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 my first steampunk book, and I must say that, even with all the wild combination of werewolves, vampire, ghosts, science, robots, victorian era setting and tea, I was thoroughly entertained. Ms. Gail Carriger is truly a creative writer; one who has the ability to craft a highly enjoyable novel. It is apparent that the author had done quite a handful of researches for this book; for it was written with certainty and that the details were very convincing.
The plot is about Alexia Tarabotti, perhaps the only preternatural alive. Preternaturals, in this book, are a member of the supernatural set but are not immortal. They have this ability to "humanize" a supernatural with just a simple touch, thus being often called the curse-breakers (to werewolves) or soul-suckers (to vampires). After she was born, her father left them, and so she eventually lived with a stepfather and two stepsisters. Because she's half-Italian, she was often ridiculed by her own family. But after a while of their mockery, Alexia got used to it and dismiss their criticisms indiferrently. She got used to people seeing her as the uninteresting one, even see herself that way, compared to her two younger siblings. That is why Alexia was surprised that in a certain ball she attended, a vampire stealthily stalked her and when he finally got her alone, attempted to slay her. Good thing her parasol and wooden hair stick is always on the rescue so she managed to stop and slay the vampire herself. Enter Conal Maccon, head of the BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry), came to the room a little too late to check what the commotion is all about and saw the staked vampire and the seemingly fainted Alexia Tarabotti lying on the floor (even though Conal knows that Alexia is just faking it). Then, after some snide comments, arguments, and banters here and there, Alexia and Conal Maccon found themselves attracted to each other, in love even. And they both went to find the whys and whos behind Alexia's attempted slaughter.
I LOVED everything about this book. I keep thinking of what I didn't like or what bothered me even for a bit in this story but I just can't think of one. I just simply liked every part of this book. The story was fast-paced, and there was always something going on so I wasn't bored even for a little while, honestly-speaking. So, as I am fond of novels with a Victorian Era setting, supernaturals, and kick-ass heroines, Soulless here was merely the finest paradigm of an amazing book for me. Complete with an unusual love story, action, mystery, fashion, and witty characters, Soulless is most-certainly not to be missed.