- File Size: 875 KB
- Print Length: 404 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (September 4, 2009)
- Publication Date: October 1, 2009
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002NPCJ3G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,695 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"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 --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award. A manga adaptation released in Spring 2012 and a young adult series set in the same universe -- the Finishing School series -- launched in Spring 2013. Gail is soon to begin writing a new adult series, The Parasol Protectorate Abroad (2015). --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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But I stuck through it as a fan of the supernatural elements. Some nice world - building in here, but the characters were lacking. Especially the main one, Miss Tarrabotti (whose name is said about 150 times per chapter... whatever happened to pronouns?). She just wasn't very active as a protagonist. Events simply happened to her, mostly out of coincidence, or from others pursuing her for whatever reason. Her presence at the climactic set piece came out of coincidence and thats just not interesting. I wanted her to be more actively investigating the events, after the first scene... but she basically stood back to try and act "proper". In the end, when another compliments her by saying, "you've proven to be a good investigator", I had to audibly exclaim out, "No... she didnt!" Because she didn't do much "investigating" at all... at best it was gossip with direct questions to her friends.
But if you do like what is basically wish fulfillment romance from Victorian times, and some do... and need no more than that. (Which is fine... there's a lot of stuff i do like which also serves as wish fulfillment, too.) Then this might hit the spot for you. Just not for me.
I bought the narration so I could do other things as I listened and am in love with the narrator and hope Ms. Carriger continues using her for subsequent books.
No. I was not paid or anything for my review-I just REALLY love my new treasure in this book and new author.
Soulless is a clever book, and the notion of vampires, werewolves and ghosts being accepted parts of Victorian society is a unique approach to the urban fantasy. How our preternatural heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, falls into all this as someone without a soul who can negate the powers of the supernatural makes her all the more an extraordinary character. In fact, all of the characters are well polished gems and each stands out in their own distinct way.
Carriger's writing is laugh-out-loud funny in some instances and solid throughout. I found it a refreshing read and a highly promising good start for this debut author. I'm anxiously awaiting the second in the series, Changeless.
Top international reviews
I decided to read this book after hearing Jen, from Today in Jen's Library on YouTube and others gushing about it because I thought I would enjoy it and I wasn't disappointed which is part of the reason I gave the book a 5 star rating along with the fact that although it was the first book in a series it was written in such a way that it could be read as a standalone.
When I started reading this book I was reading it in Kindle format but then I switched to listening to it through Audible and I am so glad that I did because It enabled me to hear how the characters sounded as well as the atmosphere in scenes. It turns out that this was a really good thing because as I have read the other books I have been able to hear the voices for the characters in my head.
This book definitely gave me all the feels from frustration to crying with laughter. Carrier is a great author and this was the first of her books that I had read but having read it I know she will become a favourite author of mine. Carriger's research of the historical and supernatural elements of the book was second to non and really portrayed the atmosphere of the period as well as the beliefs connected with the supernatural.
All the characters were really well developed and believable. My two favourite characters were Alexia and Lord McConn (Werewolf) especially the development of their relationship and ultimately their marriage. Alexias Sisters and mother were fairly likeable although they were incredibly annoying especially in their treatment of Alexia. The world building and plot development were fantastic and really immersed you in the story.
The book is billed as a Sci-fi, Paranormal, steampumk Romance and it fits in to these genres very well as its a song Paranormal Romance with hints of sci.- fi. and Steampunk (steam powered machinery).
I loved this book so much that I immediately started reading the next in the series "Changeless". I can say without hesitation that I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance books with a supernatural/steam punk basis to them.
It blends Austin, steampunk, vampires, Frankenstein, Annodracula and perhaps even Pratchett into a witty little tale. A tale that has a definate chick lit flavour but was also surprisingly naughty!
I have to say the romantic elements dominated things a bit too much for my tastes but then I am a bloke. It will be interesting to see what my wife thinks of it. What I like was the writing style which was sharp and funny. The characters which were individual, fully fleshed and suitably eccentric and we had a strong female lead who avoided the usual cliche's of either being stunningly beautiful or running about in leather leotard swinging twin samuri swords.
I would have like a bit more drama and action and a bit less romance and descriptions of clothing but as I said above I am a bloke!
Without wanting to 'spoil'. The tale centres mostly around our heroine Alexia who as well as having no soul has also written herself off and excepted her spinsterhood. Fortunately the beefcake of the book Lord Maccon has a rather different view of her, but also happens to be head of a kind of supernatural police force working for Queen Victoria. Their romance of course does not run smooth and were it not for them being forced together by a dastardly plot that seems to be 'disappearing' many of the City's vampires and Werewolves (now a respected part of Victorian society) they may never have known about each others affections.
Looking at all the glowing endorcements this book has received it doesn't need my vote of confidence but I shall give it anyway! One for the fairer sex but a lot of us chaps will like this too.
In parts it was genuinely hilarious and in other parts very romantic. Throughout, it simply made me smile. The main character, Alexia, is very likeable, and the aristocratic werewolf love interest (a bit of a Mr Darcy figure) very appealing. The supporting characters, such as an extremely camp Wilde-esque vampire and a horrifically bitchy mother and sisters are also done well. The plot is a little silly, but engaging enough and it certainly kept me reading.
In so far as there were bad points, I think the main one was that it was all a little one note (Victorian Vampires! Werewolves in Waistcoats!) but to be honest, I loved that note so much that I can't really complain. Certain things were laid on a little over heavily however. I probably didn't need to be told quite so many times that Alexia is half-Italian, loves food and has a slightly dark complexion or that her best friend wears ridiculous hats. I'll probably read the other books in the series at some point (I'm sure they'll cheer me up when I'm having a stressful time), but perhaps as a result of this slight repetitiveness, I'm in no huge rush to pick them up as I imagine they'll be more of the same.
Finally,I noticed that some of the bad reviews made a big deal out of the author's alleged anachronisms. Now I wrote my thesis on women in eighteenth and early nineteenth politics, so if anyone was going to be upset by that sort of thing it'd be me. However, whilst there was the odd occasion where the phrasing made me cringe, and there was a bit of blurring of Regency/early Victorian/late Victorian fashions and mores, on the whole it seemed reasonably well researched. To be honest, if this sort of thing upsets you so much in a book that is clearly not meant to be overly historically accurate (I mean, last time I checked Queen Victoria didn't have a werewolf advisor!)and is just a bit of fun, then you're even more soulless than the main character.
In conclusion, not a perfect book, but a great fun, romantic, entertaining and pretty original one that neatly merges a variety of genres. Highly recommended to anyone who likes any of those genres or is looking for something different.
And the book does not disappoint after that - vampire society, werewolves, fashion conscious heroine who takes no nonsense... Set in Victorian times, just to top it off.
Great read if you like sass, supernatural action, and a peek at Victorian social lives.
The action moves along at a decent pace, never too fast that you can't keep up with events, not so slow that you get bored, and I found it highly amusing that although Lord Maccon and Alexia profess to hate each other, whenever they're alone together, they demonstrate the precise opposite! I like how the author leaves the consummation of their attraction until a) they're married, and b) the last few pages....you get a very wonderfully steamy build up.
There are, as previous reviewers have said, some jarring 'errors' in language, but frankly in this case I couldn't care less, I want a good story not Jane Austen! The other characters, notably Lord Akeldama, Professor Lyall, and Ivy are all fun and well-realised, and I hope to see more of them in the next books, which I am about to order....oh, and don't forget to settle down to read this with a nice pot of TEA! Tea solves everything, and Alexia knows this well....
Paranormal romance at its best.
Our heroine Alexia Tarabotti has serious problems, firstly she's soulless which isn't particularly appreciated in Victorian society - having no soul means she can effectively disable any supernatural being with a touch of her hand. Secondly she sort of accidentally kills an unknown vampire by stabbing him with a wooden hairpin then whacking him with her trusty parasol. The werewolf Alpha Lord Maccon is not impressed with this situation at all - demanding that Alexia tries to stay out of trouble. But what are you meant to do when you get invited by the Countess of vampires to the local hive and then someone tries to abduct you on the way home? Hardly her fault surely.
This novel is a brilliant combination of steampunk mystery and gaslight romance. A glimpse of an alternative Victorian England if vampires and werewolves and strange mad scientists roamed the streets in full view of 'regular' society. Carriger creates a brilliant heroine in Alexia - a spinster at the grand old age of 26 she is able to view society with her sarcastic wit and yet still get invited to the best parties in town. Even when she is kidnapped our heroine is more concerned with the lack of manners amongst her captors. This is the main characteristic of Carriger's writing - the formality of language and the importance placed on manners and protocol. This really makes some of the scenes even funnier and the sarcasm and inneundo even more effective.
If you like paranormal romance but are maybe looking for something a bit different then this is a good choice. There is some romantic interest in the novel and it is very well done but thankfully it doesn't exclude the rest of the plot. It did remind me a lot of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula which I would also recommend as a Victorian vampires novel. So if brass parasols, treacle tarts, werewolves in cravats, strange men with roman numerals on their faces and an extremely camp vampire sound like they make a good novel - then you really should read this. I'm looking forward to the next one already.
Beware unmarried women bearing parasols...
Conclusion: Worth the read and a great series to follow!
One reviewer described reading it as like sitting in your favourite chair with a box of chocolates - which I think captures the pleasurable nature of the series but perhaps gives an impression of the story being lightweight. In fact, while the first book opens and carries you along with the outlandishness of the era described, as the series progresses the characters develop considerably and become real people.
The five books comprise a meaningful mini-series, not too long to get stale, not too short - I am hoping the environment and characters will get another outing before too long.
The idea of vampires and werewolves holding goverment positions in Victorian Britain and the comical misfortunes of the heroine, Alexia, who is a 'souless creature' immune to the effects of either whereas the other supernaturals turn human in her presence. Being a busybody spinster (in her mid-twenties mind) getting involved in murder investigations much to the chargrin of Lord Maccon the werewolf police inspector and amusement of Lord Akeldama, Alexia's vampire gay best friend. The dialogue is witty and there are plenty of characters to keep the plot going without becoming so saturated with names you lose track of who is who.
I can highly recommend the whole series!