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?
I’m sticking to my Reading Goals by finishing up this series. Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger has been on my to-read list for awhile. I read the 1st book in the series – Soulless – back in 2013. I couldn’t immediately get the 2nd book from my local library (it was missing or something) nor was it readily available at my local bookstore, so I put it on the back burner. I could have ordered it online, but I got busy with other books and series. So, I forgot about it until I came across it in my local bookstore. Then it sat on my shelf for quite awhile because once again, I was busy with other books and series. Recently, I finally decided to tackle and finish the series. It’s a great series, I don’t understand why I kept putting it off!! If you like books with paranormal aspects, steampunk, mystery, adventure, a little romance, and clever writing, then you definitely need to try this series. It’s only 5 books, each being about 350+ pages. However, there apparently is a prequel short story – The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar – that I haven’t read yet (but I will!).
The series begins with the book Soulless, and in it, we meet Alexia Tarabotti in Victorian London.
“How ghastly for her, people actually thinking, with their brains, and right next door. Oh, the travesty of it all.”
I don’t want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn’t read it, so I’ll try to keep to the basics. The series mostly takes place in Victorian London, however, the characters (Alexia and her friends and family) do travel to other places, such as Scotland, Italy, Egypt, etc. In this steampunk series, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are REAL, and they are out in the real world fraternizing with high society. Some people admire them, and some don’t like them. Since it takes place in Victorian London, even supernaturals must make time for tea.
The series follows Alexia’s adventures because sometimes people are trying to kill her, and she wants to find out who. Other times, there’s another mystery that she decides to investigate. Throughout all, she finds out tidbits of information about her mysterious biological father who she never knew and finds out more about her own abilities. While I enjoyed this interesting and fun series, there were times my eyes would start glazing over with the steampunk “scientific” and “technological” descriptions and terminology (like when my husband is trying to explain to me the mechanics of our cars). However, this information is essential to the stories and doesn’t need to be skimmed or skipped.
Mostly, I gave the books in the series 4 stars, with the exception of the 2nd (Changeless) & 3rd (Blameless) – they only got 3 stars. They’re still good books, but I got kind of mad about something or certain somethings in the books, so I deducted a star, LOL! Here’s a tip: After Soulless, DO NOT READ the synopsis or the reviews for the remaining books. Especially DO NOT READ the blurb for book 3 before finishing book 2 – there are spoilers!! I thought the 5th book (Timeless) wrapped up the series pretty well. All in all, it’s a fun and clever series.
Now, the author Gail Carriger has a prequel series, Finishing School, with 4 books planned. The 4th will be out later this year. Normally, I prefer to read the prequels first just to keep the timeline less confused. In this case since the last book isn’t out yet, I would read the Parasol Protectorate series first, then the Finishing School series. Both series are great. But don’t do what I did – I ended up reading some of the Finishing School series books between Parasol Protectorate series (whenever I could get the books from my local library), and got confused!! Another tip: try to read all the books in one series (like all the Parasol Protectorate series) as close together as you can. Don’t wait too long to move on to the next book, it can get very confusing trying to remember all the characters, terminology, and Victorian London culture, LOL!
“He was so very large and so very gruff that he rather terrified her, but he always behaved correctly in public, and there was a lot to be said for a man who sported such well-tailored jackets—even if he did change into a ferocious beast once a month.”
There’s also going to be a sequel series to the Parasol Protectorate series – The Custard Protocol. The first book, Prudence, releases next month. Don’t look at it until you’ve read the Parasol Protectorate series – the new series will take place a few decades later and will have spoilers! I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully, some of you will give the Parasol Protectorate series (and maybe the others as well) a try, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!