Science fiction and fantasy
Soulless: The Manga: Volume Two
by Gail Carriger and Rem
Alexia has the help of a nifty new parasol and some unusual gadgets to help her solve the mystery. The characters also take an eventful trip on a dirigible. These steam-age technologies make this episode more steampunk than horror. Even when characters are attacked or killed off, the graphic novel's humour and its quaintness make the story as sweet as a baby bunny wearing a hat. That's not to say that the headcount is very high.
Rem's artwork is very pretty, and quite traditionally manga-esque. The main drawback with this is that a few of the characters look indistinct apart from their hairdos, and in the men's case there isn't even hair to tell them apart. Everyone is basically template-beautiful.
I found this episode of the Soulless series quite enjoyable, but there's a lot of plot in it, and I had the feeling (having not yet read Changeless) that the story has been squeezed into fewer pages than it deserves. The pace is fast, yet not confusing. However, I wanted to spend longer with all of the characters, particularly Madame Lefoux and Sidheag. All of which makes me glad there are plenty of novels to dive into for more depth. As a graphic novel this is inevitably the bite-sized, simplified version, but it's so charming and cute that I don't think reading it first will spoil the novels, because it's full of the sort of characters that beg to be re-read.
16th June 2014
If you like this, try: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
Source: own copy