Sunday, August 5, 2012

Soulless by Gail Carriger

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 take: 4 looks
And just when I thought I was sick of werewolf and vampire books! This is a completely new take on the story. It's the nineteenth century and supernaturals are out of the closet in London.

Alexia is a heroine for all heroines. She is brash, smart, witty, fashionable and has one serious parasol. Throw in an overbearing mother, a stalwart best friend and a handsome earl and you get the idea. The writing here is clever and challenging. I highlighted so many words in this book that I smiled each time I ran across a new one. Here are a few:

comestible - an item of food
peregrination - travel or wander from place to place
addlepated - lacking in common sense

See how fun? it's good storytelling and wholly satisfying in the end. I am glad this is a series!

Highly recommended.

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