Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)

Soulless - Gail Carriger Anyone who would like a wonderful, sexy, steampunky and supernatural jaunt through Victorian London is respectfully requested to read this book. Alexia Tarabotti is a soulless spinster -- quite literally. She is a preternatural. In an earlier era, she would have been a hunter of the supernaturals (vampires and werewolves), but since the Enlightenment, humans and supernaturals have gotten on reasonably well. Of course, when rogue vampires (who no nothing of proper society etiquette) attack young ladies at society balls, that rather puts everyone on shaky footing again. When one of them attacks Alexia, who is forced to kill him out of self-defence, well, that puts her into rather a sticky situation (and not just because of the treacle tart). This book is surely the love-child of P. G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen and Bram Stoker. I have not been so delighted by a book in a very long time. The narrative voice is a little changeable and jarred me with switches in point-of-view. Also the aristocratic titles are inconsistent (I won't say "wrong" as this is alternate history, but inconsistency is a different thing). Carriger more than makes up for these minor flaws with laugh-out-loud historical references: such as Ancient Roman "vomitoria" for vampires, who enjoy the taste of food but cannot digest it, and that the break of the Church of England with Rome was due to the concept of the measured soul -- supernaturals have an abundance, being the counterbalance to Alexia's state. Summary: Read this book! Read it, read it, read it!