Release Date: October 1st, 2009
Age Group: Adult
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?
I had SO much fun reading this book. It’s one of the best comical fantasy/paranormal books I’ve read and I would even dare to say it’s the best paranormal book I’ve ever read, period.
Gail Carriger creates a world set in Victorian England, populating it with supernaturals and preternaturals (although they are on the down low). The system she creates for these supernatural beings is one of the best I’ve encountered. Vampires follow some sort of bee system, they belong to a certain hive and the queen is the only one who can create new vampires. We also get werewolves and ghosts, all of them living out in the open among the other people. They are even a part of the politics!
Most fascinating of all was Carrigers use of the soul as a measurement of how likely it is someone will survive a transition to the supernatural. Only those with a lot of soul can survive, so most of the supernatural are artists and the sort.
Our main character, Alexia Tarabotti, is a phenomenon on its own. She’s extraordinary. In every single way possible. She is preternatural, has no soul, is half Italian and doesn’t mind saying what’s on her mind without thinking about the consequences or how a real lady should behave. She’s also funny as hell. I loved following her story through every page. It’s a delight to read the witty responses she comes up with and how she deals with the troubling situations she encounters.
This book is also damn naughty! The tension between Lord Maccon and Alexia was so vividly described and when the two of them get it on… oh my, the heat!
Victorian London is definitely my time in history (well, at least one of my favorites) and I was really delighted by how Carriger described the clothing in so much detail. I could imagine every aspect of how the characters looked most vividly by these descriptions, which made the book a very colorful read. Another thing, something that’s quite difficult, or so I’ve noticed while reading books set in Victorian England, is that the feeling was just right in “Soulless”. That Victorian feel was there, it took me right back to that period in history. Job well done.
My conclusion: I loved it! I had lots of entertaining hours with this book and I chuckled my way through it (which has almost never happened to me with a book before). “Soulless” is brilliantly written and deserves the full 5 dragons.