Tuesday, 29 September 2009

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Soulless - Gail Carriger

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? 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.

The Urban Fantasy genre is oft said to perhaps be one of the quirkiest on the market, after all you have Vamps and Were’s rubbing shoulders in the modern world against Wizards, humans and hunters kicking seven shades of snot into whatever crosses their path, but here is something new and different to a great many out there. We see alternate Victoriana steampunk stepping into this very world of which I speak. Yet the principle protagonista is definitely one to watch. Whilst technically a normal human in all appearance her own gift allows her to nullify those “others” out there that would do harm to mankind and really does generate a person of interest especially when you blend it into the sensibilities in that times regard to women. It’s a corker and definitely something that’s new in the field that I suspect will win Gail fans by the bucketload. It’ll be interesting to see how the character develops but if this novel is anything to go by you’ve got a real hellion on the loose and will be interesting to see how she grows in her new role in life along with mentally to fulfil her potential. Book Two is going to be a clincher as well as something very special.

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