Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1)

Title: Soulless
Series Title: Parasol Protectorate
Author: Gail Carriger
Date Added: October 26, 2016
Date Started: April 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 1, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural/Paranormal, Paranormal Romance

Soulless by Gail Carriger coverPages: 357
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Media: Paperback (Library)


Alexia 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?


Note: I borrowed this from the library with the thought it was a graphic novel/manga.  While there is a manga (which I also want to read after I finish the series), I didn’t realize it was based on the book, and that is what I wound up getting.

Nothing makes me happier than when a novel I’m dicey on becomes an utter delight.  I considered DNFing this because of the, how should I say it, Victorian bigotry that’s presented more as Alexia’s navigation through it rather than her own personal fixation.  She has to be concerned with her spinster status, huge nose, and darker skin (courtesy of her Italian father) because everyone, including and especially her mother and half-sisters, judge her for it.

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This Same Earth by Elizabeth Hunter (Elemental Mysteries #2) (DNF)

Title: This Same Earth
Series Title: Elemental Mysteries
Author: Elizabeth Hunter
Date Added: March 23, 2013
Date Started: November 13, 2017
Date DNF: November 18, 2017
Reading Duration: 5 days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Supernatural

This Same Earth coverPages: 420
Publication Date: December 2011
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


Beatrice De Novo thought she had left the supernatural world behind…for the most part. But when the past becomes the present, will she leave her quiet life in Los Angeles to follow a mystery she thought had abandoned her? Where has Giovanni Vecchio been, and why has he returned? Giovanni has his own questions, and he’s looking to her for answers.

The sequel to A Hidden Fire will reunite Beatrice and Giovanni to continue their search through the past while both wrestle with the future. When the world as you knew it has changed forever, is there any way you can turn back?


I read the first book A Hidden Fire years ago, but never managed to review it.  It was a refreshing deviation from other vampire paranormal romances where the main characters were actually right for each other despite their distance in years.  Beatrice De Novo is a librarian, so by nature of that occupational mindset, she meshed well with Giovanni Vecchio’s scholarly pursuits, even though he’s centuries older.  This is far less creepy than a 200 year old going after a high school student.  Librarians, historians, and other of that ilk would have the intellectual capacity to intrigue someone hundreds of years their senior.  Appearances may fade (at least for mortals), but good conversation is eternal.

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Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #1)

Title: Moon Called
Series Title: Mercy Thompson
Author: Patricia Briggs
Date Added: August 23, 2016
Date Started: September 6, 2017
Date Finished: September 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 21 days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal Romance

Moon Called coverPages: 298
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
Publisher: Ace
Media: eBook/Kindle


Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water..


Mercedes Thompson walks two worlds: one as a first class mechanic (yes…she’s a mechanic named “Mercedes”) while the other is a bit more supernatural.  With her fingers (or paws) in so many ponds, Mercy acts like a liaison between werewolves, vampires, fey, and humans, since she can’t be counted among any of them and can therefore serve as a sort of neutral party.  Unfortunately, aspects of her nature haven’t always had positive results, since she was forced to flee her foster home (and hometown) because of it.

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An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

TitleAn Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Started: July 27, 2017
Date Finished: August 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 26 days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Humor/Satire

The cover of An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDonielPages: 309
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sword & Laser
Media: eBook/Kindle


Jim McDoniel’s debut novel, An Unattractive Vampire, is a darkly comic urban fantasy of ancient horrors in suburban cities. After three centuries trapped underground, thousand-year-old Yulric Bile—also known as the Curséd One, the Devil’s Apprentice, He Who Worships the Slumbering Horrors—awakens only to find that no one believes he is a vampire. Apparently he’s just too ugly—modern vampires, he soon discovers, are pretty, weak, and, most disturbing of all, good. Determined to reestablish his bloodstained reign, Yulric sets out to correct this disgusting turn of events or, at the very least, murder the person responsible. With the help of pert vampire-wannabe Amanda; Simon, the eight-year-old reincarnation of his greatest foe; and a cadre of ancient and ugly horrors, Yulric prepares to battle the glamorous undead. But who will win the right to determine, once and for all, what it truly means to be a vampire?


An Unattractive Vampire begins as a cleverly tongue-in-cheek novel with a similar silliness and satire to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, seamlessly steering your sympathies towards an unholy monster and its last remaining followers.  A subversion of a subversion, the story takes the new(ish) idea of the beautiful, more modern vampires and makes it absurd with the introduction of the Nosferatu-like Yulric Bile, who’s been entombed beneath a garishly pink painted house for 300 years.   Of course in looking at the history of vampires, the beautiful types are absurd, as well (from a historical point of view), but when a paradigm exists for a while it becomes the norm, so the idea of an ugly vampire is not only outlandish, but also obscene.

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Ultimate Book Tag

This was originally posted here by blogger inspiredbyabook, and she encouraged everyone to partake so I shall in addition to paying the encouragement forward.  Please feel free to use and/or reblog 🙂

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Thankfully, no, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to read in the car. I’m either usually driving or not going far enough to immerse myself into words. I read more in cars before I could drive and used to read profusely when I regularly took public transportation many, many years ago.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?
My favorite author right now is the amazing George R R Martin. I love the incongruence between his lush, gorgeous style and the often horrors and gore he pens. I’m a lover of irony and try to mimic such a paradigm in my own writing. There’s also of course the indomitable Anne Rice who manages to perfectly display the nature of humanity using non-human characters. I’ve heard critiques about her being an elitist, and not only do I not care if she is, I revel in it. I love how seemingly over dramatic her characters can be, how they feel everything so intensely. She’s been a favorite of mine since the long gone days of high school. The accusations of her over descriptiveness is also something I can relate to.

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