The Parasol Protectorate, Book 1
Synopsis : 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?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
Review : I’ve finally read my first steampunk book ! Yeah, I know I’m a little late, but so much to read everywhere… I didn’t know what I should expect about it, but it was a good surprise.
I really love to evolve in a different period, so we can discover the customs and habits for each character. The story is based on the Alexia’s point of view, but the author uses the third person so we also can understand the thoughts of the other persons, and it was pleasant to know their feelings.
The story is very original, I really like the inventions and the researches all along the book. Alexia is a young woman not like everyone else in a world very strict for women. With her Italian origin and with her father’s inheritance, she is the only one Soulless, ie the only person in England who doesn’t have a soul.
She is decided to not follow the etiquette. Alexia doesn’t care at all about what she says, although sometimes it places her in some awkward situations, she doesn’t want to follow orders, and she is determined to do whatever she wants. This heroine makes me think a lot to Amelia Peabody, in the Elizabeth Peter’s series. The period is different, but the women status is the same, the nature of the two characters or the parasol use is the same too. Anyway, I really like the concept of the improved parasol to use it when she needs it.
The Alexia’s feature with her absence of soul is very original. And it’s always a pleasure to discover new ideas. I confess that I was very intrigued about this fact and I hope we could learn more in the next books.
In this first novel, Alexia has to face a weird case and she is decided to find her answers. But it won’t be in the way she thinks in the beginning.
I really love too Lord Maccon, and the relationship with our heroine was very touching, I’m curious to see them evolve together. So finally, it was a nice book and I would love to learn more !