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Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel | [Gail Carriger]

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.
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Publisher's Summary

Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.

©2009 Tofa Borregaard (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Carriger debuts brilliantly with a blend of Victorian romance, screwball comedy of manners and alternate history....This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3225 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (2429 )
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Story
4.4 (2403 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Pamela I Greene 07-22-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amelia Peabody has competition"

    Followers of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody will fall in love with Miss Tarabotti. She's wonderfully sensible and completely witty in this alternate Victorian London. It's not that Ms. Carriger manages to meld elements from Jane Austin, Jules Verne and Bram Stoker, it's that she does it so extrordinarily well while crafting her own uniquely memorable tale. I can't wait for the others in this series to come out on tape - I'm headed for the bookstore now!

    38 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 06-30-10
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 06-30-10 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant!"

    Gail Carriger's debut of the parasol protectorate is just plain brilliant. Set in an alternative Victorian England where werewolves, vampires, and ghosts are productive members of society, Soulless takes the listener on a witty and eccentric mystery ride. While we enjoy a satiric portrayal of social graces in the spirit of Jane Austin, we are entertained by fantastical science in the spirit of Jules Verne. Emily Gray is an excellent choice in narrators for this farce fusion. You will like this book. I can't wait for the other books in this series to make it to Audible.

    52 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Strauser Columbus, OH USA 07-14-10
    M. Strauser Columbus, OH USA 07-14-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    "Delightfully dry!"

    I very much enjoyed both reading this book - and later listeniing to the performance in the audibook. The author has a wonderful dry wit! And the narration is on-target. I very much hope the next books in the series are available soon.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paige 08-03-10
    Paige 08-03-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent."

    I usually don't think that listening to a book can be better than reading it, but in this case I think it might have been. The narrator was absolutely perfect, her accents and tone really brought the already excellent book to life.

    The prose in this book was truly excellent, I almost got myself in trouble at the office because I kept laughing out loud. The story is compelling and the world is truly interesting. I am looking forward to more of the series!

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lila Gustavus Cutchogue, NY, United States 05-09-12
    Lila Gustavus Cutchogue, NY, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2011

    Lila Gustavus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fun read to while away boring hours."
    Any additional comments?

    This book was fun. Pure entertainment to while away boring and/or dull hours we all have here and there.

    I'll admit I have some mixed reactions to it and I was having a hard time deciding how to rate this novel. Some things just don't make sense. For example, Alexia's
    soullessness. It does give her that one supernatural (or rather, preternatural) power of taking away other supernaturals' powers by a single touch (sadly, no shape shifting or immortality involved) which is an interesting introduction to the paranormal genre. However, character-wise, Alexia couldn't be farther away from my idea of a soulless person (a psychopath comes to mind). I understand that to match the light and amusing tone of Soulless, Ms. Carriger couldn't make Alexia a completely evil woman, with no moral compass. But not a single, teeny tiny sinister trait? That's a little bit of a letdown. Sure, Ms. Tarabotti is stubborn, with an independent and untamed spirit, and with an alpha (of course, duh!!!) personality, but it is kind of mundane, if you ask me. For that alone, I wanted to give Soulless two stars.

    On the other hand, I truly enjoyed the light tone of the whole story. I liked the humor, I liked Alexia's and Lord Maccon's 'dance' around admitting their feelings and desire for each other (don't worry, I'm not really spoiling anything, as it's obvious from the beginning where their relationship is going). I also had fun with other characters, especially with Ms. Tarabotti's mother and half-sisters. You put them all in one room and you truly have a comedy of manners. Consequently, I did chuckle a few times and smiled almost all the time, while listening to Soulless. And the writing itself wasn't half bad either. It had a kind of a spring-in-its-step quality. For these reasons, I was ready to bump the rating up to four.

    In the end, after hoping that Alexia would suddenly do something deliciously evil and not getting it, I got stuck in the middle. I did like it enough to not consider it a waste of time but not enough, I'm afraid, to read the rest of Parasol Protectorate books (well, maybe if I find them during one of my frequent library sales excursions).

    P.S.

    The label attached to this book the most is 'steampunk'. Personally, I didn't notice many steampunk elements in Soulless. There was maybe one appearance of a dirigible delivering the queen of vampires' drone to Alexia. Not much that I can think of besides. Maybe because it's set in an alternate Victorian England? Definitely more fantasy than science-fiction, with werewolves and vampires taking the center stage.

    Narration

    I chose the audible version of Soulless and I'm glad of it. The narrator, Emily Gray, does a fantastic job conveying the sarcastic spark in Alexia and an overall humor of the story. She switches between characters and accents seamlessly. I never was confused as to which character was talking. Above all, Ms. Gray has a pleasant voice, breathes life into the novel and makes the listening experience worthwhile.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    georgiamom Georgia 07-11-10
    georgiamom Georgia 07-11-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    Absolutely fabulous! Gail Carriger is in danger of becoming my favorite author. "Soulless" was funny, romantic, and exciting. Great if you like science fiction, romance, or steam punk. In addition, the narrator was excellent. The best I've ever heard. This book was worth every penny!

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Leesburg, FL, USA 07-13-10
    Paula Leesburg, FL, USA 07-13-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bit of Everything"

    A wonderful mix of sci-fi, mystery and romance. I cannot wait for the second to be done in audio, even the narrator was amazing.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Houston, TX, USA 06-27-10
    Shelly Houston, TX, USA 06-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can not say enough about this series..."

    My friends at Murder By the Book recommended this series... I went ahead and got it and could not have been more pleased so I had to get the audible version too...The narrator was perfect. I can not wait for the next book to be available on here. It's now our book of the month for July on my blog. Highly recommend!!!

    31 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 08-19-10
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 08-19-10 Member Since 2001

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a fun story.....I want more"

    Alexia Tarabotti so ahead of her time.........I enjoyed every moment of this story I hope there will be more.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yuriko Fairfield, CA, United States 07-04-10
    Yuriko Fairfield, CA, United States 07-04-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    471
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    Overall
    "A lot of fun"

    This book is sort of a two-for-one deal for me. I love both regency and paranormal books and I thought the book blends both worlds very well. If you have a taste for bookish/strong minded/spinster(you get the idea) main character paired with a strong male lead, you might like to try this book. I had a good chuckle here and there and generally had a good time listening to it. I hope audible publishes the second book soon.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
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