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?
I heard about Soulless in a rather unusual way- I'm a huge fan of Gail Carriger's agent, Kristin Nelson's blog, Pub Rants! After reading about all the spiffy praise this debut novel had received, I promptly added it to my Amazon cart on my next ordering spree, and read it cover to cover the day it arrived.
Angie Fox wasn't lying when she called Soulless 'Wickedly funny', as my roommate can tell you- I spent my reading time snickering, giggling, and reading out large extracts. Carriger's character's are unforgettable: from Alexia, our spunky heroine, to the delightfully flashy Lord Akeldama and, of course, Lord Maccon: gruff, hot-tempered, and highly attractive. Maccon and Alexia's relationship? Bickering, banter and a whole lot of laughs. Oh, and hedgehogs, too. (If you don't get that reference... well, get to a bookstore.)
The world building sucks you in: forget normal Victorian London, I want to visit this mythical-creature infested steampunk version. The concept of vampire 'hives' and their system of organization was refreshingly unique, as was the BUR and Alexia's soulless condition itself.
'Soulless' will have you alternately swooning and and in stitches, as well as trying to remember what a Scottish accent actually sounds like. One last warning- by the time you turn the last page, you may feel an intense desire to buy a parasol.