Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) Soulless discussion


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How much is too much? *please mark spoilers*

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Denae As many of us have remarked, Soulless is a mashup of genres. How do you feel about that? Do you think they should have left the kitchen sink behind or did you like the all encompassing feel? Do you think the book suffered by emphasizing any one part too much or too little?


Fangs for the Fantasy I like it because I think genres are somewhat limiting.

We already have genres that are amalgamations after all. Take a Romance book and a horror book and contemporary literature and lo, paranormal romance is born.

I think we get too hung up on strict genre boundaries and the different meldings of elements can make for some fascinating stories - let's have magic and steampunk, let's have romance and spaceships, let's have elves and murder mysteries!


Barbara For me the fact that it is mashup is a large part of its charm. I can see that people who like one genre and not the other wouldn't like it and rightly so. But for me it's Georgette Heyer with werewolves and a dash of steampunk. What could be more fun?


message 4: by Kristy (new) - added it

Kristy I love how well it is written, and that it continually has something interesting and snarky to say.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Fangs for the Fantasy wrote: "I like it because I think genres are somewhat limiting.

We already have genres that are amalgamations after all. Take a Romance book and a horror book and contemporary literature and lo, paranorma..."


I totally agree. I like seeing a good mix of genres and ideas, especially when it's well done, as this book was.

I like to see an author take my preconceptions and turn them on their ears.


Patt I do not believe genre matters in a book that is well written. I think sometimes people get too caught up in genre. Sticking only to one genre or another tends to limit what an individual seeks out to read. If I had looked only at the genre, I would have missed a very good read.


message 7: by Sara (last edited Jan 16, 2012 09:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Denae wrote: "As many of us have remarked, Soulless is a mashup of genres. How do you feel about that? Do you think they should have left the kitchen sink behind or did you like the all encompassi..."

I don't think Soulless suffered from its genre transcendence at all. Carriger does a great job of transcending the limitations of genre and making the fantastic into a surprisingly believable world. There really isn't a requirement, for me, that a genre mashup must include equal parts of all genres referenced therein. As has been said before, the quality of the writing bears out and causes the genres to be effortlessly combined.

The books themselves seem to be very much like Alexia herself, who walks between worlds with a wink (and a sarcastic comment or two) and a nod to those she drags along with her.


Naomi I thought the book was a fun read but poorly edited. The writer seemed uncertain as to the type of novel they were going for. It was lustier than I thought it would be but the author tones this down and it becomes more of an action series with just a hint of lust in following books. So, if you are turned off by the romance portion but enjoy the characters and setting, keep reading. If you're after a lusty romance series, you may want to drop it.


Naomi Patt wrote: "I do not believe genre matters in a book that is well written. I think sometimes people get too caught up in genre. Sticking only to one genre or another tends to limit what an individual seeks o..."

Much agreed. I've never purchased a "sci-fi" book before which is the section I found soulless in. I was bored while my husband was looking for a new WOW book. However, I am very much enjoying the series.


Keith I watch Bollywood movies, so I expect everything I read or watch to contain every genre ever created


Boingboing Sara wrote: The books themselves seem to be very much like Alexia herself, who walks between worlds with a wink (and a sarcastic comment or two) and a nod to those she drags along with her.

I think this sums up how I feel about the books. *nodnod*


message 12: by JulieLaLa (new)

JulieLaLa I have only read the first chapter, as a free preview for my Kobo. I liked the preview so much that I bought the first three books. Obviously, I was enchanted by what I read but, once I start reading them, maybe my opinion will change. I'll let you know!


message 13: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Keith wrote: "I watch Bollywood movies, so I expect everything I read or watch to contain every genre ever created"

The only thing Soulless lacked was a catchy dance number. ;)


message 14: by Ivana (last edited Jan 31, 2012 05:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ivana I always find blending different genres to be a good thing if the author has the ability to do it right. Carriger did a fairly good job, although some genres were more emphasized than I've expected going into the book. That especially goes for romance. I'm not saying that's a bad a thing, I really enjoyed the book as an entertaining read, only it was different that what I thought it would be. I do find that due to joggling so many things some aspects fell a bit flat - I never really felt the mystery and the way it was resolved was somewhat anticlimactic. (view spoiler)


message 15: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Ivana wrote: "I always find blending different genres to be a good thing if the author has the ability to do it right. Carriger did a fairly good job, although some genres were more emphasized than I've expected..."

You have to remember, this is the first book in a series. If everything were solved right away, what would they do for the next books? ;)

Also, I haven't read the other two books yet, but I'm guessing that the "romance" aspect will probably play less in the other two, just because of the fact that the issue was resolved, at least to some degree.


Ivana Sara wrote: "If everything were solved right away, what would they do for the next books? ;)"

I didn't really have a problem with the solution to the mystery per se, but with the way Alexia and Lord Maccon came to the answers, which were really more delivered to them rather than them finding things out (which was kinda deflating). I liked the romance in the book, I just felt that the mystery/investigative aspect was a bit underdeveloped. But all in all I do think Carriger did a good job overall, and the book was fun enough for me to want the read the sequels.You probably make a good point on them. I have the second one but I haven't started reading yet, so we shall see :).


message 17: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee i def. liked the second one better than the first, but there was still a fairly heavy romance aspect, and a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end...book 3 was pretty good too. I hav book 4 in the pile and waiting on the final one that is due out in Feb IIRC...I am glad that she has ended the series at 5 books and isn't just continue it to continue it


Artkdz I don't think it suffered at all, in fact, I love the fact that it combined all my favorite genres into one. And the Steampunk genre is still being defined, in my opinion, so most of the books that fall into that category are a mashup in some way.

For those who stopped at the first book, I highly suggest continuing with the series. Carriger didn't let the plot, or the verbal/physical sparring fall flat just because of how the first book ended.


Nattaporn Soulless has its own style that make me love and hate @ the same time. I enjoy reading such a new style and hard to guess what is next.
Such an interesting book.;


Wendy I waited quite a while to read this, and the only reason I'm glad I did is because when I finished the first one I could get all the rest of them.

I loved the mashup of genres, the wide range of personalities, the romance... I thought some things were repeated a little too often (the spinster issue). I love how frank Alexia is, about Ivy's hats, with everyone--she says what she thinks.

Plus, I really, really thinks hedgehogs are cute.


Serene I felt the relationship between Lord Macon, and Alexia was too much romance novel/bodice ripper for me and it rather annoyed me. It felt a tad cliche. I like romance, but part of Alexia's charm, that she is a spinster and would be solving mysteries. I didn't expect the story to be so quickly subsumed, by their passion. It doesn't help that I don't really care for lord Mac or the argumentative tone of their relationship, so over-emphasis on that bohtered me.


Victoria Gaile Serene wrote: "I felt the relationship between Lord Macon, and Alexia was too much romance novel/bodice ripper for me and it rather annoyed me. It felt a tad cliche. I like romance, but part of Alexia's charm, t..."

The bodice-ripper aspect vanished almost entirely in the sequels - I was a bit annoyed by it too so I was glad to see it go. Alexia gets plenty of solo scenes even after she's married, so if you haven't read any of the sequels you might give the series another try. But if the specifically spinster aspect was important, then, not so much.


message 23: by Mika (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mika I read up until book 3 but I needed a break from the series. There is something about the writing style and characters that makes it tiring and repetitive if you read them all in one goal. The 3rd book was the best maybe because Alexia and Lord Macon were apart most of the time.


Melinda VanLone I didn't give a thought to what genre this was once I started reading. I found it refreshing, fun and well written, so I didn't care. It was just so different from everything else I've ever read, in a good way.


message 25: by Mia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mia I had some issues with her book, but genre mashing wasn't one of them. I think it was difficult to jump into (because Steampunk, to me at least, seems really tough for a written medium), but she did a really good job of mixing things together.


Serene Ironically I liked the manga version of this story much better than the novel. The relationship elements were toned down in the manga edition, and it had less of a bodice ripper feel, plus the art was beautiful.

Glad to hear it is toned down in the sequels. I might pick it up. I like the professor character. but I confess I detest lord Maccon so I think my threshold for that character is a bit low. Heh.


ICanHasBooks? I like it, this book has so many elements/genres that I was looking for in a novel.


Annie Seaton I love Gail Carriger's voice. She reminds me of P.G. Wodehouse. Steampunk with interesting characters. Love it all!


Rachel Oh I thought this was going to be about the amount of description detailing their( Alexia and Conell)...um...more private relations haha


Temple I love these books the way they are the a mix of everthing.


Linda I like the mash-up. I was looking for an introduction to Steam Punk when I came across this novel. I like regency romance but vampires and werewolves not so much. The humor and manners made the book readable and fun to me.


Jennifer Rachel wrote: "Oh I thought this was going to be about the amount of description detailing their( Alexia and Conell)...um...more private relations haha"

LOL. And, not enough! Ha.


Cormon03 I loved this book. And part of the reason for that is because of all the genre blending. The humor and manners, while awesome, to me, was just icing on the cake. I'm hoping more authors will try this. Genre blending, Bring It On!!!!


message 34: by Candy (new) - added it

Candy Sparks I felt it was a great mashup and can't wait to read the next book in the series.


Meishuu I don't mind "kitchen's sinks" when they are entertaining. I did felt the romantic parts too rushed and sort of "pasted on".


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