The Rise of the Parasol Protectorate: Gail Carriger's Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger features the indomitable Alexia Tarabotti, a woman who is, as the witty ad copy tells us, "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." When Alexia kills the vampire, all sorts of unexpected consequences occur--for example, Queen Victoria sends the "loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf" Lord Maccon to look into the matter. I hate to keep quoting the back cover, but Orbit has done an excellent job with it: "With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia is 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?" As you might have guessed by now, Carriger has written a fun cross-genre treat for those who like the novel of manners mixed with both steampunk and supernatural elements. I talked to her recently via email about the novel...

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