I think I have a thing for heroines who wield parasols as weapons. This is why I love Amelia Peabody so much and now Alexia Tarabotti, the newest heroine, without a soul, created by author Gail Carriger.
Carriger's book Soulless came to my attention through the literary section of my newspaper. The article talked about Steampunk, and this was the first time I'd ever heard of the term. After some researching, the steampunk genre seemed fascinating so I ended up devising a steampunk reading list. Fast forward to now, and I thought I'd post about this book, as it was such a fun, lighthearted romp, and I can't wait to read the next two books in the series.
I wasn't one of those people who jumped on the vampire and werewolf bandwagon (a la Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series). For some reason Meyer's books didn't appeal to me, and I'm not sure why, as I'm a massive Buffy fan. Maybe after Buffy, there's just no eclipsing it? Anyway, when I initially read that the novel included vampires and werewolves, I hesitated. Then one day, there it was, a paperback copy sitting on the bookshop's shelf, at a good price. Upon perusing, I read, Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life for Europe and inadvertently acquired an education. She now resides in the Colonies with a harem of Armenian lovers and tea imported from London. I found this author description compelling so I bought the book.
For those who don't know, the Steampunk genre seeks to subvert real history and fictionalise an alternative often set during the Victorian era. The premise of Soulless is that spinster Alexia Tarabotti accidentally kills a vampire and Lord Maccon (a werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. Add to this Victorian social mores, a family that reminded me of the Bennett's and a healthy dose of romance and you have a good backdrop for a story. Alexia is also a strong heroine, and I liked the characters in the book. It's also good if you like corsets and bustles.
Alexia was embarrassed to find that she was reduced to shamefully sneaking out of her own home. It simply would not do to tell her mama she was paying a late-night call on a vampire hive.
Read it if you enjoy Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series and you want something with a light comedic touch or if all you've been reading lately are those heavy numbers and you need something different.