This is the kind of story that I think makes a great feelgood tonic for a rainy day.
25th March 2014
If you like this, try:Radiance by Grace Draven
Two minor royals marry to secure an alliance between their countries, although they find each other hideous and others will scheme to tear them apart. The first novel in the Wraith Kings series.
The Steampunk Bible by Jeff Vandermeer and S. J. Chambers
This guide covers the creative side of steampunk, including literature, fashion, art, music, and much more.
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Armoured corsets and steampunk style abound in the adventures of agents Books and Braun. The first Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel.
Review © Ros Jackson