Here's an ancedote: When I attended community college in a very small town of upstate New York, called Corning, I took an acting class in which the final was a performance of a comedy. Our group chose Seven Brides For Dracula
in which I was casted as Mrs. Half Nelson a "guest" at the sanatorium. My favorite part was when I chased a warewolf and tried to kiss it.
The reason why I bring this up is because the first book in The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Blameless, and Changeless features the very bizarre, but highly original and neo-Victorian romance between our heroine, Alexia Tarabotti/Lady Maccon and her Alpha Warewolf husband, Lord Maccon. It is silly and totally farcical, but it's also cute in a bizarro, interspecies erotica kind of way. Word of Warning though
: If you don't like romance of any kind, then Soulless won't be a book you will enjoy because it is primarially focused on establishing the lead characters and their romance. The steam punk universe (which I aboslutely loved!!!) doesn't come until the second book, Changeless.
In this book, we're introduced to my favorite character Madame Genevieve Lefoux. She is a scientist in the Order of the Brass Octopus and has a hidden contrivance chamber beneath the hat shop. This is probably the most steam-punk element to this series. Also, she knows how to work the aethographic transmitter and fly the ornithopter (but that doesn't happen until Blameless
We also get more Lord Akeldama and his dandy vampire drone Biffy. There's something terrible that happens to Biffy in Blameless
but I'm not going to tell you what it is because you have to read it. Also, there's a cliff hanger at the end of Changeless
in which Lady Alexia Maccon has a startling announcement that carries over to Blameless
In the final book of this wonderful bustle, I mean bundle, Alexia and her Parasol Protectorate clan find themselves in Italy and the mystery, mayhem, and utter hilarity that insues is well worth the read. In this one Floote (Alexia's secretary) whom up until this book has been more a secondary character really comes to light and steals the story, at least I thought he did.
All in all, this series has been my guilty summer reading pleasure and I can't wait to see what will happen next in Heartless and then Timeless, which I'm sure will leave me saddened because it is the end of this wonderful universe that I could easily read a million more stories about.