Released: September 2nd, 2010
Grade rating: A, almost A+...
Alexia Tarabotti is labouring 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? Or 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?
Before I go any further, I need to say this: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK. I want to marry it and have parasol-holding Victorian children with it. Impossible, of course, but the only way I can think to describe how much Soulless has consumed my thoughts for the past three weeks. Honestly, my mind just keeps wandering right back to Alexia and Lord Maccon and dirigibles in London. Or, in other words, the most awesome setting for a book in recent years.
Anyway, as you can tell I am fangirling over this book like there's no tomorrow. I've recommended it to countless people, and I think the shop I got it from will have seen their stock quickly deplete over the last few weeks. I should probably mention that I bought the first three books in this series for the tidy sum of £5. As you may know, I don't usually read anything that carries the label 'adult', never mind 'adult urban fantasy', so this was pretty much a first for me. It's one of the best fivers I've ever spent though!
Where do I start with what I liked about Soulless? There's too much swirling around in my head, so here's a little list for you.
- Lord Maccon. Yum, yum and YUM. He's Scottish, an alpha werewolf, broad-shouldered, quick tempered, tall, gruff and omgswoon.
- Alexia Tarabotti. Besides having a serious love of parasols, this woman can kick some ass like nobody's business, and I don't just mean in the literal sense. She keeps Lord Maccon in check with her no-nonsense attitude and quick sarcastic tongue, and I want her to be my BFF.
- The Victorian London setting. Really, what could be better?
- Dirigibles! Science! Steampunk!
- Humour. It might not sound funny, but it is. Really. Alexia made me laugh so much, not least when she takes a vampire out by swinging her parasol. Too cool.
- Queen Victoria. Look out for her, 'cos yes, she's there. In the fictional flesh!
- Paranormals, including vampires, werewolves, ghosts and preternaturals. They're all here in glorious black and white.
- Tea. There's a lot of it consumed. Yay for Britain!
- It has a kind of Jane Austen feel to it, thanks to references to social standing and marrying into good families. I've never read Austen, but there you go. I imagine it's kind of like this minus the vampires.
- Hot, hot romance. Sigh.
So there you have it: the wonder that is your imagination. And for those YA bloggers out there who, like me, don't often stray to other genres, I insist that you read this series. It's not too adult in its content and is just plain good fun. If you're on Team Jacob (shudder), you'll soon forget about him - Lord Maccon is the werewolf way to go.
Gail Carriger: YOU ROCK!
Your New Biggest Fan.