Soulless is a paranormal, steam-punk, romance, action-adventure story that carries a parasol and knows what to do with it. This sassy little debut from author Gail Carriger has a whole lot of fun with the Victorian area. Soulless Alexia Tarabotti, an "ancient spinster" at the age of 25, is too smart, too outspoken, too tanned, and too Italian for proper Victorian society. Beside her books, she lives a sheltered, boring life. When a new vampire rudely interrupts Ms. Tarabotti's tea in search of a drink of his own-- at her expense no less-- the resourceful Alexia dispenses of him permanently. She finds herself mixed up in the investigation of the mysterious appearances of "non-hive" vampires, and increasingly entangled with the werewolf head of Queen Victoria's supernatural police force, Lord Connall Maccon. As if being a werewolf doesn't make a man enough of an animal, he is Scottish too! But with her trusty parasol, and the help of a good friend, vampire and peer of the realm Lord Akeldama and his legion of dandies, things like vampire queens, steamy werewolves, rouge secret societies and all kinds of simply unacceptable behavior are easily brought to heel.
Soulless is funny, quirky, and quick to read. The characters are enchanting and Carriger's fantastic vision of Victorian England is brought to life through brilliant description that never fails to entertain. Fortunately, the next volume in what promises to be a series to watch, Changeless, is out now. Readers who enjoy the quirky paranormal romance mixed with a spunky female lead should take a look at Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper and Moon Called by Patricia Briggs.
Recommended by Megan Willan