Monday, July 5, 2010
Age Group: Adult
Published: October 1, 2009 by Orbit
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 357 pgs
Description: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?
Alexia Tarabotti is an intriguing woman with enough personality for her entire family and no soul to speak of. The man in charge is Lord Maccon, who is almost as stubborn as Alexia and who disapproves of the company she keeps: Lord Akeldama, Miss Tarabotti's flamboyant, gay, vampire friend. Gail Carriger debuts with a phenomenal cast of characters in an exciting and beautiful world.
The entire time I was reading Soulless, I kept thinking that Carriger had created an alternate Jane Austen universe: Mr. Darcy is a werewolf; Miss Elizabeth Bennett is a rare creature, indeed; and they exist in a world where vampires and werewolves are so acceptable that they are advisers to the crown. Austen couldn't have written it better herself. Throw in a little steampunk and some intense chemistry between the Alpha werewolf Lord Maccon and our heroine and you've got the absolutely brilliant Soulless.
I love this book. I literally laughed out loud multiple times and turned to the person closest to me to tell them how amazing it was. The characters are real, as are their relationships, and the world around them is gorgeously crafted and not so different from our own. Soulless is one of those books you want to read over and over because it was just that good. I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this series.
The ending was tied up beautifully with only a few questions left unanswered and the promise of more adventures to come. Carriger does not leave her readers dangling on the edge of a cliff at the end either, choosing instead to end on a definite sense of satisfaction (it's an adult book for a reason). I highly recommend Soulless if you enjoy paranormal romance, Jane Austen, mysteries, or any combination thereof.
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