Historical paranormal romance is not the subgenre I usually read. But when Gail Carriger added in steampunk, I had to try it out. Soulless is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate Series where the soulless spinster Alexia ends a party by killing an attacking vampire. Already with a scientific and inquisitive mind, Alexia jumps at the chance to solve the mystery of her attack.
They shelved Alexia when she was still a teenager. Her mother looked in disappointment at her tanned-skin, inherited from her Italian father, and her sharp tongue, that was all her own, and determined she was not marriage material. Thus, shelved. Alexia did not miss the idea of marrying a man based on position and power, but she knew she needed something more than parties and walks in the park in her life. Then a vampire attempted to bite her, but she killed him instead.
Now, in historical London portrayed in the Parasol Protectorate, werewolves, ghosts, vampires, the supernatural community are known and accepted as a part of society. They follow the same rules and can be important members of society. What isn’t acceptable is to attack any being without proper introductions and agreements. It is all civilized. But underneath the niceties of society werewolves and vampires are disappearing. New vampires are attacking and dying, with no knowledge of the societal rules and no one knows where they came from.
In charge of all issues supernatural is Lord Maccon, an abrasive, arrogant werewolf, who must split his focus between solving the mystery and his attraction to the frustratingly sharp Miss Alexia Tarabotti. The worse part is the full moon has almost arrived so his control is slipping.
Written with wicked humour and high society manners, the story is a quick read. The couple loves to argue and dislike each other so their romance is not smooth or well mannered. Alexia finds Lord Maccon perplexing, his lack of civility and overt interest in her, after all, she was a spinster with a sharp tongue. But Lord Maccon is Scottish and prefers a woman with a point of view who he cannot push around, and his instincts want him to make Alexia his, no matter the social niceties of London.
So Alexia, who abhorred violence, was forced to grab the miscreant by his nostrils, a delicate and therefore painful area, and shove him away.Soulless, by Gail Carriger
At first, I found the jumping between character’s point-of-views jarring. It took me a few chapters before I became accustomed to the writing style. The story itself drew me in and kept me reading. I love Alexia and her scholastic take on all challenges she faces. No other character I have read breaks down her thoughts on kissing while she is being kissed. It was hilarious.
It was entertaining to read and I will read more in the series as I enjoy Alexia’s singular humour and scientific inquiry into life. Happy Reading!