Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel, by Gail Carriger (2009, Orbit)

Recommended  for ages 16+

Alexia Tarabotti is a 25 year-old spinster living with her family in Victorian London. Half Italian, half English, she takes more after her deceased Italian father’s side in more ways than one – her intellectual curiosity, her darker skin, voluptuous shape, and her… soullessness. Alexia is a preternatural – soulless, her very touch negates the supernatural powers of the vampires, werewolves, and ghosts that walk the streets of London.
Being a spinster is the least of Alexia’s problems right now. Rogue vampires are popping up all over London; known and respected vampiric members of London society are disappearing, and Lord Maccon, the werewolf head of Her Royal Majesty’s Bureau off Unnatural Registry (BUR) is driving Alexia to distraction – and not always in a bad way. When they aren’t driving each other crazy, Alexia and Lord Maccon work well as a team, and discover that there is a sinister plot afoot to bring down vampire society.
Soulless is the first book in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, an adult series with definite teen crossover potential. A steampunk, supernatural adventure-romance set in Victorian England, the book is a fun, sexy romp through London high society with plenty of supernatural creatures to keep readers interested. The pace is light and quick, and the characters are engaging with witty dialogue.
Soulless received an Alex Award (2010) from the American Library Association (ALA), and was nominated for both a Compton Crook (2010) and Locus (2010) Award.
Gail Carrriger’s Parasol Protectorate series is being released in manga format; she also has a YA series, Finishing School, set in the same universe. Her website offers links to her blog, information about her books, steampunk, a press kit, and an FAQ.

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