Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 09/29/09
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?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
Plot: 4 Stars
The humor of this novel was very well done. The speech patterns, the drama, everything added up to a lovely and funny tale, without being so hysterical that it was no longer serious. It was a perfect blend of funny and serious. I also enjoyed the author's werewolves and vampires, and how the soul factors in. There were a number of plot twists that caught me completely by surprise, and I love when a book can do that.
Pace: 5 Stars
I could not put this novel down. At first, I found the fancy speech and the way no one used first names odd, but I soon got used to it. In the end, it added to the humor of the novel. I also liked how the author took the time to explain the more steampunk elements, without bogging the reader down with an insane amount of detail about every little piece of the equipment.
Characters: 4 Stars
Alexia, or Miss Tarabotti, was my kind of heroine. In a society where women are supposed to be proper and soft-spoken, Alexia is in your face and says whatever comes to mind, often without thinking it through beforehand. Although her family wasn't as intriguing, I wish we could've learned a bit more about them (and her deceased father). Her best friend, Ivy, played a small part also, but her hideous hats were a lovely quirk. Lord Maccon was also a very interesting character, especially when dealing with Alexia.
Cover: 5 Stars
Even if I hadn't heard of this book before it's release, the hot pink title would've grabbed my attention immediately. I love that the cover artist had the balls to use such an in your face color, especially for a steampunk novel. I'm also a big fan of the cover model and her large parasol, since Alexia's parasol was subject of much amusement throughout the novel. The background also does a very good job of giving the cover a Victorian-esque London feel.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.