Monday, July 5, 2010
by Gail Carriger
The Parasol Protectorate, book one
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 ettiquette.
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 is 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 embarassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? (taken from back jacket copy)
This is paranormal romance at its finest. This is steampunk at its finest. This is the best combination of the two that I have come across yet! I LOVED the start of this new series and kicked myself that I did not read this book sooner.
Alexia is my favorite kind of heroine. Determined, intelligent, independent, resourceful, yet still vulnerable. I love that she carries a specially ordered parasol for protection. I love that she can be snarky with the head London Werewolf. You have to love that chutzpah!!
Lord Maccon, Conall, is one sexy beast...and yes, I do mean that almost literally. He is an Alpha Werewolf and he wants nothing more than to have Alexia for his own. His second, Professor Lyall, cracked me up...balancing propriety with scientific advancement and practicality to assist his Alpha in all aspects of pack life.
What made this great steampunk is the setting and descriptions. Alexia and the others are in Victorian London, complete with hackney carriages, strolls in Hyde Park, going to routs, etc., but they also have dirigibles, exsanguination machines, and many other more advanced scientific machinations. The delicate balance between Alexia's manners, dress, and societal expectations with her bluestocking nature and interest in all the advancements around her pulls readers right into a world that feels natural.
Add to that mix a sprinkling of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, automatons, and more! Ahh, I was in heaven. I cannot wait to read Changeless and Blameless!!