As the only reader in your group of friends, you tend to get a big head. You think wow, I've read something along the line of 500 books this year, I must be hot stuff. You strut. Then you run across an entire new genre of books and wonder when exactly did I become the least in the know person evah? Deflated.
Steampunk- sure I read the description on the back of a Katie MacAlister book but did I ever connect the dots? Ummm no. Did I know this was a thing? For those who don't know what the heck I've talking about...Steampunk-books based in the (roughly) Victorian era in which steam-power is still used, the “Steam” part. The “Punk” is the science fiction or fantasy portion in which the world slightly off from ours. Gail Carriger has taken the concept of Steampunk one step further and incorporated both the supernatural and just a teeny, tiny bit of romance.
Back of the Book
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring 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? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing?
I won't lie...it was touch and go in the beginning. The first chapter and I did not get along what so ever. In the opening scenes Alexis dispatches a vampire using nothing but her cane and some of the worst dialogue I've read in my life. But I persevered and Thank God for that because fabulous doesn't even begin to cover the remaining pages. We were early for a movie so I picked this up and let me tell you I didn't want the lights to go down. I was in the middle of a good part dammit! The entire rest of the book is the good part.
Gail has a way of explaining Victorian England that despite reading hundreds of historical romantic fiction, I just never got. She connected the dots for me. The society of it all. Add in the supernatural and mystery element and your almost overloaded in goodness.
Alexis is great character- she's on "The Shelf" (meaning she won't get married) because of her lack of perfect beauty (she has a little Italian in her.) Plus she is without a soul, although most don't know that, with her touch she renders the supernatural helpless. They momentarily regain their humanity. With supernaturals disappearing right and left, Alexis has no choice but to lend a hand in the investigation.
Souless is a take to your bed with tea, a delightful pastry and a do not disturb on the door. There you must remain.