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Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) [Kindle Edition]

Gail Carriger
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.00
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $3.01 (38%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Carriger debuts brilliantly with a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy of manners and alternate history. Prickly, stubborn 25-year-old bluestocking Alexia Tarabotti is patently unmarriageable, and not just because she's large-nosed and swarthy. She's also soulless, an oddity and a secret even in a 19th-century London that mostly accepts and integrates werewolf packs, vampire hives and ghosts. The only man who notices her is brash Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish Alpha werewolf and government official, and (of course) they dislike each other intensely. After Alexia kills a vampire with her parasol at a party—how vulgar!—she and Conall must work together to solve a supernatural mystery that grows quite steampunkishly gruesome. Well-drawn secondary characters round out the story, most notably Lord Akeldama, Alexia's outrageous, italic-wielding gay best vampire friend. This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Soulless is a character-driven romp with great worldbuilding and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse." - io9.com

"Deliciously, vampiricly satiric, a tremendously clever, sexy read." --- Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author

"Soulless has all the delicate charm of a Victorian parasol, and all the wicked force of a Victorian parasol secretly weighted with brass shot and expertly wielded. Ravishing." --- Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians


Product Details

  • File Size: 819 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316402419
  • Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002NPCJ3G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
155 of 164 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Whole Lot Of Fun October 3, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't really think I've ever come across a book quite as quotable as Soulless, and right from the start it had me in a combination of giggles and "oh, I'm so going to have to remember that line" - it was a pattern that started very early on ("a vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age") and continued right to the very end (I cannot post the quote as it is both spoiler and possibly NSFW). For all the dark and dreariness that does appear in a world populated by vampires, werewolves and London fog, this is a very humorous book with a great many wonderful lines. The best humour, naturally, comes from the interactions between Alexia and Lord Maccon, who are already familiar with each other, and his dislike of her at least somewhat relates back to an incident with a hedgehog - don't worry, folks, we do find out what the hedgehog incident actually was. And if you're a fan of UST between people who don't quite get along, you'll be more than happy to know it's absolutely dripping with the stuff.

Carriger has done a lot of clever world-building when it comes to her paranormal steampunk London, and the many people and beings who live in it. The organisation of this Victorian society populated by supernatural beings is well-displayed, with the relevant information coming out at the right time, and not being dumped on us all at once. Every author puts their own twists on the concepts of vampires and werewolves, and while for the most part she sticks to standards she adds her own flare to things - like how vampires have influenced fashion and the like (pale, my dears, is very much in). But the thing I like most is the concept of preternaturals, their historical role and their own unique abilities.
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92 of 100 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Soulless is a light book with an imaginative premise. The main character is Alexia Tarabotti, a woman who is born without a soul, who is thus able to negate the powers of the supernatural with her touch. The cast of characters is interesting, albeit a little one-dimensional.

The story is a fun romp but I did find the writing a bit choppy. Certain scenes felt contrived. Some of the actions of the characters didn't make sense in their situational context and left me scratching my head going "huh, seriously, NOW??? When your life is in danger, you want to do WHAT?!" I can't be more specific without giving away some of the key scenes but if/when you read this, you'll know what I mean. Despite that, I did enjoy the book.

Here's a list of the things I loved about this book:
- Alexia is half Italian and different from her peers and while she is made to feel like an outsider, she embraces her status as an independent thinking woman. I liked that she is a nonconformist.
- Highly imaginative premise. Brilliant!
- Loved the writing style!! Very classic, very British and fun to read.
- Quirky supporting characters: Ivy, Professor Lyall and Lord Akeldama.

Here's a list of things I didn't love about this book:
- Alexia is half Italian. Okay. I get it. I think I got it after the 1st two or three times. I also get that she's darker than her peers and has a bigger than usual nose, hence she's been shelved and has never presented for marriage. And I get that she's generously proportioned in the bosom and hips, okay, okay. I just don't need to be reminded over and over again of her appearance. The repetition was making me crazy.
- Characters were one-dimensional and needed more development.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk meets a lot of genres with a delightful result September 29, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced! Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
---

This book is a mix of things and I fell head over heels for it. I had heard a lot about steampunk and after reading this I want more. I love a good alternate history/earth kind of book.

And yes I know I put up a lot of genres there, but there is a lot of different things in here, and how to tell what is what. Also I am first now getting the whole steampunk idea. What not to miss is that it's also comedic. It's so witty, and even if it's not laugh out loud haha, it has that witty streak through out the whole book that I often sat there with a smile on my face. I loved the banter between the main characters.

Alexia is a great heroine, witty, smart and not like her half sisters or other women. She is also soulless, a soulsucker as the vampires call her kind. She has been a spinster from once, her mother does not know about her condition, but because of her Italian look she has been on the shelf for 10 years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Steampunk, Heavy on fun
My wife picked this one up on a whim, and now most of the family has read this (and the series). It's a light story of an England where Victoria reigns and werewolves and vampires... Read more
Published 10 days ago by GamerDad
5.0 out of 5 stars Howling steampunk, anyone?
What a hoot! Vampires, werewolves, and Alexia, oh my! The greatest challenge in writing PNR is finding that twist that makes your world unique, and the ride worth the price of... Read more
Published 10 days ago by M L Etchison
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking
The book was also plotless and meatless. If you want a light reading type book, this is it. It was also boring.
Published 18 days ago by Roberta L. Willoughby
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK!! Why haven't I run across it sooner?? lol
I was SO glad I ran across this book!! It had me wanting to highlight some of the lines for quotes later. Alexia was such a GREAT character and I simply LOVED her!! Read more
Published 27 days ago by wendy
4.0 out of 5 stars Manners, Her Majesty and the Supernatural
A lovely, enjoyable little romp of a book. The British steampunk setting mixes gracefully with the supernatural, and the preternatural (clever, that bit!) works wonderfully well. Read more
Published 27 days ago by A. Pogue
4.0 out of 5 stars Luckily for all involved, Alexia chooses the path of good manners...
I have officially completed my first steampunk novel! I have to say, I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I really liked this! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jesi Lea Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written wicked dialog
Very entertaining. Great heroine. I highly recommend this book, although I must admit I don't plan to read the whole series right away. Read more
Published 1 month ago by LousyDeal
5.0 out of 5 stars A great fun read.
Another wonderfully written and fun series. Written with wit and imagination. I think I have all the books in this series.......
Published 1 month ago by Raymond A. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars slightly steam punk, fun and fanciful
This book was a delight. A Victorian twist on vampires, werewolves and such living out in the open with humans. Strong female lead. Face paced amusing and exciting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Victoria L. Mchone
5.0 out of 5 stars Really liked it
It is a story of it's own, but has the flavor of Alice in Wonderland
and The Wizard of Oz. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.
Published 1 month ago by starlyt
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More About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She survived her early years by reading most of her local library and memorizing Greek battles. Eventually, she escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. In pursuit of further finishing, Ms. Carriger traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London.

The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless & Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award. There are manga versions of the first three books all called Soulless (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 & Vol. 3). All the books were NYT bestsellers. Her young adult Finishing School series includes Etiquette & Espionage (debuted at #9 on NYT) and Curtsies & Conspiracies (NYT #5). The third in the series, Waistcoats & Weaponry is due out Nov. 4, 2014. With the final volume, Manners & Mutiny in 2015.

Gail recently announced the Custard Protocol series, which begins with Prudence, coming in March of 2015.

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Topic From this Discussion
book recomendations?
New Blood by Gail Dayton is really good and Clockwork Heart is sitting beside me, waiting for me to read it.
Nov 1, 2009 by Sara |  See all 4 posts
Heard about this book on Metamor City
Sola-had the good fortune of a co-worker loaning me her advance copy of Soulless to read. It was delightful and I enjoyed it immensely. If you like proper Victorian ladies and paranormal worlds, you will love this.
Jul 12, 2009 by Librarian |  See all 2 posts
Anybody remember a cartoon about a deer/fawn with golden footprints?
I've been looking for this too for years and only just got the answer. It's the Magic Antelope aka the Golden Antelope by Rudyard Kipling. There is a 1954 Russian version. (Info at http://mubi.com/films/the-golden-antelope. Video at... Read more
Jun 21, 2012 by pmcatnip |  See all 4 posts
Souless by G. Carriger
It has romance, but it is paranormal and steampunk first. Quite funny. I loved the series, and I am a fan of vampire and paranormal.
Dec 19, 2012 by Suzanne Goodwin |  See all 3 posts
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