Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate #1)
October 1st 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Kick Ass Chick – Alexia Tarabotti
“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”, the first book in ‘the Parasol Protectorate’ series by Gail Carriger, is in a word delightful. The fact that the story takes place in nineteenth century England adds an endearing quality to the characters and the plot. The tale holds all the elements of a historical romance novel — including corsets and ruffles, bonnets and chaperones, carriages and flighty sisters. (The sisters are quite funny, what with their charm and brainlessness). Now don’t let all this cutesy historical stuff fool you. There is some pretty gritty and gruesome paranormal stuff happening in this book, especially the in last hundred pages or so. It kind of took me by surprise seeing how most of the book is quite light and quirky. I thought the fact that our heroine was born without a soul thus giving her the ability to, with a simple touch, negate a supernatural being’s powers and rendering him or her essentially human (at least until she let’s go) to be an ingenious and unique concept. Once again, I am in awe of authors and their infinite ideas and astonishing imaginations!
Miss Alexia Tarabotti is charming to read. She is quite sassy – well, as sassy as a lady can be during Victorian times – and set in her ways. She’s comfortable with her station in life and doesn’t expect much to change. Her relationship with Lord Conall Maccon, Alpha werewolf, is really sweet. Alexia and Conall don’t expect the turn their relationship ultimately takes, and witnessing their reaction is so much fun. I loved Lord Akeldama (a flamboyant vampire) and his ‘minions’. Goodness, even Queen Victoria herself makes an appearance in this book! Every character you encounter is very likable – and if they aren’t, they are at least very well written (Of course I am speaking of the vile and loathsome Mr. Siemons).
I am very glad I plucked “Soulless” out of my book closet to read. It has been sitting there for quite some time and it was about time I did something about that. I had heard many wonderful things about this book and I’m glad to say I was not disappointed. The second Alexia Tarabotti novel, entitled “Changeless” is available now. The third book “Blameless” comes out September 1st 2010.
Giggle worthy quotes
“’Mark my words, I will use something much, much stronger than smelling salts,’ came a growl in Miss Tarabotti’s left ear. The voice was low and tinged with a hint of Scotland. It would was caused Alexia to shiver and think primal monkey thoughts about moons and running far and fast, if she’s had a soul. Instead it caused her to sigh in exasperation and sit up.”
“The vampire’s eyes were open, and he was staring at her intently. It was as though he were trying to speak to her with simply the power of a glare.
Alexia did not speak glare-ish.”