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.
As for the book, it was fabulous! I couldn't get enough of Miss Alexia Tarrabotti and her everpresent parasol3! The setting was a lot different from what I usually read, but it was a great change of pace. The characters were vibrant and loveable, I especially loved reading about her flambouyant friend Lord Akeldama. I was always waiting to see what he'd wear next, and I was never dissapointed. Carriger was never sparse with her descriptions of the characters, the world, or the political workings thereof. The story was never slow or bogged down by details, though.
The character interaction was the high point for me. I especially loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's bickering and Alexia's relationship with her best friend, Miss Hisselpenny. They had this snide little thing where Alexia would insult Miss Hisselpenny's taste in headwear and Miss Hisselpenny would then criticise Alexia on her accademic pursuits. It was hilarious!
This book was a riotous introduction into the colorful, magical world of Miss Tarrabotti. It had me laughing out loud in innapropiate locals, but I've never been shy about that sorta thing, so I'd just say, "I'm sorry, but this is a really funny book! You'll have to excuse my laughter because it simply cannot be helped!"
I give Soulless...Four zombies! This novel of vampires, werewolves, parasols, and steampunk (which is best read with tea4), is high up on my list of recommended reads5, and I eagerly await the release of the second volume in the Parasol Pretectorate Series, Changeless, in May.
1 Such as myself. As I've stated before, I don't like smut in my reads, so when I encounter them I skim over them.
2 Keep in mind, however, that my idea of what's what might be a little more conservative than a-ver-age bear.
3 If you're in the market for more parasol shinanigans, read the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. It's got a slower pace, but the characters are fairly similar. The main premise is that Peabody is a witty and highly intelligent woman archeologist in a non-steampunk Victorian England, though the story takes place in Egypt. Her and her hot Archealogist husband solve mysteries and fight against grave robbers and such. They're very good. But I digress...
4. That's what Miss Carriger wrote on the inside flap. It was very cool of her. ^-^
5. A totally true claim. I'm lending it to my sisters and I've been dropping strong hints to my aunt that she would enjoy this series very much. So yeah, it's for everyone (over a certain age6).
6. It's my personal opinion that that age is 17.
***I am not recieving compensation for this review. All opinions expressed above are those of the author of this blog alone. Individual results may vary.***