Carriger's alternate Victorian England is populated with vampires, werewolves and ghosts - all of which mingle properly in high society. The creation of these supernatural beings is explained as caused by an excess of soul; and the converse, having no soul, results in a being such as Miss Tarabotti - a "preternatural" with the remarkable ability to neutralize the powers of supernaturals.
Soulless was a delightful mix of Victorian romance and science-fiction steampunk, peppered with creatures from the horror genre. I really enjoyed the world that Carriger created and found Alexia to be a refreshingly smart, strong, and spunky heroine. Her innate ability to negate the powers of vampires and werewolves gives her a degree of fearlessness, and she is no more reluctant to whack a supernatural with her parasol than she is to speak her mind on science and philosophy. This novel was a fun and entertaining read, and I look forward to encountering Alexia again in future books.