Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless coverAlexia 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?

At first, all I knew about this book was that it was a Steampunk mystery and I was excited to begin it. I quickly found that it includes vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, which made me less excited to begin it. I’ve found that novels containing the supernatural can be very good, but most of them are simply awful. Nevertheless, as this was scheduled for book group, I began reading.

I was very pleasantly surprised. There’s no other way for me to explain Soulless than to say it is a Steampunk-Sherlock Holmes-Twilight-Jane Austen romance novel. It’s got a little bit of everything. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor in it as well. I think my favorite line is after Alexia’s family discusses how horrible it is that scientists are moving in next door to an acquaintance of theirs and Alexia replies, “How ghastly for her, people actually thinking, with their brains, and right next door. Oh, the travesty of it all.”

I recommend this to fans of paranormal romance and paranormal mystery who like a little something extra in their reading material. I also recommend it to fans of Jane Austen who have an interest in the supernatural.

Five stars!

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Announcing a New Book Group – Beyond Imagination!

Here at the library, we’re happy to announce the start of a new book discussion group. Beyond Imagination is dedicated to the enjoyment and discussion of science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. The group will meet the second Thursday of every month at 7PM in the library’s Small Meeting Room. We’ve got a great selection of books for January through May of 2013, and will be adding more shortly.

Our first meeting, on January 10, will be about Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. If you’ve read the book, we hope you’ll join us. If you haven’t but want to, we have copies available here at the library. Even if you don’t read Stardust, but are interested in speculative fiction, come by and find out what we’re about!

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Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston

Wraith Squadron comes together again with an assortment of old and new characters.  It is Wratih Squadron’s task to find and expose the Galactic Alliance traitor.

I have always been a fan of the Star Wars:  X-Wing series and have been eagerly awaiting this newest book.  I can’t say that it’s the best in the series, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint and I couldn’t put it down!

The story is told from the perspective of one of the non-human characters, which I found to be very refreshing.  Aaron Allston’s ability to write complex plots and resolve them by the end without leaving the reader feeling as though it was rushed is one of the reasons why I love this series and this book so much.

I recommend this for fans of Science Fiction and Star Wars, especially those who enjoyed the X-Wing series.

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