Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
Released: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Orbin/YenView post
Gail Carriger‘s Soulless is my first foray into the world of steampunk. My friend House has been encouraging me to try the subgenre out and so I figured Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series would be a good place to start since it combines steampunk with urban fantasy and is styled as a comedy of manners. This, of course, results in awesomeness.
The protagonist in the series is Alexia Tarabotti, a rare supernatural being known as a preternatural, because she has no soul. (Vampires, ghosts and werewolves are mainstreaming in the series, but preternaturals are still something of a secret.) She’s a spinster with Italian heritage resulting in *gasp* olive skin and a strong nose, and she’s also quite outspoken, so she’s definitely not your typical Victorian young lady. She accidentally dispatches a vampire who attacks her at a ball, and then the fun in Soulless ensues, complete with romantic complications in the shape of Lord Maccon, the werewolf alpha.
This book is really well written. It reminds me a bit of Jane Austen since Carriger has some of the same sensibilities and mannerisms (though writing in a different period). Her writing suits the period to a T and she’s got a great cast of characters. My favourites are Floote (the butler), Professor Lyall (the werewolf beta) and Ivy (Alexia’s best friend) for her ridiculous hats. I’m going to purchase the second book in the series Changeless just as soon as payday rolls around.