Warning: Spoiler Alert
I went to see my cousin last week (cuz I had yet to see his daughter in the flesh), and I unexpectedly received a copy of Soulless. I ended up downing the book pretty quickly, cuz I was having so much fun with it and was curious as to what was going to happen next.
It's set in a steampunk England during the time of Queen Victoria (of course it's during her time. How could you not have Vickie in a steampunk book that takes place in England, right?), and the main character is someone who is extremely rare (in a world where there are werewolves and vampires out in the open): she has no soul (hence, the title). The interesting thing about her having no soul is that it protects her somewhat from the supernatural set; because of her soulless state, she can exorcise ghosts by finding and touching their corpses, and while she is touching them, vampires and werewolves return to their human state. Because of this, any ghost that comes into contact with her fears her, vampires are a bit leery of her for the most part, but werewolves look on her as something of a blessing (and refer to her as "curse-breaker").
The main character is the odd sheep in her family, as she is so very practical, and her family is so very Victorian (and oftentimes very silly) ... plus, none of them know that she is soulless, or that she inherited that trait from her father (who we are lead to believe died before the opening of the book, but honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to have him come waltzing back into the story in a later book). She's far too straight forward for most of the people that she interacts with (especially her mother and half-sisters), as well as being ill-advisedly half-Italian; as such, she was pretty much told by her mother when she was sixteen that she has no other prospects than to be a spinster, and she would rather spend her time trying to find the younger sisters suitable matches.
The thing of it is that the Alpha of the werewolf pack in London is completely taken with her, and she is completely taken with him ... except that she doesn't seem to realize this fact until the Beta says something, because her family has her perception of herself so warped that she doesn't believe that anyone (let alone someone who is an Alpha, an earl, or a high ranking official in what is essentially the supernatural police force) would be interested in her. The two of them bicker almost constantly, and it's far more entertaining than it has any right to be.
The story itself opens up with the main character being attacked by a vampire who doesn't know that she is soulless (which for the most part, all of the supernatural in London do), and she accidentally kills him after he attacks her. The Alpha and Beta of the werewolf pack in London come upon her after she's just killed said bloodsucker, noting to them that he acted oddly for a vampire, and the rest of the book is them trying to figure out the mystery of who created this particular vampire (since they have an idea of which hive he should belong to, but that hive is denying creating him), and trying to figure out why those who have allied themselves with the packs and hives in the surrounding area are disappearing.
All-in-all I was very entertained, and checked the rest of the series out from the library when I was only about half-way through. The worst I can say about it was that it was a bit formulaic and relied a bit on the tropes but that didn't take away from it being a fun read (or the fact that I'm half-way through the next book, still enjoying the world that these books are in, and am looking forward to finishing them). I would love to see the world fleshed out a bit more, and I am curious as to what it would be like if the characters visited the US (which has been described as being in the Wild West era, and full of people who are so superstitious that the supernatural set is still too afraid to identify themselves to the larger country for fear that they will be killed).