Gail Carriger
Parasol Protectorate, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Erin


Prickly, stubborn 25-year-old bluestocking Alexia Tarabotti is patently unmarriageable, and not just because she’s large-nosed and swarthy. She’s also soulless, an oddity and a secret even in a 19th-century London that mostly accepts and integrates werewolf packs, vampire hives and ghosts. The only man who notices her is brash Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish Alpha werewolf and government official, and (of course) they dislike each other intensely. After Alexia kills a vampire with her parasol at a party—how vulgar!—she and Conall must work together to solve a supernatural mystery that grows quite steampunkishly gruesome. (by Publisher’s Weekly)


There are very few books that I read in a matter of days, and even fewer that make me laugh out loud. This was one of those rare occasions that a book did both. Alexia’s world is beautifully written and filled with characters that I wish I could meet (especially Lord Akeldama!). This is perfect for steampunk fans, or would be a great introduction to those who aren’t familiar with the genre but love fantasy.

Victorian social ideals flow seamlessly into vampire and werewolf lore, and the paranormal creatures are worked flawlessly into history. Alexia is incredibly witty, and would be a standout character no matter what time period she was in. Soulless, and its sequels, have become some of my favorite books.