I have always loved fantasy books and the supernatural has always fascinated me. It is so close to reality but so far away at the same time. I enjoy reading about vampires, werewolves and the ridiculousness of magic. I have just finished ‘Soulless’ by Gail Carriger, and not only does it have all of the above, but it is set in late Victorian England.

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I saw the second of the ‘Prudence’ series in Waterstones last year, instantly judged it by the cover and wanted it. As book one wasn’t in store I bought them as part of my preparation for this year. I then got the first three in the ‘Soulless series’ on Audible.  Emily Grey is the narrator and her pitch and pace generally rhythmic but her tone fluctuates a little which can be distracting.

So Miss Alexia Tarabotti, the main character in the ‘Parasol Protectorate,’ as she is never seen without one, is a preternatural. Essentially she is without a soul, hence why the vampires call her ‘soulless’, and so her dress, personality and relationships lack a natural filter. She enjoys being in control, saying the wrong thing and considers manners terribly important. This first story is that of her adventures with vampires, werewolves and automatons.

Lord Maccon the London pack Alpha, Professor Lyle his Beta, Lord Akeldama a rather flamboyant Rogue Vampire and Miss Ivy, all add levels of character and mischief. I liked the added personality and dimension to the supernatural. Alexia is interested in science, would much rather talk the latest innovations and discoveries than the fashions coming from Paris, much to her sisters disgust.  The new Gentlemen’s club for the science elite in London causes quite a stir and it’s not to do with the dead vampire in the Library.

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I really found it easy to absorb, to get engrossed in the story and to love Miss Alexia Tarabotti. Professor Lyle is a close second with his tolerance and sophisticated Beta mentality. Will anyone warm the spinster’s heart? Why is someone trying to kill her? Why is VIXI so important? Queen Victoria, Steampunk and crazy family help make this story funny, engaging and left me wanting more.

As I have book 2 downloaded already (the wonders of Wifi in a sushi restaurant) I’m off. Happy Reading.