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(Parasol Protectorate #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  107,789 ratings  ·  10,701 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, 357 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Orbit (first published September 4th 2009)
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Sam Wescott Yeah, I might veer away from this one until she is comfortable reading sex scenes. I would recommend Gail Carriger's other series - Finishing School. …moreYeah, I might veer away from this one until she is comfortable 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)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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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
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread to hopefully continue on!! 2019


I thought the beginning of the book was hilarious. Alexia is something else and a danger with that parasol! She has no problems with whacking people in the head or men in their nether regions! Lol

Alexia is soulless <--- meaning just what I said, she doesn't have a soul and just her touch can take away others powers, such as the vampires and werewolves.

In the beginning of the book she is attacked in the library by a rove vampire. He was starved, had no
 Danielle The Book Huntress
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of steampunk, historical romance, fantasy
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
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never, in a million years would I have thought this would be a five star read for me. 😮 Entertaining, yes, but five stars, no way... but it was! It really was worth those stars. Thanks to my dear friend Brooklyn for the book recommendation. ❤️ I loved these characters, the setting, the detective feel, the banter, the hot chemistry. 😍 There has been such crap books about vampires and werewolves, but trust me, this was fantastic. ⚠️ I will caution: it does get a bit rated R in a few bits, so this ...more
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Jo (The Book Geek)
I am deeply dissatisfied with this book. It was an utter shambles, and I intend to explain why.

I had this book on my to-read list for so long, so I finally set about purchasing it. The cover looks intriguing, and admittedly, I really love the parasol that Alexia is holding. I thought I was in for a delicious treat of a Steampunk style read, with a few vampires thrown in. What I received was a confused mess, in which any plot that ever previously existed, was smothered by this garbage.

The combi
May 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
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,
Jan 18, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jeanine Frost's "Night Huntress" series
Shelves: dnf, romancelandia
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.
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
Helen 2.0
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, badass, brs-done, vamps, pnr
If Charlaine Harris and Jane Austen's ghost got together and had a love child, this book would be it.

Soulless plays in Victorian era England, in an alternate world where shifters and vampires have revealed their existence to the common folk (much like a historical True Blood). Our main character is Alexia Tarabotti, a blue-stocking spinster with embarrassingly Italian blood and a preternatural - a human born without her soul. She has the ability to cancel supernatural powers by touch, which help
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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. This boo
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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
Meredith Holley
May 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Meredith 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
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’m
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have just had nearly as much fun reading the reviews of this book as I did reading the book itself! There are people who loathed it and are not afraid to say so, to people who absolutely rave about it and can't give it enough stars! Well I am not going to rave but I did like it very much indeed:)

Of course Soulless was written for people like me. I love historical romance, anything to do with Victorian London and vampires (werewolves not so much but I am making an exception for Lord Maccon). Al
Loved it! Loved it, loved it, loved it.

I always get really nervous when I write reviews for books that I have such positive reactions to, especially ones like this one that have such strong personalities. This book knows who it is and what it's trying to do and does its thing with aplomb. I happened to love it immediately after reading the first sentence, but I can understand how if the humor in the writing or the language she uses, or if you don't like romances, or stories with their tongues f
Dec 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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
The Flooze
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to The Flooze by: Shannon
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 new
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! ...more
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Catherine by: Alisha
*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
Madison Warner Fairbanks
Soulless by Gail Carriger
1st book in the Parasol Protectorate series. Steampunk historical paranormal romance.
Vampires, werewolves and a soulless spinster. Protocol and social etiquette must be observed.

A fun mystery adventure that Alexia must negotiate though it may be dangerous. Just make sure there is tea available. Someone is hunting the paranormal population and Alexia is on the case.
Engaging, humorous, and quirky. A bit sexy. And it does get a bit bloody.
Loved the adventure and can’t w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (kitchandpages)
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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!!
You all know how much I hate Steampunk. It always feels forced. Someone decides to write a historical romance and then adds in a bunch of cogs, flying machines, goggles, and automatons to make a giant mess turn it into Steampunk. So, this one almost got drop-kicked into the DNF pile a couple of times.

This book is very tongue-in-cheek. We have a heroine who is more worried about social niceties, proper manners, and quality clothing than the fact that she is attacked by a vampire and has to deal w
Lois Bujold
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 is, a
Lisa Kay
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa Kay by: ✿Michelle✿, Sans, Lady Danielle, Carolyn F., Melanie
★★★★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

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
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Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance (and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G L Carriger). Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea. Join the Chirrup for sneak peaks of upcoming gigg ...more

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)

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