where I got my copy: Borders
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?
Like I said. The tagline... Vampire, Werewolves, and Parasol got me. But in all honesty, I wasn't sure that I am going to enjoy it. But I did, immensely.
Alexia Tarabotti is unlike her two half-sisters Evylin and Felicity Loontwill, their mother nor her good friend Ivy Hisselpenny. No because Alexia half-Italian and a spinster amidst high London society is Soulless, yes, pun intended or if you wanted to get technical she is a preternatural the vampires describe her kind as "soul-suckers". Each and everytime she nears them, touch them (vampire, werewolves, all other supernatural) they become normal. Claws retract, fangs gone, you get the picture. I love Alexia's exorbitant character, in a land/time full of decorum she portrays a picture of a modern woman. In short she got balls. She stands up to those who challenge her and is not afraid to give people a piece of her mind. Her love interested that is Lord Conall Maccoon, pack leader, Earl of Woolsey and head of BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry - a special division under Queen Victoria) is the typical Aplha male. Strong, powerful, protective, wise, drop dead gorgeous that can only be tamed by the like os Alexia. Their romance was the classic, the-more-you-hate-the-more-you-love encounter. In the beginning you will read that they hated each other with intensity, the oral bouts that they throw at each other was the number one entertainment in the book. One kiss made them the perfect couple. I especially said oooohhh on that first kiss.
Alexia and Lord Maccon's romance was a great distraction to the problem at hand. Who is making new vampires? Who is the wax face looking man and his cohorts that tried to abduct Alexia after she had her meeting with the hive queen? and more importantly, what do they want? or what are they trying to achieve? I had my suspects as I go along and was quite shock that I had made a wrong guess. To sum it up. Soulless is written brilliantly. The humor inside this steampunk was tons of laugh. It is witty, full of tea, elaborate dresses, funny hats, dirigibles, quirky outrageous characters, mystery all in all a superb plot. A must read in your 2009 list.