Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)
Author: Gail Carriger
Publication: Orbit; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
Product Description from Amazon: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. 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?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
My Thoughts: I love this combination of romance, the paranormal, and steampunk. Alexia Tarabotti is a upper class spinster in the mold of Amelia Peabody (by Elizabeth Peters) and many of the heroines written by Amanda Quick. She is outspoken, courageous, and determined to go her own way. She seems to have no fear of the supernaturals around her or of the society she inhabits while still remaining true to her Victorian sensibilities.
Lord Maccon is a wonderful hero even though he turns into a very dangerous werewolf on the night of the full moon. The interactions between Alexia and Connall, Lord Maccon had me smiling and laughing. They are truly a good match.
Alexia's friend with the ugly hats and Lord Akeldama the gay vampire with the extreme love of fashion are well-realized secondary characters who provide additional comic relief. It is an intriguing concept that the vampires and werewolves are the victims in this story and not the villains.
This was an extremely fun read. I look forward to the further adventures of Alexia and Lord Maccon.
Challenges: RYOB Challenge, 2010 E-Book Challenge