It is pouring rain outside my window. I love the sound, especially in summer when the rain doesn’t make me ache so much. Today is the perfect reading day. Most of this week, as a matter of fact, has been “perfect reading” days. Part of this is due to the series I’m currently sinking my reading teeth into: The Parasol Protectorate.
Originally I picked up Soulless, by Gail Carriger for the Nook several weeks ago and began reading it; however, life got in the way of being able to devour the thing right away. This week, however, I managed to find quiet time – I actually made quiet time so I could do some reading – and loved every single word.
Soulless is well-written. It has action, humor, an “unusual” love story, and Victorian societal problems that made me laugh out loud more than once.
The character of Miss Alexia Tarabotti is soul-less, i.e. she doesn’t have a soul, and is known as a preternatural. This means if she touches a vampire or a werewolf they lose their immortality and their abilities. Thus, if she had a mind, she could kill them very easily. But, Miss Tarabotti is far too civilized to be so brutish, except when it comes to her own survival, of course. Her mother and stepfather, and her two half-sisters don’t know. It is a family problem, she finds out, because her father didn’t have a soul either. He died when she was young and he was Italian, which means, in some strange Victorian sense of fashion, she was really un-marriageable. Resigned to be a spinster at the age of 25-26, Miss Tarabotti lives her life as best she can. This mostly means getting on the nerves of the local pack leader, Lord Maccon, who is also the person-in-chief of affairs where the supernatural are concerned.
Werewolves are under Lord Maccon’s control, and the vampires, well, have their own handler so to speak. However, there are vampires being made, but not in the normal, natural way. What could be doing such a thing? Queen Victoria, the local vampire queen, and BUR.
Not only are unusually made vampires popping up, and werewolves are going missing, etc., there is also a wax man with Roman numerals on his forehead stalking London. And, wouldn’t you know it, one of its marks is Miss Tarabotti?!
As soon as I finished Soulless I immediately put the second book of the series on the Nook – Changeless.
The Parasol Protectorate is an excellent series. It captures the imagination. It provides an excellent escape. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Most importantly – it is fun.
I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5.