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Soulless by Gail Carriger
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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
4,9444641,514 (3.9)722
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?… (more)
Recently added byrena40, private library, braveandthebold, Europa_Erupts, elam11, Grumpyone, wildwily, KWilkes13
  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. 202
    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. 120
    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
    God Save the Queen by Kate Locke (binarydude)
  8. 31
    Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine (reconditereader)
  9. 20
    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (kgriffith)
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 10
    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Luisali)
  13. 10
    Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (al.vick)
  14. 10
    The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (lazybee)
  15. 10
    The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ablachly)
  16. 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.
  17. 21
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (crimeminister)
  18. 10
    The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (al.vick, al.vick)
  19. 10
    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (caittilynn)
  20. 11
    These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker (LongDogMom)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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» See also 722 mentions

English (459)  Hungarian (2)  French (1)  Piratical (1)  German (1)  All languages (464)
Showing 1-5 of 459 (next | show all)
“Soulless” did not live down to its title. It is, in fact, a book that demonstrates remarkable spirit and significant amounts of pluck under pressure.

Set in an alternative Victorian London, in which vampires and werewolves have been Establishment figures for centuries, dirigibles fill the sky and respectable young ladies do not move about town without a chaperon, “Soulless” tells of the trials and tribulations that befall the remarkable Miss Alexia Tarabotti after she unintentionally kills an impertinent vampire with the aid of a hair stick and a parasol.

Miss Tarabotti is remarkable not because of the stain of having had an Italian father from whom she has inherited unfashionably tanned skin and an over-proud nose, nor because, at twenty-seven she is still a spinster, nor even because of a regrettable tendency to read science and ask inconvenient questions, but rather because she was born without a soul. Being soulless gives her the ability to neutralize the powers of supernatural beings, cancelling out the over-abundance of soul that is believed to explain their existence.

“Soulless” is witty, fast-paced, and complex: It is delivered with a deftness of touch that keeps it from plummeting into the horrors of pastiche. It is far from simple to create a Victorian feel to a book while introducing supernatural beings and an alternative political history but Gail Carriger does it with an ease of execution and flair for linguistic nuance which enables me almost completely to overlook the misfortune of her having been born in America. This is, after all, not her fault.

“Soulless” provided me with a splendid diversion from its first page to its last. It was aided in this by skillful and playful narration by Emily Gray, who mastered not only the rhythm of the language and the pace of the humour but the wide variety of voices and accents that the book calls for.

If you feel the need, or simply are privileged enough to have the opportunity, to spend a few hours away from the cares and traumas of the early twenty-first century, then this reader recommends an excursion into a supernatural Victorian London in the company of Miss Alexia Tarabotti. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
This was an excellent read. Once I got past the first chapter...Miss Tarabotti or Alexia Tarabotti every other sentence was a bit much...but once I got past that first chapter, the book was fantastic. Can't wait to start the next one. ( )
  BelindaS7 | Apr 14, 2020 |
This was a creative and enjoyable story. Carriger crafts one of the most detailed and believable stumpunk societies that I have come across. I want to visit this world. Alexia is a likable character. I love way she's always thinking about the food being provided at parties and how inquisitive she is about things. The whole story was a bit reminiscent of a Jane Austen story. It had that feel about it - except the romance was steamier. :)

This book was the perfect way to relax on a weekend afternoon when I didn't want to think too hard about what I was reading. ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
This book took a while to connect for me. Up until about page 100 or so I would have given it 2 stars and called it "just ok" but once the characters started behaving as characters (and more importantly, interacting) the whole thing picked up and by the end I was enjoying myself much more. The humor of the book was hit and miss for me. When our Alpha werewolf is described as pacing about "looking vaguely magnificent" I was charmed but when introduced to characters named "Squire Loontwill" or "Lady Blingchester" I just had to sigh and slog on.

I'll be adding Changeless to my library request list because by the end of the book I'd grown to like the characters but I'm hoping the second in the series is more like the last 1/3 of Soulless than the first 2/3. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
This book took a while to connect for me. Up until about page 100 or so I would have given it 2 stars and called it "just ok" but once the characters started behaving as characters (and more importantly, interacting) the whole thing picked up and by the end I was enjoying myself much more. The humor of the book was hit and miss for me. When our Alpha werewolf is described as pacing about "looking vaguely magnificent" I was charmed but when introduced to characters named "Squire Loontwill" or "Lady Blingchester" I just had to sigh and slog on.

I'll be adding Changeless to my library request list because by the end of the book I'd grown to like the characters but I'm hoping the second in the series is more like the last 1/3 of Soulless than the first 2/3. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 459 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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