Rummanah Aasi
  A fellow librarian recommended the Parasol Protectorate series to me. She and I have similar tastes, except when it comes to sparkly vampires then I'm on my own. ;) She described the first book, Soulless,  to me as a mixture of a paranormal romance/steampunk tale with lots of dry humor, fashion commentary and awesome character interactions. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that usually takes place during the industrialized 19th century, where our existing technology is used to imagine a more advanced and complex 19th century. Confused? Read a great article on Steampunk 101 from Tor.com. is Well, she had me at paranormal and dry humor and I knew it was a book that I needed to find. I just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Description: Meet saucy, sassy, stubborn, and assertive Alexia Tarabotti, a spinster who is soulless, has a large nose and tan skin due to her Italian patronage. She her lack of a soul is truly unique and a well kept secret even in a 19th-century London that mostly accepts and integrates werewolf packs, vampire hives and ghosts. The only man who notices and successfully enjoys her is the brash, mercurial,  Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish Alpha werewolf and government official. After she is rudely attacked by a vampire at a party, Alexia must work with Lord Maccon to clear her name after she is suspected of the disappearances of other undead members of high society.

Review: Soulless is a fun, quick, and incredibly funny read. It is an excellent blend of Victorian romance,  screwball comedy of manners that Britain is known for, and alternate history. I absolutely loved Alexia. She is truly a force to be reckoned with and isn't afraid to stick her nose where it does not belong. Her interactions with Lord Maccon are funny, sweet, and the best parts of the book. Other secondary characters, such as the flamboyant Lord Akeldama is a hoot. At first I was worried that the steampunk aspect might over power the novel, but it does not at all. In fact, the gadgets are interesting and add an additional angle to the story. I look forward to reading Alexia's adventures in the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language. Sex is implied, but not graphic. Teens who are looking for angst ridden werewolves and vampires might get bored. I think this book is more suited for adults and those who enjoy dry humor.

If you like this book, try: Changeless by Gail Carriger, 2nd book in the Parasol Protectorate series
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