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Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) Mass Market Paperback – International Edition, October 1, 2009

631 customer reviews

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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.)
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Review

"Carriger debuts brilliantly with a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy of manners and alternate history. . . . This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

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

"Laugh out loud funny and refreshingly different, SOULLESS kept me turning pages well into the night. I enjoyed every minute of this wonderfully unexpected twist on paranormals...Wickedly funny."―Angie Fox, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer

"I was enchanted from start to finish."―sfrevu.com

"Light-hearted and fast-paced, Soulless will please fans of fantasy, historical fantasy and paranormal romance alike."―The Miami Herald

"Soulless is a character-driven romp with great world building and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse."―i09.com

"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

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Product Details

  • Series: The Parasol Protectorate (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316056634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316056632
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (631 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in higher learning, a fondness for cephalopods, and a chronic tea habit. Her latest book is Prudence, first in the new Custard Protocol series.

Her bestselling novels are urbane fantasies mixed with steampunk comedies of manners. They have been published in eighteen different languages, made the USA Today list several times and the New York Times list twelve times (on five different lists). Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second in her critically acclaimed Finishing School series for young adults, debuted at #5 and Soulless Vol. III the manga at #1. She has received the Prix Julia Verlanger from French readers. Her debut novel, Soulless, won the ALA's Alex Award and was nominated for Compton Crook, Campbell, and Locus Awards. The first book in the Finishing School series, Etiquette & Espionage, won the French Elbakin Award for best YA novel in translation.

Subscribe to Gail's newsletter ~ Miss Carriger's Monthly Chirrup! http://www.gailcarriger.com/contact

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on 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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99 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Thomas on November 10, 2009
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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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Blodeuedd on 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?
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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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