Alexia Tarabotti is a statuesque spinster firmly on the shelf. Besides being half-Italian (something no proper English miss is according to society) she is also soulless, although this fact is less well known. Soulless by Gail Carriger is set in Steampunk Victorian London so a time of great technological advances including dirigibles, clockwork auto-mans, and steam-powered vehicles but, it also has the BUR (the Bureau of Unnatural registry) where all supernatural creatures must register, including werewolves, vampires and the soulless. Being soulless doesn’t bother Alexia, she still thinks of herself as having an identity but it does bother all the other supernatural creatures because while she is physically touching them they will be mortal. So when a strange vampire attacks her, she tries to explain to him what she is (although his vampire queen should have taught him all about her), when he doesn’t listen and continues to attack her despite his fangs disappearing again and again, Alexia accidentally kills him. Which bring in BUR to investigate.
Lord Maccon, Alpha Werewolf and head of BUR has found Miss Tarabotti attractive, “Of course, she always went and spoiled the appeal by opening her mouth. In his humble experience, the world had yet to produce a more vexingly verbose female.” But when vampires start disappearing and newly made ones appear (apparently without a vampire queen), Lord Maccon will have to rely on Alexia’s help to figure out what is going before all the supernaturals disappear and before he does something rash, like propose to the attractive nuisance that is Alexia.
I gigglingly devoured Soulless (as in staying up way past my bedtime finishing it and then started Changeless before finally shutting off my light). Carriger has a way with words that just delights. Alexia is brash, forceful and with her full bustle and modified parasol, not someone that most individuals would want to mess with. Lard Maccon is disheveled, perplexed by Alexia while enchanted with her, and loves to just stand back and watch her work. Like I said, I giggled through the whole series because of sentences like, “Lord Maccon had the good grace to look sheepish–if a werewolf can be said to look sheepish.”
While I gave Soulless a content rating of four, the series does get more graphic as it goes along and be aware there are some same sex relationships in the series which culminates with the reader getting a close look at one such relationship (nothing sexually descriptive but it is there). That being said, I loved the series and will be reviewing Etiquette & Espionage a YA novel set in the world Carriger has created soon.
You can read an excerpt here.
And there is a fabulous dress the Victorian Doll here (I won’t say how much time I spent playing with the outfits but lets just say too long.)
The Parasol Protectorate Series:
Author: Gail Carriger
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 384
Release Date: October 2009
Available for purchase: Amazon