Friday, August 7, 2009

Soulless-Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger
Orbit, Oct 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780316056632

By 1874 Alexia Tarabotti expects to remain on the shelf as a spinster for eternity due to being too smart, too sassy, too assertive, and too strong and not very pretty. Her mother agrees and has written her daughter off in terms of finding the bluestocking a spouse; she focuses on her other younger but docile and prettier daughters.

Alexa has one other minor difference that has her standing out from her siblings; she has no soul. She is leaving London for Glasgow, but being soulless makes her special. She not only cannot be turned into a vampire or a werewolf like other mortals although most die rather than are changed; she can remove the paranormal power from a supernatural albeit for a short time by touching them. Perhaps her only adversary since mom gave up on her is Lord Maccon, the chief of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry who consistently finds her and her parasol getting past his werewolf hair to his suddenly overly abundant heart and soul.

This is an entertaining Victorian urban fantasy that smoothly but excitingly merges vampires, werewolves, and related laws and government agencies into late historical England. The story line is fast-paced albeit a bit thin as Gail Carriger focuses on creating the landscape in which Maccon and Alexa live. Still fans will enjoy the spin as Ms. Carriger provides a delightful historical fantasy that gives new meaning to a bloody good fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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