Feb 032014
 

 

I was surprised by Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage, but less so by Soulless. While still a worthy book, with a deep command of style and invisible worldbuilding, it relies slightly heavily on the sexual aspect of the comedy of manners between its protagonist Alexia and Lord Maccon, her werewolf paramour-to-be. Alexia is soulless in a Victorian England in which there are werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Her soullessness means that she can remove Vampiric and Lycanthropic powers through touch – often, to hilarious effect. This romp through secret societies, government agencies, and a meeting with Queen Victoria pleases – but with less depth.

 

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Jan 022014
 

 

Sophronia Temminnick is a good girl from a good family who is unfortunately completely helpless in her country house in Victorian England: she can’t curtsey to save her life and she’d rather dissect the new dumb-waiter than display her manners, much less find a husband. She’s recommended – and accepted to – a most unusual finishing school. One that selects based both on a young lady’s breeding as well as potential in the subtler arts of spying and assassination. Little Women meets Jane Eyre, plus werewolves, vampires, and assassination. First-class research makes it endlessly engaging, with one downside: how quickly it ends.

 

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