Lord Maccon scrubbed his face with his hand, reached desperately for a nearby teapot, and drained it through the spout.Miss Tarabotti looked away from the horrible sight. […] “Please, Lord Maccon, use one of the cups. My delicate sensibilities.”The earl actually snorted. “My dear Miss Tarabotti, if you possessed any such things, you certainly have never shown them to me.” But he did put down the teapot.
October 1, 2009
384 pages, paperback
Book purchased by me
Alexia Tarabotti is a mature woman of twenty-six who would much rather be reading or eating than suffering at a ball. For that reason, she sneaks off to the library and orders tea and is having quite a marvelous time all by herself until a vampire strolls in. Under normal circumstances, vampires are civil, one of her best friends is one. But this one is starved, and wants to eat. As he lunges at her, Alexia reaches out and touches him and his fangs instantly disappear. Alexia has a secret very few know about, not even her family. She is a preternatural, she was born without a soul- she nullifies those with supernatural abilities – vampires, werewolves, etc because supernatural have an abundance of soul. The vampire, realizing he can’t bite her tries to strangle her, and so Alexia is forced to whack him with her parasol and stick her wooden hair stick through his heart.
Lord Conall Maccon, relatively new alpha werewolf in town and Chief Minister for the BUR, the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, comes into the library and is not surprised to find Alexia in the middle of another chaotic scene. Maccon is a big man, usually disheveled with a permanent frown upon his face and Alexia never misses an opportunity to get under his skin. Maccon tidies the situation but questions why there is a starved vampire, when they should all be under the protection of the hive queen. When it comes to light that vampires and werewolves are going missing, Alexia finds herself in the middle of the investigation, no matter how much Maccon wants her to stay out of it for her safety.
Soulless is just flat out a cute story. Romantic, funny, and the most vibrant, well-written characters I have read recently. Alexia could be my favorite heroine this year – she may have to duke it out with Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews) or Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs) but with her parasol, she just might win. She is considered a spinster, and has really never had a chance at courting even when she was younger because her mother pretty much gave up on her at an early age. Alexia’s late father was Italian and her nose is a bit too big, her eyebrows a bit too dark and her bosoms a bit too ample. Alexia is very sure of herself though – she understands her place in society and would much rather spend her time educating herself and having fun with her very flamboyant vampire friend, Akeldama, then be courted and chased around at balls. She is very independent with a mind of her own, and everyone knows, especially her mother, that she cannot be easily persuaded.
Lord Maccon’s human behavior very much mirrors his werewolf side. He is big and overpowering and very alpha in all his mannerisms. Thankfully for everyone around him, his second in command, Professor Lyall, is a very trusted friend and often keeps him in line. He is attracted to Alexia because she herself is an alpha – he could never be with someone timid. Even in his romantic embraces, he acts a bit wild – which at first Alexia does not know what to do with. Although Alexia can talk science all day, she is very naive in the romance department. She soon realizes, the big, burly, werewolf in his reckless ways is very much a turn on to her. And although he is a bit rough around the edges, Alexia still considers herself a lady – upon entering the very untidy office of Lord Maccon –
He doesn’t necessarily court her, rather, attacks her with his wicked kisses, and Alexia doesn’t mind one bit. As she says, he only has two modes of operation, “annoyed and aroused.” At the start of the book, it is inferred the two of them have known each other for awhile, and it is one of those relationships where they pick on each other so much, they must be in love. Finally, Maccon can’t take it, and gives into temptation – or maybe he was just sick of her talking and kissing her is the only way to keep her quiet.
As I mentioned, when Alexia was not with Lord Maccon, she is either in the company of her trusted friend, Miss Hisselpenny or vampire friend Akeldama. He is a riot – I love him. Always dressed in bright pinks and purples and very silly in the way he talks, but underneath the facade, extremely smart and knows everything that is going on with everyone. He may play the fop, but he has a very smart side to him. It is so funny when he learns the preternatural Alexia is being courted by the head alpha werewolf. Her mother, stepfather and two half sisters, all who are the epitome of English society will have you laughing out loud at their disdain for Alexia’s actions.
The cast of characters in Soulless will have you smiling throughout. Add in a tender romance and a clever mystery, and Soulless has made its way to my keeper shelf.
Rating: Four Stars
Gail Carriger’s website
Soulless – October 1, 2009
Changeless – March 30, 2010
Blameless – TBA