Bring On the Parasols
With the Twilight saga finally coming to an end on the big screen, I'm guessing that fans are looking for the next big paranormal romance. And while the young adult section is teeming with other paranormal romances, I'd like to mention a series that I recently got hooked on but happens to reside in the adult fiction section. It's called Soulless by Gail Carriger, which is the first of the Parasol Protectorate series.
Alexia Tarabotti is a strong-minded young woman living in an alternate Victorian England. Alternate, due to the fact that vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and all other supernatural creatures live amongst the regular humans, and the world has adapted to this fact. Alexia knows what she wants and is not afraid to whack a few heads with her parasol to get it.
Living as an "elderly spinster" at the age of twenty-five, Alexia is resigned to living the life of a recluse, learning about the world through books, while her younger half-sisters are trotted out at all the best social events. When she inadvertently kills a vampire at a party, Alexia comes face-to-face with the resident Alpha male of London, Conall Maccon, and a whole other pack of intrigue.
What I really enjoyed about this book (and the rest of the series) is the humor in the writing as well as Alexia being a strong female protagonist despite her being surrounded by supernatural creatures. Her own "power" comes from her being literally soulless: her touch reduces vampires and werewolves into normal human beings. It also helps that she carries around a specially made parasol to bash supernaturals.... Her strong personality and rather logical (and also mischievous) way of thinking, along with her own powers, made for a great book that I devoured.
That being said, the side characters were also extremely well written and easily distinguishable from one-another. Lord Akeldama, a flamboyantly beautiful vampire and the neat and tidy werewolf Professor were my two favorites. And regarding Alexia's love interests, Maccon is not exactly an Edward Cullen sort of character, but he has his own Scottish charms!
Need More Paranormal Romance?
While I haven't really read that many in this genre, here are a few others that I enjoyed!
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
A female teenage werewolf falls in love with a human boy and struggles with the consequences.
Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney
Pale, skinny Finbar pretends to be a vampire to get a girlfriend (more of a parody, but funny!).
Marked (House of Night series) by P.C. Cast
In a world where vampires are far from legend, Zoey joins the House of Night, where she will be put to the test to see if she is worthy to be Changed into a vampire.
Jenna V. started reading fantasy books in middle school and hasn't looked back since. Unless it's manga....