If you haven’t read Soulless,
the first book in the Parasol protectorate- series, I sincerely
(and perfectly!) envy you! Since this is the best Victorian-steampunk-vampire-werewolf-Jane-Austen
book of the millennia! Really! It is!
In Soulless we get to know Alexia Tarrabotti, a ladylike spinster
(a fancy word for a woman who remains unmarried) armed with a
parasol and an iron will from hell, but regrettably no soul. Well,
you can’t have it all, and Alexia has instead quite a lot
of interesting friends, from vampires to ladies with a taste for
silly hats. Lacking a soul has its benefits, since it means that
you can withdraw the mystical essence from any supernatural creature
and turn them back to humans as long as you are able to touch
them. This may come in handy if you for example wish to slay a
rude and attacking vampire (which occurs already on page 6!).
The author Gail Carriger manages to describe a wonderful world,
a London where dirigibles lands in Hyde Park and steam-engine
tea brewers may be fitted to horse carriages. It’s a mystery
novel with stolen information, weird scientists, werewolves, corsets
and tea pots, and it is completely and utterly impossible not
to fall in love with!
The only small flaw to the book is actually its cover: While
generally I have absolutely nothing against covers with steampunk
parasols and evening gowns (not to mention high hats with attached
goggles upon them), the main character Alexia is described as
fairly chubby, while the model for the book… is not. But,
seriously, you cannot have everything in the world, my dear.
If you like Victorian novels, urban fantasy and anything in the
vampire genre, then this is the book for you! There are also two
more books in the series: Changeless and Blameless, where we can
continue to follow Alexia’s adventures.