I’ve seen this book appear on a number of Goodreads friends’ pages and was interested in it because 1) it took place in a steampunk Victorian period and 2) it’s a mish-mash of vampires, werewolves and ghosts. Essentially, I was under the impression it was a quirky book that would be fun to read and I’m happy to say, now that I finished reading it, that it is exactly that. Sometimes it’s nice to read something not serious, and Soulless was a great getaway. It was almost like fantasy chick-lit.
Soulless is about 26 year old spinster, Alexia Tarabotti. She is, if you haven’t guessed, soulless, which means she is “immune” to supernatural creatures. She can’t be bitten by them, for example, and they become human when touched by her. She lives in a steampunk Victorian era London, where werewolves, vampires and ghosts are real and integrated into society. Such supernatural creatures are registered with BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) so they are all kept track of. At a ball one day, Alexia is attacked by an unregistered vampire, whom she accidentally kills. Lord Maccon, an alpha werewolf, a BUR worker and ridiculously gorgeous, is sent to investigate the killing. Nobody knows who this vampire is or where he came from. What’s worse is that registered supernaturals are disappearing and more unknown supernaturals are appearing. Even worse, everyone thinks Alexia may have something to do with this, being soulless and all.
The first thing I noticed was the writing style. It’s different from most novels, I think. I don’t really know how to describe it, other than that it’s quirky. I enjoyed the writing a lot and found it suited the humorous Victorian setting of this book. It’s witty, it’s funny and I was never bored at any time when reading this. I imagine this kind of writing style isn’t going to be for everyone, but I personally really liked it.
All the characters are very memorable and I love them all. Because of the type of story it is and the kind of atmosphere the book has, I’m not surprised that all the characters are kind of “cartoon-ish”; in fact, I loved it. Alexia is a bold, intellectual and independent woman who has resigned to the fact that she’ll probably never marry because frankly, no husband wants a wife this assertive in such a time period. That isn’t to say she doesn’t have her feminine moments. Alexia has resigned to being a spinster, but she does kind of wish she has a husband and a family and all that jazz. I loved her relationship with Lord Maccon, who becomes a love interest of her’s very early on in the story. They seem to irritate one another at first, but later it is revealed they both are quite fond of one another. Lord Maccon is so protective of Alexia, it is just adorable! I was a little surprised by how much romance was in this book (namely, all the kissing/making out scenes), but I found myself quite enjoying them bantering with one another. Even the characters that don’t speak much have wonderfully endearing qualities. For example, I really love Alexia’s family butler, Floote. He doesn’t say much, he doesn’t even appear much, but I just imagine him hovering around in the background, worrying over Alexia entertaining her adventurous spirit, and it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I think this is a delightfully written book that’s fun to read if you’re yearning for something light and fun. I am looking forward to reading more about Alexia in the next books in this series (makes me happy to know there are at least four more books after this first one)!