Soulless Gail Carriger
My friend Dana read this during my blog birthday party. It looked good and she confirmed that I would like it. It then went on to win an Alex this year. So, I checked it out from the library and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I got the sequel right away and then when I finished it, ran to the bookstore and bought both of them and pre-ordered the third (which comes out this fall.)
Basic premise is this-- Victorian London. Ghosts, vampires, and werewolves exist and are upstanding members of society. Not everyone can be a supernatural. It has to do with an excess of soul. If you have too much soul, then you'll survive being changed into a vampire or werewolf, or can stick around as a ghost after you die.
To balance this, there's Alexia Tarabotti. She's a spinster, half-Italian, larger with a big nose, and has horrible Bluestocking tendencies. As if that weren't bad enough she has no soul. This comes rather in handy when she's attacked by a hungry vampire in the middle of a ball. Preternaturals like her cancel out the supernatural elements when they come in contact. As soon as the vampire touches her, his teeth turn back into teeth.
Of course, then she accidentally kills him. And gets herself involved in the detestable Lord Maccon's (alpha werewolf) investigation, which discovers that there are vampires and werewolves going missing. And new ones turning up with no idea about the rules of such things...
SO MUCH FUN!!! Victorian manners + steam punk + urban fantasy + good food + horribly awful hats + a great romance? YES PLEASE.
It's just fun and funny. Many of the characters are outrageous and over the top. Alexia's mother and half-sisters are picture-perfect pretty and unbelievably shallow. Lord Akeldama is a mincing vampire whose fashion sense is much more Regency dandy than Victorian aristocrat, which a bevy of young men looking after him. And Alexia's best friend, Ivy Hisselpenny (Hisselpenny?!) has Empire's worst taste in hats.
It was also a lot... steamier... than I was expecting, but I'm not complaining about that, especially as it was really well done. ;)
Book Provided by... my local library, and then my wallet.
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