Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: The Parasol Protectorate series 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.

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?

The Parasol Protectorate is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I have so much love for this series, this author, and to be honest this whole world. I've been listening to the series on audio with my reading buddy and coworker, The Gnoming Librarian, and what a trip it has been!

Our favorite heroine, Alexia Tarabotti tends to break the normal rules of society, though she faithfully observes (or at least attempts to follow) proper etiquette. She has a bit of a stubborn streak and her supernatural soullessness (and her father's misdeeds) tend to get her into some tight spots.

What I find the best about these stories is that there's a little bit of Alexia in all of us, and I can really relate to her. She has such a fun sense of humor, sarcastic and a little dry at times. Her sweet romance with the protective, egotistical, and adorable Lord Conall Maccon is definitely a bonus.

My favorite thing about the series though is the appearance of characters from the Finishing School series. Having read it first, I was already drawn into Carriger's steampunk paranormal universe. I loved revisiting the characters of Sidheag Maccon and Vieve Lefoux. But I really wish that we had been given a glimpse of Soap and Sophronia!  

All in all, this series was a great read, and I'm super excited to continue reading about Prudence (Alexia and Conall's daughter)!

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