Book recommendation: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Soulless, by Gail Carriger, next to a teacup

This is going to be a short recommendation, folks. Why? Because I can sum up what I thought of Gail Carriger’s Soulless in just four words: I absolutely loved it.

Alright, I know, you need more than that to convince you to read it. I do have more to share, I promise. And as a historical paranormal romance, Soulless had plenty to offer. Sass, vampires, werewolves, Victorian London, and a unique premise that brings it all together? You can go ahead and check each of those boxes right now.

Alexia Tarabotti is soulless, which means she has the ability to unintentionally render any supernatural creature temporarily mortal. Most people around her would never notice, but the vampires and werewolves that make up a small portion of London’s high society keep a close eye on her. But when those same creatures start disappearing, Alexia finds herself in the tricky position of proving she’s not behind the disappearances while finding out who is.

Of the main characters I’ve followed along with recently, Alexia may just be my favourite. She’s strong, she’s humorous, and she knows how to handle her werewolves.

Speaking of werewolves… if you’ve strayed away from vampire and werewolf stories but are looking to get back into them, this would probably be a good place to start. The novel takes them seriously enough that the world is built solidly, but not so seriously that you can’t laugh at the funny bits.

Finally, I just want to say that the novel has a wonderful writing style that stays present throughout the story. It’s (as I’ve mentioned several times now) funny, light yet serious, and balances the different genres perfectly.

Goodreads summary

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?

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