Soulless: The Manga (Volume 1) Gail Carriger & Rem
I absolutely loved Soulless: The Manga! I haven't been this excited about a manga in a while, so I'm glad that I picked it up on a whim. Soulless is actually an OEL manga adapted from prose novels written by Gail Carriger. But the supernatural elements and the tone make it a great fit for the manga format, and Rem does a stunning job adapting the story with very cinematic sequences and jaw-dropping illustration work. The story is about Alexia Tarrabotti, a preternatural in a Victorian Era London populated by vampires and werewolves, as well as humans. Preternaturals are rare, but the gift that Alexia has makes her a formidable opponent, as well as a target, as she has the ability to make a supernatural being completely human for as long as she touches them. And while that is certainly a cool part of the story, and comes in to play quite a bit, it's really the relationship between Alexia and the sexy werewolf Lord Maccon that is the thrust of this story. Maccon puts Alexia under his protection as monsters come after her, while trying to figure out who is stirring trouble in the supernatural community. The story is action-packed, funny and sexy - the perfect package. But it's really Rem that makes this gem shine. She adapts this story perfectly, hitting the right notes, letting the story unfold slowly and bringing the characters, secondary as well as primary, to life. People may recognize Rem's artwork from the Vampire Kisses manga, and she was actually the grand prize winner of Tokyopop's first Rising Stars of Manga competition. She definitely proves that she's worthy of that title in this fantastic manga. I highly recommend it.