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Soulless (2009)

by Gail Carriger

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Parasol Protectorate (1), Parasol Universe (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,6155111,708 (3.88)747
Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:Buffy meets Jane Austen in the first book of this wickedly funny NYT bestselling series about a young woman whose brush with the supernatural leads to a deadly investigation of London's high society.
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-drinki
… (more)
Recently added byRini55, private library, MHenderson15, missingdust, Kitti_foil, BooksMcG
  1. 291
    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. 203
    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. 121
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (rhonna)
  4. 113
    Changeless by Gail Carriger (VampLibrarian)
  5. 51
    The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder (GirlMisanthrope)
  6. 40
    Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For Victorian heroines of inhuman nature.
  7. 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
  8. 31
    Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine (reconditereader)
  9. 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.
  10. 31
    The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey (lyrrael)
  11. 20
    The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (al.vick, al.vick)
  12. 20
    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (kgriffith)
  13. 20
    God Save the Queen by Kate Locke (binarydude)
  14. 10
    The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (lazybee)
  15. 10
    The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ablachly)
  16. 10
    Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (al.vick)
  17. 10
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Luisali)
  18. 10
    The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton (nessreader)
    nessreader: Steampunk romcom urban fantasy (urbane fantasy!) pitched to anglophiles.
  19. 10
    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (caittilynn)
  20. 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.

(see all 24 recommendations)

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» See also 747 mentions

English (503)  Hungarian (2)  Spanish (1)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  All languages (508)
Showing 1-5 of 503 (next | show all)
In an alternative timeline wherein vampires, werewolves and ghosts have openly declared themselves and are regulated by the government in Victorian England, Alexia Tarabotti is a stubborn, prickly spinster living in the bosom of her overwhelming family. Except Alexia is different, in that she has been born without a soul. What follows is her escapades as she is inadvertently involved in the abduction of the supernatural entities of London, and attempts to make sense of the romantic inclinations of a werewolf.

This story was absolutely delicious. Funny, witty and clever, Alexia is far from the traditional heroine, and the story is an interesting fusion of period pieces and urban fantasy. I'd hesitate to call it urban fantasy, since it was set in Victorian England, but the steampunk in the book was so tangential to the story that I wouldn't want to classify it as that, either. What I would definitely call it was fun, and definitely worth the read. I'm looking forward to reading the next two in the series.

If you'd like something similar, though nowhere near as funny or witty, try Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series. Particularly similar to this book is The Serpent's Shadow, a book that follows a half-Indian female doctor who is just trying to find her way in a country that's foreign to her, and filled with hidden dangers. ( )
  lyrrael | Aug 3, 2023 |
This story is a blend of Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes and a romantic novel about a Scottish Lord and an English Lady. It gets even better, because it has werewolves, vampires and other supernaturals and preternaturals in it. It is funny, exciting, romantic and has a great heroine. Steampunk at its finest. I loved the language, I loved the romance, I loved the exciting adventures and I loved the way the supernatural world and the human world interact with each other. I especially loved all the characters and I wish I could read more about them. And I can, because it is the first in this series! So see you later, I have more books to read! ( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
Another book I just picked up because it looked fun, and before I knew it I'd been completely sucked in. I really enjoyed it. It was humorous, and had some twists and turns. No real surprises with the mystery, but a very enjoyable read. Am looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  KayleeWin | Apr 19, 2023 |
Basically, I picked this book up because for certain reasons I figured it'd be good karma. Honestly, werewolves and vampires in Victorian London? Not really my thing. But the steampunk part intrigued me a little more, but even so I had no hopes of liking this book. Vampires bore me a lot.

To my surprise I found myself loving it. Oh, yes, Miss Tarabotti does suffer from the special snowflake syndrome, being soo much better than your average lady of the time, but this did not bother me as much as it could have. I found myself liking her sisters and airhead best friend, and I don't think they were treated too poorly by the narrative either. Miss Tarabotti isn't your average Victorian lady, since she doesn't possess a soul. Although, as we find out, she still suffers from a whole range of emotions, not all of them proper.

There are a lot of not nearly but definitely getting there sex-scenes in the book, but I thought they were hilarious, in a good way. They may not all have been necessary (come ON, the bad guys have you captured and are torturing your friend - and you're trying to seduce your boyfriend? Alexia, you know better than that...), but hey, compared to a lot of others books I've read this year no twins fucked each other, so that was a plus!

The fact that I am far from a library with no means to pick up the next book in the series annoyed me so much I had to buy all five books, hoping they'll be waiting for me when I get home from my vacation. This did not seem like my genre at all, but it turns out I may not know what kind of books I like after all. ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
Fun read. A bit different than I usually read but it was good. ( )
  bangerlm | Jan 17, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 503 (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 (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gail Carrigerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Caballero, DerekPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eckwall, JensineIllustratorsecondary 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.
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Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:Buffy meets Jane Austen in the first book of this wickedly funny NYT bestselling series about a young woman whose brush with the supernatural leads to a deadly investigation of London's high society.
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-drinki

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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.
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