Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate/Alexia Tarabotti #1
Genre: Victorian fantasy
Setting: An alternate Victorian England.
Reason for Reading: How could I not read a book with that subtitle?
Pages: 373, including an interview with the author and a sneak peak at book # 2, Changeless
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: A woman walks through a square. She is carrying a parasol with visible gears, and wears a fancy tophat, a magenta suit, and a surly expression.
First line: "Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening."
Best part: This book is truly original.
Worst part: As so often happens, the bad guys make only a stupid token effort to get the heroine on their side. "We'd love you to help us but if you don't we're going to terrible things to us and you can't stop us!" is actually not such a great recruitment statement.
Imaginary Theme Song: The sass and attitude of "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston suits Alexia quite well.
Recommended for: Any fans of steampunk, the sexy pentacle tattoo genre, romantic fantasy, or the truly original.
Related Reads: The Marriage Spell by MaryJo Putney. Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Greene.
Normally I don't use the cover summary, but this is too good to resist:
"Alex 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 is 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 embarassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?"
I LOVED this book. It might be the best I've read all year. It's got something for everyone. Give it a try.