Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, 1) Mass Market Paperback – International Edition, October 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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"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
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316056634
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316056632
- Dimensions : 4.25 x 1 x 6.75 inches
- Publisher : Orbit; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #498,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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 reviews from other countries
The two end up getting in each other's way frequently in this gaslit, Victorian, paranormal romance and urban fantasy adventure .
Alexia is very independent - a Bluestocking, and likes to meddle in affairs affecting the supernatural creatures of UK.
As she meddles, fights with Lord Maccon, and finds herself thoroughly kissed by him, by accident - she ends up investigating crimes which involve a secret society of scientists and missing vampires and werewolves.
I love the setting, the witty dialogue, the great cast of characters and I particular like Alexia's assertion that soul is not linked to the colour of skin, and her varied collection of friends including Lord ,Akledama who is such fun.It's a very diverse set of friends that she had, and the book sizzles with chemistry and humour.
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.