Alexia Tarabotti is firmly on the shelf and quite comfortable with the fact. She's not an average, bluestocking spinster though. Alexia is soulless, or preternatural in polite terms. This particular state is unspoken of even in a society that recognizes vampires and werewolves. With Lord Conall Maccon, London Alpha and liaison for Bureau of Unnatural Registry, she will face rogue vampires, strange disappearances, and the London ton.
Normally I don't get giddy over a book. It's happened occasionally such as with Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra series but it's rare. Soulless got to me though. Alexia is a strong, independent woman who is never afraid to speak her mind, and she can save herself, thank you very much. This book (and hopefully the series) has a great deal in its favor. It is funny, clever, supernatural, and romantic. I'm actually having a hard time not gushing in this review. There have been a number of books set in Victorian London that I have picked up and put down a chapter into them because of the behavior of the main characters. Strong leads who respect each other's personalities and habits can be rare indeed particularly in Victorian romances or novels about werewolves. Their relationship is not about dominance.
The story flows well and is smartly written in sharp, page-turner fashion. To give you a clue to how fascinating I found the story, I am on my second reading in two days. That's rare for me. Gail Carriger and her Parasol Protectorate have been added to the list of the few authors that I collect. Since I am in the process of culling almost 200 books from my shelves that I am not going to re-read, this says something.
I have some serious lust over her parasol, by the by.
Soulless by Gail Carriger earns: 5 nightlights
BIS Rating system:
1 nightlight = put it down and didn't care to pick it back up
2 nightlights = finished the book
3 nightlights = enjoyed the book but probably wouldn't re-read it
4 nightlights = had a hard time putting the book down
5 nightlights = stayed up way too late to finish instead of going to bed