Well first off all a clarification I say book of the month, I doubt this will be every month, because undoubtedly I’ll forget at some point. But honestly what else should I call this? Book of the every now and then? That doens’t really have the same ring to it does it? So I’m afraid your stuck with me calling it book of the month, even though this may not actually be monthly (but I will only be doing one book a month so it’s kind of true).
Soulless by Gail Carriger – Book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate
So every now and then I try and have a hunt through Amazon see if I can find anything new and interesting that I might want to read, that isn’t from my normal collection of stuff I read. I will also admit that even though I read a lot of fantasy and some sci-fi I do like a good romance thrown into those books, (Not a fan of a romance book on its own.) but that does mean that a good urban fantasy romance is right up my street. Please note I say good. I am well aware that there are a LOT of books out there on this topic, a lot that aren’t very good. And while you can’t always judge the Amazon rating system (games that have stupid DLC issues get quite low reviews on there, even though they are awesome) I do tend to have a nosey at the blurbs for any that have between 4 and 5 stars, it especially helps when it’s got that high rating and about 30 people have reviewed it.
The following blurb also helped:
‘Alexia Tarabotti is labouring 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 was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then 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? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.’
How could that not sound interesting? C told me it just sounded very silly and thus of course I’d like it. So I may have ordered it along with my Christmas presents.
So once it arrived, I read it on the way to work, I read it during my lunch time, on the way home, the next day the same, except that once I got home, I pretty much decided to devour the whole thing that night. I could not put the thing down. I ended up going to bed quite late and being pretty tired the next day, but it was worth it. I really really enjoyed it.
Alexia is a great main character, she’s not afraid to speak her mind, be it to werewolf or vampire, she also loves her food, treacle tart is especially important. I love the time taken in the book to give the descriptions of the exceptionally elaborate clothing everyone is wearing. (Did I mention that this is a silly book?) Or the importance of everything seeming proper, because well this IS the Victorian era. The plot itself moves along at a nice space, and it’s a pretty good one too, there’s some horrible Victorian Victorian Science they have to deal with, and Alexia copes very well with the rather dangerous situations she finds herself in. The girl has a good head on her shoulders.
Having read a bit more on Carriger and her world (so that I know what book is next) her world seems quite interesting. There is no magic in it, all the ‘magic’ comes from Victorian Science (so gives is a bit of a Steampunk feel.) She also seems to only have Werewolves, Vampires, Ghosts and Soulless as Supernatural creatures. It would seem that the Renaissance is when the Supernatural creatures decided to ‘come out’ so everyone in Britain (and I guess the rest of the world, although they aren’t very nice to supernaturals or Vampires at least in the New World.) are aware that Werewolves and Vampires exist. I’m not so sure about ghosts, they don’t appear much in the first book, and what Soulless are is kind of a well kept secret by the Supernaturals.
So I should probably say more about the book but I’m not sure what. I just want to say that this is a very good book and I would definitely recommend reading it!