Publisher/Year: Orbit, 2009
Where I got it: It was the first book I downloaded onto my Nook :)
Why I read it: It's been on my TBR list for a while, and I've heard great things about it
Synopsis: 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.
Review: LORD MACCON--how I love thee, let me count the ways!
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I will say that if this book is any indication of how my 2012 reading years is going to be--I'm going to have an awesome year.
There were so many things I loved about this book. First of all, Gail Carriger builds a phenomenally well-thought out supernatural world that parallels Victorian England. She really covers all her bases. This supernatural world has rules and structure--it puts other vampire/werewolf stories to shame. *ahem*
Her writing itself was a lot of fun to read, as well. Imagine Jane Austen with a bit of a modern twist. Gail's writing took a good story and gave it substance. This is, by no means, a serious book, but at no point did I feel like I was reading fluff. She really blended genres well, too. There was a little bit of everything here: historical fantasy, paranormal, steampunk, horror, suspense, romance. This being my first foray into the steampunk genre, I was pleasantly surprised, and I'll definitely be looking for more from the genre.
As if all that weren't enough, Soulless has an unforgettable cast of characters. Alexia, of course, is totally kickbutt. She is a beacon of Victorian propriety and decorum, but she is also completely independent and definitely not afraid to speak her mind. I loved that she would rather be alone and be considered a spinster than settle for someone with half her wit or someone who wouldn't view her as an equal. Lord Akeldama was another favorite character of mine--freakin' fabulous. Gotta give some props to Professor Lyall. I loved that at times it was like he was the only character acting with a level head. And Lord Maccon? Do I even need to go there? Totally hot. Totally Scottish. And totally perfect for Alexia. (And me, but that's besides the point). I'm telling you, I could see the steam rising from some of those pages! It probably didn't help that I was picturing him as Jamie Dornan, aka Sheriff Graham from Once Upon a Time. Gail Carriger even does her villians well. I hated them all with a deep burning hatred, when it was Alexia's mom or the mysterious shadow man or the creepy wax man. That's when you know you have a good author on your hands.
If you want a book that will make you laugh, make you cry, tug on your heartstrings or make you fan yourself from all the steam, you will find it here in Gail Carriger's Soulless. I can't wait to start Changeless!