The story was such fun and the characters were wonderful. The narration was perfect; Emily Gray caught every nuance from acid sarcasm to frivolous silliness. I was never in doubt of which character was speaking. By the end of Soulless I knew I wanted to keep these characters in my life as long as possible and immediately downloaded the rest of the series, which have been equally delightful. I will listen to this series again and again, and I already have my calendar marked for the next novel, Timeless, which comes out in the spring of 2012.The Victorian steampunk aspect was well integrated into the story line, it was not merely a backdrop for a paranormal tale. Gail Carriger did an excellent job of creating all kinds of wonderful gadgets which help to carry the plot along. In addition, Gail's Vampire and Werewolf culture was truly unique among paranormal novels and that is another reason why I'll be listening again and again!
Alexia Tarabotti is a wonderful, quirky character with strong sense of self. We start off with this headstrong spinster who reminds me very much of Amelia Peabody (from Elizabeth Peter's series). Amelia is set in the same period but her challenges come in the realm of Egyptology and archeaology, and her brash, tactless and delightful Radcliffe Emerson and Alexia's Connell Maccon have some similarities as well. I think anyone who enjoyed the Amelia Peabody series would be truly delighted with The Parasol Protectorate series. But all the side characters were equally wonderful. I felt like the silly (but not stupid) Ivy Hisselpenny was a dear friend by the end of the story. I wanted to know more about the taciturn but supportive Floote. I wished I could meet Lord Akeldama, what fun that would be. Lord Maccon and Lyall were equally great.
I think fans of tongue-in-cheek romance, Victorian novels, steampunk novels, and vampire and werewolf fans will all really enjoy this wonderful series.
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