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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Audible Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Historical charm, mystery and paranormal all blended beautifully in this delightful story.
Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel
Genre: Steampunk,Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Publisher's Summary
Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.
Review: This is a great blend of paranormal, mystery and romance with lots of humor.

Alexia is a 25 year old “spinster.” She is attractive but not a real beauty having a strong nose and dark skin from her Italian father. She also has another difficulty - she is a preternatural or soulless. She has accepted her status and is more interested in science and paranormal issues than in finding a husband. But her mother and stepfather would be glad to find someone to sweep her out of their house, if not off her feet.

Alexia lives in a London society where paranormal creatures are recognized and required to register with appropriate governmental authority. Alexia tends to associate with the werewolves and vampires whom she can neutralize with her touch. Her uniqueness and identity have been kept secret because she might be considered an enemy as preternaturals used to hunt and destroy paranormal beings, especially vampires.

When a strange vampire tries to attack Alexia she defends herself with her touch and her trusty, silver tipped parasol. Unfortunately she accidentally kills the vampire. Lord Maccon, the werewolf Alpha and head of the government Bureau of Unnatural Registry (BUR),  steps in to investigate the death in an official capacity and finds himself dealing with conflicting urges to subdue or protect this hapless, but witty and intelligent, female.

Maccon tries, unsuccessfully, to keep Alexia out of the investigation. As they proceed they discover more strange, unregistered and disappearing paranormal beings. Alexia tries to maintain proper society decorum but she is always stretching the llimits as she exercises her curious and independent spirit. Alexia gets help from a very unusual, and rather flamboyant, vampire friend. Maccon is jealous only because he doesn't realize the fellow would be more interested in him than Alexia.

This book contains a wonderful blend of British wit, Regency ambiance, paranormal mystic, scientific exploration and polite but sensual romance. The narration took just a bit of time to get used to but the narrator really does a wonderful job fitting the British, Scottish and American accents, as well as the prissy, authoritative and dignified tones to the different characters. This was a delightful listen and I am ready to download the next book!

There are lots of charming quotable lines but here is one of my favorites:
“He was sure his control was around somewhere, if he could simply find it.” 
Lord Conall Maccon thinking to himself while he tries to resist seducing Alexia.

Three word description: Eccentric, humorous, warm.

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