26 October 2009

SOULLESS: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel - Gail Carriger

From the back of the book: 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 a werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia is 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?
I was intrigued by the reviews I'd read on this one, immediately added it to the WWBL...and it really didn't take long for it to be on Mt Git'r'Read...then not long for it to be in the stack that went with me on the roadtrip to Virginia.
I liked the premise that this was Victorian England and werewolves and vampires were an accepted part of society. Alexia is dryly funny and I could see myself being friends with her, soulless or no.
There was more romance (sex) than I'd anticipated, but it wasn't overwhelming or dismaying. I enjoyed the analytical thoughts of Alexia as she 'explored' her interactions with Lord Maccon. She compared these interactions to the books she'd read in her father's library and found the books lacking.
My favorite character was Alexia's vampire friend, Lord Akeldama. He is smart and witty and perfect friend to Alexia.
Ms Carriger has one of the most inventive alternative past history's built for her characters. This is a Victorian England with the manners, class structure, and behaviors we know and has an added twist of the hives of the vampires and the packs of the werewolves integral to the society.
Four gaslight with a twist beans....

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