Monday, 5 September 2011

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger

Set during the time of Queen Victoria's reign, when vampires, werewolves and ghosts have long been a recognized segment of proper society, spinster Alexia Tarabotti finds herself confronted with a strange vampire during a society ball.  She doesn't feel bad that she killed the vampire, afterall, she had to defend herself, but she is concerned that he didn't seem to understand who she is.  All vampires know what a preternatural is and are understandably weary of them.  These soulless people have long been the hunters of vampires.

Lord Conall Maccon, the fourth Earl of Woolsey, also the Alpha Werewolf in London and a head official at the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, is the first on the scene and the first to understand the significance of Alexia's concern.  It's obvious these two have met before and I can just imagine him rolling his eyes and thinking " I should have known you would be behind this".  Somehow Lord Maccon manages to keep Alexia's name and the information that the dead man was a vampire, out of the newspaper.  At that point I was left wondering if he was just doing his job or did he have and interest in Miss Tarabotti.

This is a very proper and etiquette minded time period in British history and yes, it even applied to the supernatural citizens.  Alexia may be a spinster, but she is still subject to the rules of society.  She is also a widely read woman with an interest in scientific advancement.  I quickly got the impression that she goes from one calamity to the next with no comprehension of how these incidents keeping happening to involve her.  It could be her association with the vampire Lord Akeldama, a very old and flamboyant confident.  It could also be her willingness to converse with those that no one else would dare, such as with Countess Nadasdy, head of the London vampires. Or perhaps, it is just that being soulless leaves her with no fear for the outcome of her actions. 

I loved this book.  The Victorian setting combined with cutting edge machinery and inventions made for edge of the seat reading.  I never knew what I would be exposed to next.  It could be a proper cup of tea or a small steam engine that could preform some whimsical operation.  I looked forward to each of Ivy Hisselpenny's visits to Alexia, always wondering what outlandish hat she would be wearing.

I can't wait to read Changeless, the next book in this series.

Thanks to author Gail Carriger for the cover photo.

Additional Reviews of Soulless:

Rikki at Rikki's Teleidoscope


Miri said...

This sounds really interesting...I must confess I love watching "Vampire Diaries" on TV!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Oh I like both the look and sound of this one. To be honest I'm a bit bored with vampires at the moment but the setting of this has me intrigued. Thanks for the recommendation Heather.

Heather said...

HI Petty Witter, fortunately the emphasis in this book is not the vampires, they play a supporting role and their is very little throat biting.