Originally when I sat down to review this book, I was going to review the whole series, and then other books happened and now here we are several weeks later and I have two books left in this five book series.
Oh well. I’ll get to it, eventually.
Soulless, by Gail Carriger, follows Ms. Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural. Which means she is lacking a soul. In olden times, her kind would have hunted vampires and werewolves and exercised ghosts, but these days such creatures are welcomed in the world as full citizens of the British empire. When Alexia accidentally kills a vampire at a party she is attending, she stumbles onto a mystery that draws her into the depths of the supernatural world.
Gail creates a wonderful world full of rich and vibrant characters, each one more intriguing than the last. I love the flamboyant Lord Akledama, a rove vampire of some stature. And Lord Maccon, the werewolf alpha and head of BUR (the constabulary for supernaturals), is fantastically gruff. His relationship with Alexia is amazingly complex.
Also, I feel like I use “rich and vibrant” to describe characters a lot. Maybe I should invest in a thesaurus.
Alexia herself is a bit of an outcast, being half Italian and half English. Though almost no one, not even her mother, knows of her status as a preternatural. She is stubborn, but well mannered, as befits the times. And unmarried, which is quite the scandal, and quite often refers to herself as a spinster.
Did I mention this book is set in Victorian London?
The plot is great. Finding out why a rove vampire would attack a preternatural at a party is the start of a great adventure. And it’s a fast paced story from beginning to end.
I will warn you that while it is described as steampunk, that really doesn’t come into play until later books. So don’t expect much in that realm from this particular entry in the series.
To sum up, I loved this book. I originally gave it four stars because I was upset there wasn’t more steampunky-ness. I later amended my review to five stars. It’s a fun read!