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Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  61,488 ratings  ·  7,077 reviews
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 Macco
Mass Market Paperback, 373 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Orbit
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Sam Wescott Yeah, I might veer away from this one until you're comfortable with her reading sex scenes. I would recommend Gail Carriger's other series - Finishing…moreYeah, I might veer away from this one until you're comfortable with her reading sex scenes. I would recommend Gail Carriger's other series - Finishing School. It's a YA series and so far there has been nothing more than a palm kiss and minimal violence. Same absurd language, same world, but, like, 30 years earlier. Same supernatural stuff and similarly wonderful female protagonist. I love it and would not hesitate to recommend it to a 12 year old.(less)
Tigress98 (is going to find a way into Narnia eventually)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Best Steampunk Books
1st out of 743 books — 3,558 voters
Soulless by Gail CarrigerThe Iron Duke by Meljean BrookClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareChangeless by Gail CarrigerBlameless by Gail Carriger
1st out of 270 books — 780 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
Here is a most edifying (and highly scientific) quiz you may use to ascertain whether this novel is one that you will enjoy.

* Is your bookcase overflowing with strong, decisive heroines?
* Do you chuckle over the animated Gorey titles preceding a PBS “Mystery!” presentation?
* Are you fond of the Victorian era?
* Does witty prose make you positively giddy with excitement?
* Have you ever lingered over a bit of lace or wistfully touched a velvet coat?
* Are you delighted when someone brews a pot of te
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Ms. Carriger, congratulations! This was a great ride. I can honestly say that I laughed myself silly reading this book. This is one of those books that will probably embarrass you if you read it in public. You have been warned! This is the first novel that I've read that managed to cleverly and gently satirize the conventions of historical romance, and it was done in a manner that was utterly irresistible. I have not read any Wodehouse, but I imagine I will like him very much, if he is indeed an ...more
Jun 25, 2010 Caris rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Caris by: rbrs
Shelves: romance, 2010
I hate vampires. I have a strong dislike of werewolves, but I fucking hate vampires. Robert Pattinson, yeah, I think he’s dreamy, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put a stake through his fragile, airbrushed chest. I wouldn’t shed a tear as he muttered those incomprehensible little nothings with his dying breath.

Because vampires are stupid. The whole mythology has been driven into the ground. It’s no longer romantic. Shit, it’s not even interesting. It’s easy. Way, way too easy.

And that’s why Carriger
Jun 14, 2010 Kelly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kelly by: RBRS devils
So, I’ve got something else to blame on Glee. In addition to all the terrible eighties music that I’ve been listening to, and image of that terrible Mozart spaceman outfit gone wrong that they put Kurt in for the Gaga episode, I feel certain that the same people who decide on the structure and performance of that show are the same people who decided that it was okay to release Soulless in the form that I read it.

At it’s heart, Glee is simply a weak, changeable framework for presenting touchston
Rbrs #4

Remember in grade school, when the teacher would ask for a volunteer to give the first speech or present the first diorama or whatever? Public Speaking - that which is feared more than death. Comparisons were always inevitable. I learned to shoot that hand up like a game of "not-it," so that everyone would be compared to me but my stuff would gently fade in the mob memory. Also, to get it out of the way so then I could relax while everyone else sweated it and got ever more anxious. Soooo,
Kat Kennedy
If you've been on GoodReads for any decent amount of time then you probably know Tatiana. If you don't then she is a very popular, entertaining reviewer with almost flawless taste in books and you should go read and like all her reviews abunch.

Usually, we tend to agree on a lot of books. When comparing books, we generally have an 88% similarity rating which has led me, in the past, to comment that we must be soulmates. So you can understand my obvious distress when I read this book and quite lik
I wish I had written this book! Only because it combines two of my latest fetishes: Corsets and Paranormal creatures. After the first chapter this book is pretty good, I really enjoyed it (although it's not reinventing the wheel in any way). Nice romance, appealing characters, melding of the two genres was enough to keep my very entertained and up late! I will read another for sure!
4.5/5 stars
I really enjoyed this book! Alexia is such an interesting character, and the world is very similar to that of TID - WHICH I LOVED.
The whole paranormal aspect was very well done and interesting to read about and I loved all the major characters! The minor characters could have been a bit better, but that's what other books are for!
The story was SO GOOD and very well thought out - a lot of things surprised me, though I did catch some of the foreshadowing.
Can't wait to read the rest o
Sep 08, 2011 Lora rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I suppose nearly everyone, since I seem to be one of the few who doesn't like it
Recommended to Lora by: too many people to name
Shelves: did-not-finish
*sigh* Boy, am I in the minority here! Every friend of mine has given this at least three stars, and here I am not even being able to finish it. Still, I don't hate this book, so before giving my reasons for not liking it, I will be fair and go over what I did like.

Our heroine, Miss Alexia Tarabotti, hasn't had an easy life. Besides being put on the shelf at the age of fifteen by her mother, she's had to deal with unjust criticism. While the people of today spend countless dollars on cancer-caus
Well, the first thing I can tell you is that reading this from a critical, review-writing frame of mind is not the way to enjoy it.

I encountered this book when it first came out, lying on the new release table of the Union Square Barnes & Noble (that's San Francisco, not NY, B&N friends). I no longer live in the City and was visiting a friend who, as it turned out, wasn't home yet. Or answering her phone. Night was falling and I had no way of knowing how much time I would have to kill.
4.0 to 4.5 stars. VERY PLEASANTLY SURPRISED is the best way I can think of to describe my reaction to this book. While there are a few urban fantasy series that I really enjoy, it is not my favorite genre, especially those series that could also be classified as “paranormal romances.” This book, while more “Victorian steampunk” than urban fantasy does certainly have a very strong “romance” element to the plot…AND I REALLY, REALLY ENJOYED IT!!

The story takes place in an alternative Victorian Lond
Sep 16, 2010 Tatiana rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jeanine Frost's "Night Huntress" series
My apologies to all my friends who love this book, but again, I fail to understand the appeal. Like with a few other popular novels I've tried reading recently, this is simply a glorified fanfiction in print. If you ever ask me what I mean calling books "fanfiction," my answer would be, as with the definition of "porn," I can't articulate it, but I know when I see/read it. It's just too gratuitous and lacks substance, depth, flavor, richness, even though it, at times, entertains.
Jun 08, 2010 Sparrow rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sparrow by: Felicia Day and the creepy comic store guy
Monsters are inevitably campy. That is a rule. You might not think it’s true, but you’re wrong. I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but the rule also applies to space. Monster stories and space stories range from those that deny the campiness and try to be really soulful social commentary to those that are hilarious in acknowledging the campiness and still manage to have something brilliant to say. There are levels in between those two extremes, but I’m trying to give you the framework ...more
Dan Schwent
After Alexia Tarabotti commits a faux pas and accidentally kills a vampire at a party and falls under the eye of Lord Maccon, the Queen's investigator of the supernatural, she inadvertently gets involved in a plot involving werewolves, vampires, and deranged scientists. Will she be able to survive whatever is going on without suffering further embarrassment?

Normally, I'm so overflowing with sheer manliness that a book with this much pink on the cover would fall beneath my radar. It sounded inter
*Originally read 7/4/10 - 7/5/10*

This book was, quite simply, delightful! I finished it with a big smile on my face and giggled almost continually while reading it. My husband finally banished me to the bedroom because I was irritating him while he watched a movie.

The world that Gail Carriger created was so much fun and so interesting. I loved seeing a familiar government amid the new and exciting facets of it. I loved the set up of the supernatural creatures and the singular abilities of the pr
The Flooze
Oct 22, 2009 The Flooze rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to The Flooze by: The Holy Terror
Recipe for success:
- Liberal amount of Austen & Wodehouse
- Generous helping of the supernatural
- Sprinkling of steampunk
- Heavy dose of humor
- Dollop of romance

- One sorely abused treacle tart
- One hedgehog, slightly squashed

What a success Soulless is. No First Book Syndrome here.

Gail Carriger shows that she is a woman with ideas in this alternate history paranormal tale. Not only does she have ideas, but Carriger knows how to execute them. Soulless is a refreshing and wildly amusing
Several days ago was a stressful day for me, and the thought of picking up the two fantasy books I was reading didn't sound that appealing. At the time I wanted a light and fluffy, mindless entertainment read and I got exactly that with Soulless.

This is an alternate history story with vampires, werewolves, a little steampunk, and lots of laughs. When you combine the mannerisms, the swear words (nincompoop!), and the wonderful characters, you get one of the most entertaining books I've read in aw
Shannon (leaninglights)
Actual rating *4.25 stars*

I had such a fun ride with this book. The characters and relationships are what got me excited and eventually I just fell in love with it all. It started a bit slow for me and I would have liked a bit more world-building, but I loved the story overall and will definitely be continuing the series in the future!!
Deborah Harkness
I haven't had this much fun reading a book in ages. Witty dialogue, believable characters, and a real sense of the Victorian--and steampunk!--make Carriger's book a treat. Off to the sequel!

50 Shades of Shock


Miss Ivy Hisselpenny

Dear surveyors of literature,

I must warn you politely in advance. If you might easily be offended by frivolous behaviour like holding hands in public or scandalous activity such as talking to unmarried men without a chaperone, I urge you to avoid your eyes and seek fullfillment of your literary gusto elsewhere.

The tale of my good friend, Alexia Tarabotti, is of a nature highly inappropriate to discuss in such a frank and open environment as in this review
Fans of Steampunk, rejoice. And better count those who adore Steampunk with a great romance that has a delightful, witty and very original heroine. Gail Carriger’s Soulless will be on the lips of many before the end of the year. This is one of the most refreshing books I have read for 2009. Orbit has a very good thing with Gail Carriger. This freshman novel is near perfect in its writing and storytelling. When a book such as Soulless brings forth such laughs and an abundance of happiness while y ...more
Soulless is one of the best audio books I have listened to. The story is wickedly funny, filled with clever humor, brilliant characters and a delicious romance! The story was just wonderful and I’m sure my enjoyment was enhanced by the excellent narration of Emily Gray.

Alexia Tarabotti is “soulless” or someone who can cancel out the supernatural powers of another. A state she inherited from her Italian father. With her unconventional (for Victorian England) Italian looks, and her tendency to sp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Kay
Soulless is my first foray into the world of “steampunk.” Well, other than the writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, read to me by my adventurous mother.

Dirigable from Ms. Carriger’s website.
I will be honest and say I just didn’t see the appeal until somewhere around the middle of the third chapter. Maybe I was too focused on figuring out the subtle world building to sit back and enjoy the ride until then. (Unsure what a claviger, drone, or dewan was, I do still wish there had been a glossary
Soulless was a light-hearted, often amusing read with two likeable main characters that was unfortunately let down by the slow plot, half-assed world building and lack of interesting secondary characters.

Going into this book I was somewhat sceptical about the setting. Vampires, werewolves and Victorian society don’t really appeal to me. Probably because Twilight ruined vampires for me and the invasions of Ireland followed by hundreds of years of ruthless subjugation ruined the British Empire fo
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Warning. Review might contain minor spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I am very sad pissed because I had so many high expectations for this book. The blurb sounded awesome, most of my friends’ reviews are five and four stars. The cover is good, the author seems obsessed with English tea, which seemed like a cool thing until I read her Q&A at the end of the book. After that it all got annoying because all she does is talk about her freaking tea. You love tea. I get it. Move the fuck on.

I know I
Bark's Book Nonsense
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book having never read a steampunk novel and not being overly fond of comedy of manners type books unless they’re exceptionally witty. Turns out I was hooked immediately by the author’s wicked sarcasm. Most authors try too hard to get the right mix of funny/witty/sarcastic and end up making their characters sound dumb but here it felt fresh and natural and was so unlike most of the bland and/or annoying stuff lining my shelves.

The book starts out with o
I loved Soulless! Alexia Tarabotti is a 26 year old spinster who is intelligent and fashionable, who is prone to dark skin and drinks a lot of tea! Always found with her parasol and two hair pins made of silver and wood, she would one day like to fly in a dirigible. She also happens to be a preternatural, “Soulless” which is almost as embarrassing as having an Italian father.

A preternatural is born without a soul. When she touches a supernatural Alexia effectively neutralises them, the vampires
Maria Snyder
LOVED IT! I listened to this one - the reader, Emily Gray was excellent. I laughed out loud. It's set in Victorian London where Vampires and Werewolves are a part of high society. My only complaint - I can't find the sequel on and I don't think I'll be able to read this series now that I've listened to wouldn't be the same!
Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster, half Italian and has no soul, and when she's rudely attacked by a vampire at a ball without even giving his name first!
Then from bad to worse she happens to kill the vampire and when the very sexy werewolf Lord Maccon comes to investigate by The Queen's behalf, things couldn't get worse right? Wrong!
Alexia with Lord Maccon are thrown into a world whirl investigation that leads them to even more trouble after many vampires and werewolves start to disappear and th
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Gail Carriger writes comedic steampunk mixed with urbane fantasy in three series: two adult, the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol, and one YA, the Finishing School. Her books are published in over a dozen different language. She has twelve NYT bestsellers via five different lists (including #1 in Manga). She has received the Alex Award from the ALA (for her debut Soulless) and the Prix Ju ...more
More about Gail Carriger...

Other Books in the Series

Parasol Protectorate (5 books)
  • Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)
  • Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3)
  • Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4)
  • Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)
Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3) Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4) Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

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“How ghastly for her, people actually thinking, with their brains, and right next door. Oh, the travesty of it all.” 302 likes
“A vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age.” 211 likes
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