Written by: Gail Carriger
Released: September 4, 2009 by Orbit
Summary: 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.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
After all the hype and positive reviews that I’ve read about this book (and subsequently the series in general) I was a little hesitant to even pick up this book let alone purchase it. I am, however, extremely glad that I did. Sure, I’ve been on a real YA kick for a while now, but this book was amazing and it made me incredibly thankful that I grabbed a copy. I will admit, though, that it took me a chapter or two to really get into the story; before that I liked it, but just hadn’t found that groove for reading it.
I completely fell in love with Alexia and Lord Maccon, and of course Lord Akeldama, and the story that they were weaved into. The take on Victorian England in this steampunk novel was fantastic – it might have been my first steampunk too, I do believe – and it took the original history and altered it just so that it was completely plausible that it could have happened the way that it was written on these pages. It really just goes to show the amount of time that the author must have put into not only researching the history but the fashion and the language in order to pull this off so beautifully.
The mixing of genres was also amazing to read, but I think that steampunk just goes so well with romance and paranormal that worked without much alteration or loss of the story. Something that this also had in favour for it is that paranormal romances are so hot right now with series such as Twilight and House of Night. I think that the shift from how popular it I in YA novels to adult novels really benefitted this being noticed by more people. Not that it couldn’t have don’t it otherwise, but by “buying in” to the popular genre, it gave the book a little boost.
Personally, I loved this book so much that I ran out and bought the next two (only other two currently) in the series. I can’t wait to read them and I hope that they just get better as they go on. For this book, I’m giving it a 9/10.