soulless by gail carriger
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.
I wish I can do this book justice with a great review, but right now I am swamped with so many things to do and cursed with a mind that just wants to go to sleep. For a while, though, I drowned in hilarity. Soulless is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking. How does that work? Believe me it does, a Victorian steam punk led by the highly intelligent and saucy Alexia and gorgeous lord-detective Maccon.
In her society she is considered soulless, not supernatural yet not fully human. In her presence, vampires lose their fangs, werewolves their fur, and ghosts their hold on earth.
When rogue werewolves and vampires are murdered one after the other, she may be the only one who can solve the mystery, to the chagrin of the werewolf Lord Maccon. The interaction between these two are the high points of the book.
Rough around the edges, he is the perfect match for our pragmatic heroine–again to his chagrin and her secret delight. With a highly ingenuous world-building, where vampires set the latest trend in fashion and manners (i.e. deep-brimmed bonnets protect sensitive vampire skin from the light) and werewolf pack behavior influences military tactics, this series just raised the bar in urban fantasy.
By the way, if you like Victorian steam punk, visit this site. Ladies dresses and ensembles, hats and oddities for sale.