- Title: Soulless
- Author: Gail Carriger
- Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
- Genre: Paranormal, Steampunk
- Format: Kindle
- Source: Library
- Reviewed by: Valerie
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: 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?
Review: Take one part paranormal fantasy and mix it with equal parts historical mystery, add a bit of streampunk and large dollop of comedy, then top off with a dash of romance and you get the novel Soulless. The recipe may be unconventional, but the result is quite delicious.
Alexia Tarabotti is a strong and independent woman who has no problem voicing her opinions. This is precisely why, Victorian England, she and everyone she knows accepts her fate as a spinster. If they all knew that she was truly a preternatural being without a soul, somewhat the antidote to supernatural beings, it would be quite the scandal.
Being so strong willed, and well, nosy, Alexia can’t help find herself stumbling into trouble and into the way of alpha Werewolf, Lord Maccon (think handsome Scottish bull in a china shop), who is head of the agency that monitors supernaturals. They both find themselves caught up in a comical tale of danger and mystery.
I really enjoyed the unique combination of styles woven together by Carringer. For some reason, my internal reading voice adopted a prim, yet forceful, tone to narrate the story in my head. I love that Alexia is so concerned with propriety, but then again, not really.
Oh, and kudos to Carringer for giving us a complete book, even though it will be a series. I am so tired of ending a book, only to discover that it is not really an end.
This was a fun read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Cover note: I simply love this cover. The depicted posture captures Alexia’s prim, but forceful personality. It is well balanced and has great use of color, contrasting the burgundy and pink tones with the blacks and greys.