Thursday, November 4, 2010
1. Soulless, 10.19.2010, * * * *
Alexia Tarabotti is one of the most fascinating characters that I have come across since first discovering Amelia Peabody several years ago. She's a straight to the point, no-nonsense kind of girl. This may have something to do with the fact that she's a spinster, far too old to be good marriage material. Add to that, her father was Italian. Oh, and plus that, she a preternatural - meaning she has no soul.
Set in an alternate earth where vampires and werewolves are an accepted part of London's high society, Alexia is a true oddity. Very few know about her unique abilities, and her intense interests in science and technology are frowned upon by her family as being unladylike. When a vampire attacks her at a private ball, she is both shocked and outraged at his behavior, which goes against all common decency and social etiquette. Somehow he doesn't seem to know the rules, and she accidentally kills him. Lord Maccon, from the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, arrives to investigate, and suddenly Alexia finds herself involved in the investigation. Someone is making vampires and werewolves disappear, new vampires keep appearing with no one to claim them, and Alexia and her trusted parasol must get to the bottom of the mystery before time runs out for both her, and the werewolf who loves her.
I adore the slightly steampunk-ish setting of this novel, and Alexia herself is a riot. Opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind or get her hands dirty, she's always right in the thick of things. The romance part of the story was ok, but the best part was the mystery itself. I give Soulless 4 stars, and would definitely recommend it!