Alexia Tarabotti is one of a kind in a Victorian world populated by vampires, werewolves and other paranormal types. One of a kind in that she doesn’t have a soul. This means that she cancels out the other paranormals in her world. We meet Alexia at a ball as she has hidden herself away in the library for a spot of tea. Unfortunately, a starving vampire chooses that moment to rudely interrupt her and she is forced to kill him. In comes Lord Connall Maccon the head of BUR (they deal with the paranormals) and the alpha werewolf. There is a lot of verbal sparring and flirting between the two. Mystery abounds…why was the vampire starving, why would he attack Alexia (most don’t), who created him, etc?
This was a fun, charming book. I liked the setting of Victorian England and the integration of the paranormal into society. It gave the book a different feel from most paranormal romances. Alexia is a fun, quirky character. She is very reminiscent of Amelia Peabody from the Elizabeth Peters books and Maccon does remind me of Emerson, but since I love those characters I was ok with the comparison. They are Victorians with spunk and wit and charm who have dashing adventures. The romance between Alexia and Maccon is steamy at times, inappropriate at others (why they decide to have a make-out session when they are captured I don’t know), but it is a nice believable romance. There is a bit of steampunk in this book but it doesn’t seem necessary for the story and it is fairly minor.
My one complaint about the book is that there is a lot of repetitiveness to the writing. Alexia’s description of Italian, dark skinned, big nosed, big bossumed, is used over and over again. I think after a couple of times we really do know what she looks like. The same for Lord Maccon. Then their is the descriptions of clothing like Miss Ivy’s hats and Lord Akeldama’s eccentric attire. It seemed excessive and a bit overdone, but since Carriger did it in every scene maybe that was her plan.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It made me smile and I will probably read the others in the series.