Wednesday, August 24

Gail Carriger: Soulless

From the back of the book-
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 is responsibe. 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 was almost put off this book in the first chapter when the heroine is found at a ball with a parasol. It just seemed so very wrong. However, I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did, things improve as the story goes on.
The world building is very good. Here paranormal creatures are recognised members of society. And just like the rest of society they are neither all good nor all bad but each species has its mixture of both. Cultural differences between the old and new world attitudes to the paranormal are wide but believable. Best of all, to my mind, the author doesn't get bogged down explaining the technology but focuses on the structure of society and her characters place within it.
The overall tone is light-hearted and there are some comic moments thanks to a vapid mother and half sisters and a best friend with no taste in hats.
I quite enjoyed this steampunk with a paranormal twist and I will be following up the rest of the series, with one tiny caveat. I'll be leaving quite some time between tales. Though I found the book vastly entertaining I feel that too much of this author's voice too soon would get irritating and I don't wan to spoil my fun.-Lynn

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