This is the best book I have read in a very long time. It is absolutely delightful and I will be following this series (and this author) for a very long time.Amelia Peabody and Emerson have been two of my favorite characters for a very long time (see Crocodile on the Sandbank). Well, Miss Tarabotti and Lord Maccon have just been crowned the Amelia and Emerson of steampunk. I love the spoofy humor and witty intelligence in books like the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and of course the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters...but Soulless really takes the cake...parasols and all.Alexia Tarabotti is a brilliantly realized character. She is in Victorian England, and she could not be any more ill suited for the time, yet she manages to fit in perfectly. Amazing. She manages to be ridiculous and proper at the same time, it is a beautiful thing. Lord Maccon doesn't really have to fit in, he just bulldozes his way through. They are going to make this a very enjoyable series indeed.The supporting cast is also wonderful...complete with Floote the supportive (yet disapproving) butler, Lord Akeldama the flamboyant vampire sidekick, and Professor Lyall, the dignified werewolf assistant.Even if you don't think you like vampire/werewolf/fantasy type books, you should really give this one a chance. I can promise that it won't be what you expect. I will lose all respect and faith in anyone who reads this book and does not immediately fall in love with it. It is charming, intelligent, well written, and an absolute laugh riot.I dare you not to love it.