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?
What do you get when you combine paranormal creatures, the Victorian era, and a wonderful touch of steampunk? Sheer brilliance.
I simply loved this book! It took me a bit to actually get into it, but that was more due to the fact that I simply didn’t want to read anything at that moment. I loved the main character Alexia. She’s a strong woman and definitely strong willed as well, and pretty quick witted. More importantly she isn’t one of those overly tough women who only admit to being scared when no can see them and will not back down even when they are wrong. I also adored Lord Maccon…when it comes to werewolves, I’m fairly sure he may be my favorite now. So yummy. Lord Akeldama is also delightful and I love the unique way he talks. The other characters are equally lovely in their own way and I think the character base has made me fall in love with Victorian era fiction.Of course I wasn’t fond of Alexia’s family and their slightly harsh opinion of her, it just didn’t seem entirely fair…but it worked for the story. The way the soul plays a part in the paranormal world is really unique as well, and I really love the explanation and find it refreshing that it’s not just another unexplained thing you accept.
I love how Carriger decided to intertwine the paranormal aspects of the story with history so as to explain a lot of England’s successes. She also did a lovely job on incorporating steampunk without it being overwhelming or overly visible. The way it’s written really pulls everything together in a rich and intelligent way, and it flows so smoothly that even with change in vocabulary and vernacular it’s pretty easy and quick to read. The overall plot was really great too, and given the circumstances of the world was written in an entirely believable way. The only think that irked me was the ‘wax-face’ man, and that’s only because I don’t quite get him…but in all fairness neither to the characters.
Overall a great book and I can’t wait to get the second one. I totally recommend this to paranormal fantasy lovers, especially if you enjoy Victorian era books.