Soulless by Gail Carriger

(Parasol Protectorate, #1
Urban Fantasy/Steampunk

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?

It seems like I craved this one forever. I stumbled on it while browsing Goodreads, and can you say "up my alley?" Urban fantasy, paranormal, and TEA. Looked humurous, different, and fun. The hype was incredible and wide-spread, too, so I didn't forget it easily as I kept seeing reminders as friends posted comments about it and updates for the sequels.

When I eagerly ripped into it, I was a bit first. After it was over, I was a happier camper, but the first 100 pages or so didn't grab me at all. The protagonist is intelligent and witty, but almost too obtuse at first. I liked her, but the dry writing style was a bit hard to muddle through. I felt a detachment from the story due to this. I get some of it was humor on Alexias part, but it almost seemed to me like she could have had more dimension.

This opinion did change after the first half - she then became more amusing, realistic, and I absolutely LOVED Lord Maccon. Their scenes together were completely the best parts of the book. Hilarious and delicious at the same time. Her family reminded me a little of Cinderella, and I absolutely ADORED her vampire friend, what fun he was.

It should be understood this book is a complete comedy - I didn't expect that going in and it could have dampered it for me. Know that first and you'll likely enjoy it much more. Amidst the unusual characters and the funny situations, it's easy to chuckle or smile every few pages. The unique heroine adds to the comic feel, and Lord Maccon is just sexy.

Because of the romance being more of a main focus, this is more on the lines of Paranormal Romance rather than Urban Fantasy. The story really took off the second half too, reminding me of a Sherlock Holmes type for some reason, perhaps the setting and time period?

Overall I did enjoy this, it made me laugh out loud on a few occasions, had some hot scenes, and makes me crave hot tea. I also now really want to know what a treacle tart tastes like! It does sound perfect for tea-time. I'll have to update the blog when I finally get the chance to make/try one.

   Book Quotes:

“A vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age.” 

“You are about as covert as a sledgehammer.”  

“He is clearly bookish. I did not follow a single word of their conversation at dinner last night, not one jot of it. He must be bookish.”

   Author Extras:

Character Study - Alexia
Character Study - Lord Maccon

Gail blogs about Alexia's dresses throughout the series and beyond.

Gail blogs about the very first notes she ever scribbled regarding Soulless.

   Similar Reviews: