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Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  55,722 ratings  ·  6,552 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
Audio CD, Library Edition, 11 pages
Published 2010 by Recorded Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Cassie If you like witty dialogue, lovable characters, paranormal elements, and/or tea, you'll probably enjoy this series. I'd say give at least the first…moreIf you like witty dialogue, lovable characters, paranormal elements, and/or tea, you'll probably enjoy this series. I'd say give at least the first book a try. (less)

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 (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 08, 2011 Lora rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
4.0 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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Lisa Kay
★★★★½ 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 glo
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
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!
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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

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
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
At the end of "Soulless" first time author Gail Carriger says that one of her inspirations for the story was the idea of what if you set an urban fantasy during Victorian times. Given the quirks of the society, it's a fascinating concept and that hook alone is enough to make me want to like "Soulless."

Unfortunately, the novel is too much a product of the current publishing climate in which a majority of the books hitting the market must have vampires, werewolves or (as is the case here) both. I'
Morgan F
I am new to the whole paranormal romance genre. Being a teenager yet, I can finally read the dirty bits without giggling or tossing the book across the room in an embarrassed panic whenever someone walks into the room. Yay for maturity!

Soulless was a fun read, and oddly very funny. I was cracking up. My favorite line:
"The vampire's eyes were open, and he was staring at her intently. It was as though he was trying to speak to her with simply the power of his glare. Alexia did not speak glare-ish"
Lois Bujold
And also its four sequels in the series, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless and Timeless. (I sort of wanted this to have three more sequels, to be titled Hapless, Feckless and Gormless, but it was not to be.)

I had read the first of these last year, and thought, "OK, I know what this is now, that's enough." Besides my general ongoing reader's-block, neither Steampunk nor Paranormal Romance/Vampires&Werewolves are to my usual taste, and this has both. It also has romantic farce, however, which i
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Casual Readers: * SOULLESS: Official Discussion 16 17 Jan 22, 2015 02:54PM  
Casual Readers: * {NO SPOILERS} Parasol Protectorate Series 3 6 Jan 03, 2015 10:48PM  
Crazy for Young A...: ✗Pair 12: Azhelle and Megan (December 2014) 11 103 Dec 24, 2014 07:19PM  
How much is too much? *please mark spoilers* 37 435 Oct 04, 2014 01:32AM  
Pro-Active Destru...: Request: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) 13 12 Sep 17, 2014 03:53PM  
Bitch Team Alpha ...: Soulless 2 17 Aug 03, 2014 06:22AM  
Saucy Wenches Boo...: Soulless by Gail Carriger 18 12 Jul 21, 2014 02:48PM  
  • Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2)
  • Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, #1)
  • The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #2)
  • God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1)
  • The Native Star (Veneficas Americana, #1)
  • Her Own Devices (Magnificent Devices, #2)
  • The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful, #1)
  • Steam & Sorcery (Gaslight Chronicles, #1)
  • Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #1)
  • The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes, #2)
  • The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1)
  • Dead Iron (Age of Steam, #1)
  • The Bookman (The Bookman Histories, #1)
  • Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)
  • The Doomsday Vault (Clockwork Empire, #1)
  • Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1)
  • Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)
  • New Blood (Blood Magic, #1)
Ms. Carriger writes steampunk urbane fantasy comedies of manners 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. She then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a ...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.” 282 likes
“A vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age.” 203 likes
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