Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : Hachette, c2009.
Edition: 1st Orbit ed. --
ISBN: 9780316056632
Characteristics: 373 p. --


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Dec 22, 2017

I'm afraid that I was never able to get immersed in this book. It is very important to have your characters be relatable in some way. Time and time again, others seem to strategize for our main heroine, and when she just jumps into the action despite her friends' warnings, the only thing I can get from her is irresponsible and cocky. The only reason she survives is that someone drags her out of danger. You would think entering a vampire hive would require a lot of thought beforehand and wit in order not to be killed. It's also unclear what the heroine is, a preternatural? This term was never defined in the beginning. It's clear that fantasizing about the rugged werewolf love interest has a lot more detail and... thought put into it. I have no doubt that this author can be creative, but this story throws me for a loop and is not immersive for me.

AL_STEFFEN Feb 08, 2017

SO GOOFY. Sorta a romance/steampunk hybrid. I couldn't help but laugh at the protagonist, even as I blushed to read this book in public. Scottish werewolves and gay vampires, foreplay and Victorian dresses.

lt_bibliosara Jan 06, 2017

I wish I could have given this book higher than three stars. If I'm being totally accurate, it would probably be closer to 3.5 stars. I absolutely loved the main character. Alexia is quirky, genuine, and smart (both attitude-wise and intelligence).

Set in the world of Victorian England, be ready for a big twist: paranormal and supernatural creatures exist in this world, and they are facing a great deal of problems. Prejudice is common, and plenty of supernaturals aren't quite behaving themselves. Carriger writes an amusing story that you just can't seem to put down. With handsome werewolves, flamboyant yet terrifying vampires, and our own soulless and lovable Alexia, the scene is set for a grand adventure.

So why only three stars? Well, despite the great characters and setting, I just didn't like the writing very well (it seemed fragmented and rushed at times), and I personally dislike when violence is passed off as humorous. Although the bad guy gets his due at the end, I also found the plot just not quite resolved enough. I would recommend this, however, for urban fantasy and fantasy romance lovers. It is a light take on historical urban fantasy, and will make you laugh more than it will make you hold your breath. (Plus, there's plenty of focus on the bad-boy werewolf.)

mvkramer Dec 02, 2016

After I read the Finishing School series - and found them to be bubbly and fun - I thought I'd pick up Carriger's first series. It was quite the disappointment. The writing is a lot clunkier and less - effervescent. It's just less fun. As always, it's heartening to learn that even a published author can grow and improve. I will follow Carriger and check out her new material, but won't keep digging into this series.

Oct 02, 2016

Perfect when you're in the mood for a light-hearted and fast-paced PNR

AL_BRIDGET Sep 16, 2016

This is a delightful mix of werewolves, vampires, a practical spinster, and surprising romance. I adore the characters and their witty banter almost as much as the delicious descriptions of food and snacks! Pick this up for a smart and funny take on romance and the supernatural.

Sep 08, 2016

As I’ve come to expect from Carriger’s work, Soulless is a witty romp through an alternate, supernatural Victorian England, with an added bit of oomph the romance department in comparison to the young adult works that introduced me to her oeuvre. Full review:

Jan 26, 2016

fun, fast paced reads; I enjoyed this series to the end.

Chapel_Hill_AmandaG Jul 25, 2015

I had so much fun reading this book! Gail Carriger created a strong-willed, practical, holds nothing back heroine. There was also the perfect amount of romance in here!

May 14, 2015

I think this falls more closely under Romance than Fantasy/Horror, with a steampunk/paranormal/gothic/alternate history setting. The author does well to make the tone very Jane Austen too, and oddly makes it all fit together. A couple chapters were purely a Romance novel syntax. But really, overall, an enjoyable read with a fascinating theory for the existence of supernatural. And I do want to know what the octopus is all about, so I may continue this series.

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Oct 19, 2015

Violet_Dog_481 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Nov 16, 2012

bambi99 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Sep 08, 2016

At twenty-six, Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster. With a dead Italian father, and a rather plain visage, she has made her peace with that. More troublesome is her soulless state, a fact known only to London’s supernatural denizens, including vampires and werewolves. Unfortunately, no one informed the newly made vampire who attacked her at the Duchess of Snodgrove’s ball that touching a soulless would steal away his supernatural abilities. When Alexia kills her attacker, she finds herself under investigation by Lord Maccon, head of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, and Queen Victoria’s deputy. But the investigation soon reveals that the attack on Alexia may have been merely the tip of a much bigger mystery.


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Sep 08, 2016

“Miss Tarabotti was not one of life’s milk-water misses–in fact, quite the opposite. Many a gentleman had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice–that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation.”


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