This book stands alone, but is the first of many Alexia books by the delectable Gail Carriger.
As a rule, I dislike books that could legitimately be filed under “humour” (even when they’re also fantasy, steampunk, etc), so from the beginning part of me was charmed and giggling, and part of me was suspicious. But I was drawn in despite myself and thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. There were some mildly naughty bits, but they deserved to be there. Apart from anything else, they were just as funny as every other scene.
Alexia is a feisty spinster with no soul, which means that when vampires or other supernatural beings (who are considered perfectly classy if they obey society rules – which they almost always do) touch her, they temporarily lose all their powers. After a vivid opening incident involving a terribly stupid vampire, Alexia is caught up in supernatural investigations, intrigue, action, and romance – all while keeping her parasol on hand (as a weapon), and trying (perhaps a tiny bit half-heartedly) not to disgrace her family name.
The steampunk world of Soulless is delightfully drawn, with an emphasis on outfits and etiquette (for maximum humour). I heartily recommend this book for those who like steampunk, or humour, or action, or bodice-rippers, or even vampires/werewolves.
Rating: MA (but for fun sexy scenes, not anything traumatic or icky)