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Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail…
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Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Gail Carriger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0953411,810 (3.95)575
Member:Sable677
Title:Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)
Authors:Gail Carriger
Info:Orbit (2009), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Soulless by Gail Carriger (2009)

  1. 231
    Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (nessreader, lquilter)
    nessreader: The heroine of Soulless has a similar outlook to early Amelia Peabody (but I should warn that the Peabody series is cosy crime/romance, with no supernatural element while Soulless is gleeful fantasy) Both have strong willed on-the-shelf spinsters who are active protagonists in their story.… (more)
    lquilter: Without knowing, I'd imagine that Gail Carriger had read Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series (beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank) before writing Blameless (et seq). Similar era, similarly cranky and forthright spinster protagonist, similar sort of love affair, similar witty dialog and observations. The Amelia Peabody books are, of course, "straight" historical mystery, without the steampunk elements of Carriger's series, but I imagine that Carriger fans who read out-of-genre also will enjoy the Peters' series. Similarly, Peters fans who like SF, steampunk, or vampires/werewolves, might enjoy the Carriger series.… (more)
  2. 172
    Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede (kiesa)
    kiesa: Sorcery and Cecelia is a young adult novel but aspects of Soulless reminded me of it.
  3. 80
    To Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis (rhonna)
  4. 82
    Changeless by Gail Carriger (VampLibrarian)
  5. 40
    Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For Victorian heroines of inhuman nature.
  6. 41
    The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder (GirlMisanthrope)
  7. 20
    Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis (amysisson)
    amysisson: Although this book is YA while "Soulless" is more adult, they have a similar feel and wit.
  8. 31
    Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine (reconditereader)
  9. 20
    New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear (GirlMisanthrope, jlynno84)
    GirlMisanthrope: vampires and dirigibles, too. One of my favorites.
    jlynno84: Paranormal, steampunk with a mystery to solve
  10. 31
    The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey (lyrrael)
  11. 21
    Moonshine by Alaya Johnson (Mumugrrl, MyriadBooks)
    Mumugrrl: Both books are set in urban, alternative realities, with humans openly interacting with preternatural society. Both have great strong heroines.
  12. 11
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (crimeminister)
  13. 12
    The Information by Martin Amis (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These two books are witty satirical fiction in which London, England is a main topic.
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» See also 575 mentions

English (338)  Hungarian (2)  French (1)  All languages (341)
Showing 1-5 of 338 (next | show all)
I don't think of myself as overly fussy when reading genre, but I thought this books was terrible and I couldn't hope to finish it. Sloppy right, stock characters, hackneyed plot and glaring anachronisms really put me off.

Alexia is a "soulless" someone without a soul, who nullifies the supernatural powers of Victorian England's werewolves, vampires etc. After accidentally killing a vampire, Alexia is plunged into a dangerous mystery alongside the hunky werewolf Lord Maccon.

Paranormal fanatasy is, I grant, typically a hotbed (heh) of mediocrity and shabby writing, but hordes of glowing reviews (including a starred one from the usually-reliable Publishers Weekly) inspired me to give Soulless a shot. I was disappointed to find a book awash in the typical issues of the genre.

The first, and biggest, issue is the writing. Carriger is a clumsy writer. She mercilessly abuses the third person omniscient perspective, head-hopping from character to character in the course of a few paragraphs. This is interspersed with many an awkward info-dump, filling in facts about the world that seem conjured as needed and seemingly without reason or consistency.

Compounding this is the terrible cod-regency tone. I'm not a stickler who will complain about use of the wrong width of thread or something, but when a character - in *Victorian England* - is using the word "Gee" as an exclamation, I throw up my hands. That's just pure laziness, and an attentive author (or an editor doing their job) should have caught it immediately. I didn't finish the book, but what I did read is peppered with glaring anachronisms like this in in dialogue, in social mores etc. It's terrible, theme-park writing.

The characterisation is little better. Alexia is, naturally, super-special whilst not being special at all, no one is able to appreciate her specialness except her love interest and all the actual characters that matter. She is considered homely, except is actually kinda totally beautiful and immediately captures the attention of hunky man she's attracted to. And so on. The characters aren't even cut-outs - no one bothered to cut them out, including a homophobic portrayal of a gay person straight out of a Carry On movie.

The plot - what I read of it - was episodic, A leads to B, leads to C etc that is quite common to a lot of books. It was at this point that I stopped reading.

If you haven't guessed, I though this was a terrible book, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. ( )
  patrickgarson | Apr 21, 2014 |
Formulaic? Yes, a bit, but still wonderfully fun. Alexia is made of awesome, with just enough realistic insecurity without being a shuddering wreck of low self-esteem. Also, I want her parasol. I love Floote, and Professor Lyall's continual struggle with Lord Maccon's atrocious lack of manners. I do sort of wish the courtship between Alexia and Lord Maccon had been far more drawn out, a la Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. It was a bit abrupt and easy for my tastes. The mystery was fairly obvious, but heck, once you've read a bunch of mystery novels, you kind of learn where to spot the trick. And hopefully in the next book, the author will stop beating us over the head with the fact that Alexia is half-Italian and therefore "tan". We get it, already. But other than those nitpicky things (and I freely admit, I'm very picky), it was funny to the point of having me giggling out loud, and I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next book. ( )
  blitheandbonny | Apr 6, 2014 |
I found this book extremely humorous. I loved Alexia's blunt and quirky personality. Many times I found myself smiling and thinking, "That sounds like something I would think!"
( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
I found this book extremely humorous. I loved Alexia's blunt and quirky personality. Many times I found myself smiling and thinking, "That sounds like something I would think!"
( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
With a strong female lead and a delightful cast of supporting characters, Soulless is well worth your time. ( )
  Vantine | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 338 (next | show all)
Carriger debuts brilliantly with a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy of manners and alternate history.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 24, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gail Carrigerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caballero, DerekPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gray, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karlin, LenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panepinto, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricci, DonnaCover modelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening.
Quotations
Professor Lyall was reminded of his Alpha's origins. He might be a relatively old werewolf, but he had spent much of that time in a barely enlightened backwater city in the Scottish Highlands. All the London ton acknowledged Scotland as a barbaric place. The packs there cared very little for the social niceties of daytime folk. Highland werewolves had a reputation for doing atrocious and highly unwarranted things, like wearing smoking jackets to the dinner table. Lyall shivered at the delicious horror of the very idea.
No one ever explained the octopuses.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Alexia Tarabotti, a woman without a soul who is viewed as unable to marry, works with werewolf Lord Conall Maccon to clear her name after she accidently kills a vampire and is suspected of the disappearances of other undead members of high society.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316056634, Mass Market Paperback)

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 a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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? Or 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 a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking."--Nielsen.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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