Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series #1)

( 623 )

Overview

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 ...

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Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series #1)

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as "a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking." At the center of Soulless's "parasol protectorate" is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.
From the Publisher
"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

Publishers Weekly
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316056632
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Series: Parasol Protectorate Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 375,551
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Carriger

New York Times bestselling 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. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She 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, 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).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 623 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(344)

4 Star

(176)

3 Star

(66)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(17)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 625 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 11, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I enjoyed this book! Bought it yesterday, finished it in a coupl

    I enjoyed this book! Bought it yesterday, finished it in a couple of hours later. LOVED THIS BOOK

    33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Will have you laughing out loud

    Alexia Tarabotti is the daughter of an Italian-making her tan, assertive, big-nosed, and curvy. Unlike her mother and half sisters, she also happens to be soulless (the preferred term being preternatural). After being attacked by a rove vampire, Alexia is forced to uncover the mystery behind recent vampire and werewolf disappearances. In doing so, her relationship with the alpha of the London werewolves, Lord Maccon, intensifies in every way.
    I loved this book. Gail Carriger does a fantastic job twisting the paranormal into steampunk Victorian England. This satire is filled with great characters, an interesting plot, and lots and lots of tea. The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti was born a preternatural, or without a soul. By simply touching a vampire or werewolf, she can rid them of their supernatural abilities, or turn them human. This only works if she is physically touching them; as soon as she removes her touch, they are back to their supernatural state. Lord Maccon arrives right after Alexia kills her attacker with her parasol. He is a Scottish alpha werewolf who finds Alexia to be a pain in his-well, you know what I mean. Lord Maccon grows deeper feelings for Alexia-or rather, he comes to realize his deeper feelings for her throughout the first half of the novel. He is accompanied by his Beta, Prof. Lyall. Even though Prof. Lyall is a werewolf, he is the opposite of Lord Maccon. Where Lord Maccon is rude, primal, and a bit wild, Prof. Lyall is well-mannered, civilized, and tame. I loved Lord Maccon. I really enjoyed reading the banter between him and Alexia.
    The story is set in 19th century (steampunk) Victorian England. This novel had me laughing out loud. Alexia, like everyone else at that time, is obsessed with manners and proper etiquette. To her, the end of the world would occur when it ran out of tea. However, she does realize the absurdity of her family and how they judge others. Alexia's family reminded me so much of the Bennet family in Pride and Prejudice. There were also some similarities between Alexia and Elizabeth, not tons, but definitely some.
    I would highly recommend this book. Warning: there is a sex scene, kissing, some nudity, and a bit of blood.

    32 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    INGENIOUS CONCEPT!

    I will be honest and say that the cover art drew me to this book, however, once I began to read I could not put the book down. Ms. Carriger has provided an ingenious alternative to the usual supernatural romance. It is a combination of period piece, supernatural romance and intriguing mystery all rolled up in one delightful book. The characters are FANTASTIC and all well developed -- Alexia Tarabotti, Lord Maccon, and especially Professor Lyall with his futuristic scientific know-how, and Lord Akeldama is charming and witty. I look forward to reading all of the Alexia Tarabotti, Parasol Protectorate series of novels.

    28 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I didn't really believe...

    This series has been in my TBR pile for too long. I purchased the series after reading so many positive reviews. I admit I didn't really believe it would be this enjoyable. I am happy to admit that I am now a firm believer. Miss Tarabotti is a great character and well before her time. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I only wish I had started it earlier. If you like competent women who are funny and brave and smart, then don't pass this up.

    19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read

    This is a new author and I am impressed. I really enjoyed the writing style and the characters are great! I love the prudish aspect of the characters and the nonchalant attitudes. I enjoy a good vampire stabbing via a parasol, since those things come in handy!
    This was a great read and I cannot wait for the upcoming two books to polish off my evenings at home. I can't even wait to read it through again.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.
    <br>
    4 out of 5 stars

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    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.

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    his is an entertaining Victorian urban fantasy

    By 1874 Alexia Tarabotti expects to remain on the shelf as a spinster for eternity due to being too smart, too sassy, too assertive, and too strong and not very pretty. Her mother agrees and has written her daughter off in terms of finding the bluestocking a spouse; she focuses on her other younger but docile and prettier daughters.

    Alexa has one other minor difference that has her standing out from her siblings; she has no soul. She is leaving London for Glasgow, but being soulless makes her special. She not only cannot be turned into a vampire or a werewolf like other mortals although most die rather than are changed; she can remove the paranormal power from a supernatural albeit for a short time by touching them. Perhaps her only adversary since mom gave up on her is Lord Maccon, the chief of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry who consistently finds her and her parasol getting past his werewolf hair to his suddenly overly abundant heart and soul.

    This is an entertaining Victorian urban fantasy that smoothly but excitingly merges vampires, werewolves, and related laws and government agencies into late historical England. The story line is fast-paced albeit a bit thin as Gail Carriger focuses on creating the landscape in which Maccon and Alexa live. Still fans will enjoy the spin as Ms. Carriger provides a delightful historical fantasy that gives new meaning to a bloody good fantasy.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I love it

    I love this series. I love the characters and how she writes them and i love that it's a fun read and its something to get lost in when you get tired of reading ordinary romances and paranormal books.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Really, really good.

    The idea of a "funnier" paranormal books was intriging and it turns out, the book is really good, too. I would recommend, especially if you are into paranromal.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    So much fun!

    I picked this up because it looked different. What a fun read! Even my husband read this and enjoyed it. For a few hours of escape you can't beat this!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    One of the BEST books that I have read in quite a while! Very funny and well written - the characters are rich and comical!! I cannot wait for the next one to come out!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Great reading.

    Very entertaining, funny, romantic, and mystery. It was hard to put aside once I started reading it. Can't wait to read the sequel.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Liked it but...

    The heroine is feisty, her love interest tasty and the plot enticing. BUT, it drove me CRAZY that the author kept switching POV's throughout her scenes. I know it's acceptable if done right but I had to stop a lot and try to figure out who's head I was in. Infuriating because I really would love to read the other books, but I really don't like that style of POV switching.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED IT

    I bought this book after reading a recommendation from a website. Totally glad I did. This was fantastic. I loved the humor, I loved the characters, I loved the relationship between the main characters and I just loved everything about this novel. I needed a change of pace from my normal vamp romance and this was the perfect solution.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Maybe beach read

    This was a very easy to read book, however, not very deep. The characters were personable but the storyline thin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    This book made me want to gouge my eyes out. I bought it for a f

    This book made me want to gouge my eyes out. I bought it for a flight, and it was the only thing I had to read for four of the worst hours I've ever spent reading. The main trait of the 'heroine' is that she has a big nose, which she finds distressing. Oh, did I mention she has a big nose? Also, her nose is really big. Guess what? She's got a big nose. Another thing that you mustn't forget is she has a big nose. It is extremely important that you remember her nose size at all times, and so the author reminds you of it every couple pages. The author has a shoddy grasp of even the most rudimentary basics of Victorian culture; the book reads as though she perhaps watched a cruddy movie set in that era and now thinks she knows it perfectly. Constant intrusions of anachronistic language are painfully distracting. If you enjoy history as well as steampunk, give this one a miss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    !

    What is it with harriet klausner? She has to ruin every book she reviews. No one likes to know every detail of the book before reading it. U spoil it by revealing EVERYTHING. You have been reported by name to bn, and i sincerely hope they ban you.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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