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Most Helpful Favorable Review
33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.
I enjoyed this book! Bought it yesterday, finished it in a coupl
posted by enticed on May 11, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
Liked it but...
posted by Damereadsalot on February 27, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2010
A Refreshing Change to a Genre Growing Stale
This book was initially intriguing to me for a number of reasons. Primarily it sounded like an interesting new twist on what seems like a stale/copycat world of paranormal fiction. It takes place in early 20th Century England with a steampunk feel to it (which I almost always find fun). It involves a fun dynamic between vampires, werewolves, society at large and political intrigue. It creates a new set of rules for interactions between the supernatural community. And it presents a new (at least to me) kind of heroine in the character of Alexia. Overall, I was fairly excited to read this before I even opened the book.
The first chapter did a great job of maintaining my interest by throwing me right into the action while at the same time developing the unique characters and relationships that really drive this novel. I quickly got a sense of the style and mannerisms of Alexia as well as of her supernatural 'counterpart', Lord Maccon, the head of the supernatural investigative/police force (as it were). Rather than drown us with facts and history, the author does a great job of showing off the dynamics with small explanations that keep us engaged.
As the story progresses, the narrative throws in twists and turns that really make for an interesting plot. There were a few segments that dragged a little bit for me but generally the writing and the story were engaging enough that I could deal with the occasional monologue.
Once we got into the heart of the novel, the details were rather curious. There were a number of isolated events that created intrigue and mystery. As the tension grew and the action grew closer to Alexia, the mystery really heated up. There were a lot of elements that had me wondering as to the overarching plot and the involvement of certain characters.
As we progressed into the climax, I was rewarded in linking the involvement of one of the peripheral characters, which always feels nice when unraveling a mystery. However, there were a number of new and unusual elements that came as a big surprise. Sometimes too many revelations can be unsettling, but I felt like the presentation here made up for "pulling the rabbit out of a hat" near the end. The nature of the mystery and the setup of the plot allowed for the level of secrecy that presents grand revelation.
My general complaints about the book are really fairly minor.
First, I felt that "parasol protectorate" was a clever name, but the parasol was significant in its absence rather than its use. Second, the sexual tension in the book was good throughout, but the semi-graphic sex scene (PG-13, but still) at the end caught me off guard and I would have preferred continued indirect presentation. Third, and most significant to me, I never really felt truly invested in Alexia. It may have been personal preference, but I just had a hard time getting attached to her or even feeling like I really knew her. The author did a great job fleshing her out, but I never really made the leap to full investment.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to future stories. There are a number of significant elements that leave me curious and hoping for resolution as time goes on.
Give it a try.
4 out of 5 stars
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Ready to "grow up" from Twilight?
Ready to "grow up" from Twilight? This is not Jane Austin or Mary Shelly, but if you are ready for more vampires, werewolves, a bit of steamy romance, and decent plot twists, go for it! Great read for the beach and as a scientist, I loved the twist on the "evil scientists" as the uber-conservative guardians of "true humanity." I really got into the "altiverse" feeling: yes, this is London and late 1800's but it isn't quite our London! I am not sure I would encourage this for the pre-teen set, the romance goes "in flagrante delicto," so maybe parents should read/scan before handing off to the younger set.
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 5, 2012
Gail Carriger is one of my new faves!!
I've read all four books in this series and enjoyed them all. The stories are interesting, fast paced and full of twisty turns. There's plenty of intelligent humor, witty dialogue & even a bit of romance. This was my first journey into steampunk and I found that aspect captivating, very Jules Vern.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2010
A fun paranormal romance
Alexia Tarabotti is not just your average spinster. She was born with no soul, her father was both Italian and dead. She is a preternatural, what vampires and werewolves call a "soul-sucker". She has the ablility to turn supernatural creatures back into humans with a touch. The affect only last as long as she is touching the person.
While at a social ball she was attacked by a vampire, and she killed him on accident. This brings in Lord Maccon, a werewolf, and part of the BUR a orginization that keeps tabs on the supernatural. They find out that this vampire is a rove and not part of the local hive. This also throws Alexia in to all sorts to trouble, from wax faced men trying to kidnap her to being asked to visit the local vampire hive. One big troublesome distraction she was not looking for was Lord Maccon. They can't stand each other, so why is he kissing her after he rescues her from one of her mishaps.
I really wasn't sure what to think about this book at first. I admit it sounded interesting with its Tagline: A novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols. As I started to read it though I thought it was a little slow going, but I kept at it and found it to be delightful with its light-hearted wit and interesting plot.
Now, I will admit that I use to reads a lot of urban fantasy when I was younger then I quit and now I have started back up so I have never heard of a preternatural person before so I really thought that a unique thing to read about. I really found the whole book to be a little unique and different from all the other urban fantasies that I have read lately which made this more fun to read.
I also liked the fact that the two main characters really couldn't stand each other at first but it was more of a I like you and I don't want to sort of hate for each other. Those are always my favorite romance characters in the movies and it works just as good in books. I also liked the fact that the lead female character was made to be more plain, and how it was one of the things Lord Maccon couldn't understand why he liked her and how he could probably have a sexier woman if he wanted but something about her strong will and intellegence makes him like her.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for more mature teens 17+ (because of some contents) and any adult who loves a good urban fantasy romance.
2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2012
An enjoyable romp
This book had a lot of flaws (The headhopping. My god, the headhopping.) but in the end was an enjoyable romp through an alternative paranormal Victorian London. The characters mostly were fun, although I found the protagonist exceedingly judgmental and fairly annoying until all of the kissing started. It's really the core romance that makes the book, and I'm not habitually a romance reader. I usually roll my eyes when a male and female hate each other only to discover no, they really love each other. It seems such a romance, and in particular romantic comedy, cliche. I've actually liked all of the people I've ever fallen in love with. But Carriger makes it work here, mostly because she really knows how to write a kissing scene. I could have read an entire book of Alexia and Connall kissing. I liked it enough that I'll definitely pick up the next one.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2012
Posted January 1, 2014
I loved this book!
I think I have read this book 4/5 times now and I find it as enjoyble now as I did the first time. It was an easy read with fun descriptions and a brilliant cast. I love the world she created and wish I could spend a great deal more time there. While I enjoy all the books in this series, this is by far my favorite.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2013
This story contains what so many books of it's genre lack: wit.
This story contains what so many books of it's genre lack: wit. Smart and funny without being pretentious. I'd recommend this book to anyone and I'm seeking out the sequels immediately.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 23, 2013
Ten Likes/Dislikes: 1. (+) Alexia, the protagonist - Alexia may
Ten Likes/Dislikes:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
1. (+) Alexia, the protagonist - Alexia may make my all-time-favorite heroines list. Brash, independent, funny, spirited, assertive, self-confident yet not without insecurities (Italian background in Victorian England, soullessness, etc.), aware of fashion (Ivy's hideous hats, etc.) and propriety, intelligent, practical, witty, loyal to those she loves, determined, curious, enthusiastic about intellectual pursuits, able to hold her own. She's the kind of person you never want to debate with because she'll twist your words and the conversation; she'll always win.
2. (+) World-building - This one is a definite genre mash-up. It's got the steampunk element with vague mentions and sometimes thorough introductions to various metal machines, gadgets, and scientific research of the nineteenth century (miasmas, etc.) It's got the Victorian element with emphasis on propriety, the mannerisms, the fashion, the gossip, the social strata, etc.. It's got the paranormal element with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and preternaturals like Alexia and how each is governed among its own sect. It's got alternate history full of supernatural meddling in human affairs. I loved the world, and I thought there was just enough introduced in this novel to convince me that there's a lot more left to be explored in the next books. My only complaint would be Alexia's soullessness. I liked it and didn't like it. A part of me wanted more substance on what it meant to be soulless (a lack of creativity? bad fashion? negating other sups?), while another part recognized that the novel seemed to be commercially driven and had a mythology of its own that was less about symbolism or discussion and more about fun times and humor.
3. (+) Romance - The romance almost reads as insta-love, were it not for the hints of backstory between Lord Maccon and Alexia. That and the familiar way they act towards each other. The steamier scenes between them sometimes didn't read as steamy because of the humor--but don't let any of that discourage you! The back story was great, always providing extra humor and a layer of extra tension to their banter and interactions, and in general the romance was delightful to read; a match of wits between two alpha, very take-charge, intense people who can stand on their own but fight better together.
4. (+) Dry Humor - On the bookseller page, the short description for this novel is: Buffy meets Jane Austen. I haven't watched much Buffy, but I was definitely reminded of Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling's dry wit--like when she wrote that Mrs. Dursely had twice as much neck as usual which helped when she spied on neighbors, etc. It seemed very British and appropriate for the time period, although I admit that sometimes I thought that the humor made some of the mystery elements and danger not feel as poignant. The humor, though, in addition to Alexia's voice, is what made the novel so enjoyable.
5. (+) Character cast - This book has a moderately sized character cast for an adult novel, but each of them was really well developed partly due to the omniscient POV that sometimes allowed for a glimpse in each character's head. Each character also has very defining characteristics (again, think JKR and the large neck of Petunia Dursely). There was one random introduction to a character that didn't seem quite right but other than that? Wonderful, wonderful side cast.
6. (+/-) Plot - In developing all these different elements and keeping an Austen-esque feel, the novel sometimes seemed to lack forward momentum. Things were still happening but between the humor and the romance and the friendship, the book didn't quite feel as action or plot oriented as I'd expect of a standalone series type. The mystery was supposed to drive the novel forward, but sometimes I found myself wishing that another element would get greater focus. There didn't seem to be enough players in the story for the necessary hooks to keep the mystery going, if that make sense. It was still enjoyable though.
7. (+) Standalone/ending/etc. - I can't tell you how pleased I was after finishing this novel. The fact that it's a standalone and didn't feature another open ending designed solely to hook readers back into the story was enjoyable. Plot threads were neatly wrapped up while others were introduced towards the end so we'd know what to expect in the sequel.
8. (+) Writing - This novel broke one of the major general rules of writing and featured a lot of telling about various characters--but here's the telling: it totally worked and fit in the dry wit and voice, and the novel did end up showing you how that information factored into the characters' actions. This novel also features an omniscient third person POV, switching POVs at random moments (for a paragraph or two), but again I thought those were well done and provided great (sometimes funny) back story for a variety of characters.
9. (+) Pacing - Some will find it slow, but if you've read a Jane Austen novel, this is similar to the pacing in her novels. It worked well with the dry wit and general feel of the novel.
10. (+/-) The Cover - White-washing alert! Alexia is supposed to be tan and ample and has a large nose. That is not the woman on the cover. At least they covered the parasol and steampunk and Victorian aspects of the novel.
I have a peculiar fascination with novels set in nineteenth century London. It's not the fashion, but the heroines that come of that time which interest me. Many novels (or at least the ones I read) set then feature heroines who are head-strong, wily, courageous--the sort that obviously have to deal with prejudices and gender inequalities on a macro scale yet remained spirited and determined. Alexia is one of those heroines, and I loved her voice and character so much that even if I didn't like the other aspects of the novel, I'd still buy the sequel. If any of that resonates with you, you'll definitely like this novel.
Full of dry wit and well developed characters, Soulless is a delightful mash of paranormal, steampunk, Victorian, and romantic elements sure to cross-appeal to those genre fans looking for an entertaining read.
Posted July 26, 2013
Simply Brilliant Steampunk! So, it would seem that this week is
Simply Brilliant Steampunk!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
So, it would seem that this week is shaping up to be "All Hail Gail Carriger Week!" Today, our Throwback gives another nod to Carriger with her adult opener to the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1). Let me just start by saying that I am consistently enamored with Carriger's strong female leads that are often times slightly off (socially speaking) but utterly brilliant (intellectually) and strong (will and nature). All in all this is an engaging read that will transport you to a different time (steampunk) and place (Vampire and Werewolf filled London).
I am constantly amazed by Gail Carriger's voice that emerges through her brilliant words. It's a style all her own and so rarely heard that it really is a burst of something fresh! She writes with such a unique point of view that your imagination and sense of reality is forced to expand and the written reality becomes something nearly tangible...nearly! The characters are beautifully written, the pace (although slow at times) is composed beautifully and masterfully paints the rhythm of the story and of course, this NOT being a YA novel, there are some HOT scenes. Of course, these scenes are done in a "classy" sort of way without being crude or lewd but still remain steamy!
All in all, a fun read for your next camping trip, beach bag or on a rainy day! We love a good book that doesn't take itself too seriously, has a sense of humor mixed in with an engaging storyline and an impossibly star-crossed love story tossed in for good measure!
Posted June 30, 2013
Posted March 24, 2013
Alexia Tarabotti stumbles into an intriguing mystery when she ac
Alexia Tarabotti stumbles into an intriguing mystery when she accidentally kills a vampire who is unaware that she has no soul. Curious about this turn of events and hounded by Lord Moccan, Alexia sets off to discover what is going on with the paranormal creatures. This is no easy feat when she must consider Victorian Age social norms and events. Soon the paranormal creatures start disappearing and strange creatures come after Alexia and the stakes become much higher. Together, Lord Moccan (alpha Were and head of the BAU) and Alexia are on a race to save the paranormal creatures.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I just wrote about Alexia yesterday and I love love her! I enjoyed the proper English appropriate for the time, but I also loved that she was the heroine dashing to save the day. Well not quite dashing, but she is quick to jump into her carriage. Lord Moccan and all the rest of the paranormal creatures all had their own personality and I loved their interactions with each other. This was my first experience with steampunk and I didn't know what to say. I didn't really notice the gadgetry but I loved the alternate historical account. It was like learning about an entirely new world in a context that you understand. I look forward to continuing this series.
Overall, a great steampunk introduction with great characters and an intriguing mystery.
Posted March 18, 2013
Posted March 14, 2013
An unexpected delight...
With all my secret loves in one spot (steampunk, octapi, werewolves and vamps, fabulous and loyal gay men, airships, corsets, mad scientists, industrial era politics, spunky and smart heroines and heroes in knee boots) I was so sure this series would disappoint... but it was all I could have hoped. Not deep stuff by any way - butbSUCWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2013
This was my first steampunk book, and I have to say I loved it.
This was my first steampunk book, and I have to say I loved it. Set in the Victorian era, the story is about Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a sassy, independent, strong-minded woman, who happens to be soulless. Alexia is a definite laugh generator. She is quick witted and not afraid to speak her mind. Team her up with Lord Maccon, the rough, no nonsense werewolf sent to investigate a murder, which Alexia happened to commit, and you have a spirited, entertaining story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
It took me a few chapters to get into the story simply because of the Victorian-era language. Once I got used to it, however, I read through quickly, enjoying the story and the humor, and the language added a great deal to the setting.
Posted October 30, 2012
Posted October 12, 2012
Posted August 13, 2012
Posted July 15, 2012
Better than Expected!
I got this book on free friday a while back and finally decided to read it. At first, I found it boring. Once I got a little farther into it, it picked up and I was pleasantly surprised. I couldn't put it down. I will be buying the next book in the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2012
A quick read, but entertaining. The Victorian language actually
A quick read, but entertaining. The Victorian language actually gave me a valid reason to use the word look-up tool on my Nook several times. I'm not sure how original the premise is (vampires & werewolves integrated into Victorian semi-steampunk London society), but the way it was written was well thought out and felt "fresh". It was good enough that it warranted a purchase of the second book in the series from me. Worth checking out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.