Title: Soulless (Parasol Protectrate #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Adult Romance Paranormal
Synopsis: First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
This book is simply and utterly delightful. I am both impressed and a bit obsessed with Carriger’s writing. This book was nothing like I was expecting it to be. Essentially this is a Victorian romance with a nicely developed plot that centers around science, steampunk and above all the paranormal.
Our heroine, Alexia is one of my favorite heroines this year. She’s very aware of her position in life, meaning that of a spinster at the ripe old age of 26 (or is it 28 – can’t recall!) and of her unconventional looks – she’s tan, she’s got a large nose and she is unfashionably curvaceous. Despite all of that Alexia’s personality simply shines, she’s spunky and opinionated yet proper and aware of social protocol. She’s decided that since she’s un-marriageable she will do as she pleases, say what she pleases and get into as much trouble as she can manage much to the chagrin of our leading hero, Lord Maccon – the Alpha werewolf of London and a government agent for Queen Victoria. In this steampunk world of werewolves, vampires, ghosts and ghouls our heroine is essentially born without a soul which means when she touches any supernatural creature they revert to their human form and loose their powers.
She’s swept up into London’s mysteries of disappearing supernatural creatures and despite Lord Maccon not wanting her involved that’s exactly what happens. One of my favorite things is Alexia’s scientific approach to random things despite the danger around her suddenly something will peak her interest and sidetrack her in the most hilarious way and not flighty at all.
This book, in short, is witty and I love and appreciate good wit.
What works here truly is Carriger’s writing which is crafted very Austen-like with all bells and whistles fraught with smart humor. The observance of Victorian societal culture somehow mixed in to an alternative world where Vampires and Werewolves now exist. It’s so cleverly and humorously done that you find yourself hoping for more and more. I truly enjoyed myself. It’s just so well done that you forget you’re reading a modern book. There will be times where you will laugh out loud and Alexia’s train of thought and at the colorful cast of supporting characters which are all individuals and interesting.
I wont give too much away but I can say I will happily continue with this series and I’m so happy I have them all at hand!