In this spectacular debut novel, Carriger has created a fascinating alternate Victorian London in which there are all sorts of supernatural creatures. Alexia is a smart and capable heroine armed with a parasol and an attitude. Moving at a healthy clip, this is a real page-turner.
Alexia Tarabotti isn't like the other young ladies of her acquaintance. She is half-Italian, a spinster, and has no soul. After accidentally killing a vampire who attacks her, Alexia winds up under investigation by Lord Maccon -- who happens to be a werewolf. As more vampires begin to appear unexpectedly -- normally vampires are created under very specific conditions -- Alexia is at the center of a most intriguing and dangerous mystery. Allied with the increasingly interesting Lord Maccon, she discovers that her very soullessness is a power of its own. (ORBIT, Oct., 384 pp., $7.99)