Sunday, October 3, 2010

*REREAD* Soulless by Gail Carriger

(The Parasol Protectorate Book #1)
by Gail Carriger

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy | Historical

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 is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced! Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and 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? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Alexia has always enjoyed the intellectual type most and even though she's considered a spinster by society, she's also a continued invite to most of the dinner parties in London due to her smart conversation. Yet, behind her interest in all things scientific, Alexia is keeping a secret that only a limited few know - she's a preternatural; known as being soulless in the supernatural society that is now accepted throughout Victorian England. Alexia's London has recently welcomed into society Vampire and Werewolves even though much of the world continues to shun them, but Alexia's kind if even rarer and feared by her new neighbors. Who comes to her aid isn't someone Alexia agrees with very much, Lord Maccon (a local powerful werewolf), and soon she finds herself fighting against something that can make many of her new enemies and friends cringe with fear and easily disappear.

This was a re-read for me, but with a twist because I got the new audio-book while on a recent road trip. I find I enjoy Book #1 best out of all three so far, since I enjoyed first learning about Alexia's supernatural society and meeting all the enticing characters. I loved Lord Maccon's rough & tough exterior and his courting manners were adorable, even though Alexia was clueless during much of it. Some of the characters who annoy me later on in the series were much more enduring in Book #1 for me as well and the audio-book version was done quite well with no overly annoying accents. Even Lord Maccon's Scottish burr was evident and fun.

Likes: Unlike many Victorian era ladies, Alexia stands out - in a good way. She sticks to the rules, but happily bends them as well to suit her needs. She's a sucker for fashion and is dearly loyal to her friends, which are two things I highly enjoy about her character.

Dislikes: I enjoyed how Alexia's spinster label didn't sidetrack her from enjoying a happy life, even though I felt she gave into it too easily - I disliked how easily she believed her Mother's complaints of having the wrong sized nose/skin color or her sister's complaints in regards to her eating habits/direct behavior. She easily lost confidence in herself, which is such a shame for a strong protagonist.


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