“Soulless” (The Parasol Protectorate Series 1)

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 1)
By: Gail Carriger
(http://gailcarriger.com)
Orbit Books 2009

Alexia Tarabotti wields two great weapons: a custom parasol and the fact that she’s soulless. Up against mysterious incidents that frighten vampire queens and get under werewolves’ skin, will Alexia’s ability to cancel out any supernatural powers be enough? More importantly, will her spinster reputation survive her investigatory antics? And just how provoking can Queen Victoria’s werewolf agent, the Earl of Woolsey, become for this stubborn, intelligent lady when they must work together?

Gail Carriger’s novel works like an English scone smothered, or jammed, with humor. The light overall feel and humorous quirks tie the whole thing together and make Soulless good, quick travel reading. However, beneath all that fun lies a very solid and interesting world. The thoroughly thought-out details seem a bit dense at first, but the precocious characters and Carriger’s humorous jam balance it out well. The romance works well within the plot. The characters are engaging, and left with plenty of room to grow in the sequels. While not taking the most unpredictable route, the mystery unfolds with aplomb and drives a good pace. An excellent book to read over tea or when in need of a fun, supernatural escape, Soulless holds a world I would like to visit again.

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“Too Human”

“Too Human”

I would just like to get some sleep,
all tossed upon tasks so grimy and deep-
If I could take one step at a time I would,
but I seem to just swish around all this “should.”

It might be safe on this ocean floor,
but there’s a lot of pressure against my door-
If in a palace there’d be room to explore,
or maybe to rest up on the sandy shore…

But life is a witch who makes it a fact
that few can rise without a contract,
and I’m just a girl without much choice,
but to spend days without my true voice.

It’s an awkward sort of life transition,
without a solid stance or position,
Even with someone to hold my hand,
it’s hard to stand firm in this strange land.