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
"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)
Recommend? Heh--I'd lock them in a room with it playing, to be certain they got started! It's a wonderfully humorous, romantic, action-adventure-ish story, with some absolutely hysterical character interactions--especially with the eminently practical yet charmingly proper and naive Miss Tarabotti. She is NOT a fainting fluff-brain, and her tongue is sharp enough to quail vampires and werewolves both. And, oh, but it *does!* The world she lives in is quite enjoyably believable, and Emily Gray's performance--especially that wonderful accent!--is absolutely *perfect* for this story. I'm off to acquire the rest of the series!
All of them! They're just spectacularly well-written and verbally performed.
I'll certainly look them up now!
Unfortunately, yes. Those pesky things *work* and *sleep* got in the way though...
Fun, fun, fun!
All those involving Tarabotti and her lover.
Not that I recall, but this one was excellent.
Nothing extreme, lots of chuckles along the way though.
The story starts off well and then becomes dull for a while, I almost gave up listening but am so glad I kept going. So glad to have found this series, can't wait to listen to the next one!
Tell us about yourself!
I hesitated getting this book, but because of the reviews I bought for the daily deal. It was a very pleasant surprise. I loved Ms. Tarabotti's humor. I am looking forward to the next episode. :^)
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
The reviews were so mixed on this book that I had to listen for myself. To begin with, some of the reviewers used "Amelia Peabody step aside" comments. I'm a longtime fan of Peters' Amelia Peabody series and thought it a huge leap for others to make that comparison. So let me set that part to rights up front. There are several elements that deserve appropriate comparison -- but it's not a match overall. To be fair it's close, but not a neck-and-neck race.
I normally stay away from vampire/werewolf stories. Just not my favorite kind of story. Do NOT shy away from this because of the magical characters. Their personalities are very human and the fantastical traits aren't distracting at all.
Here's what I loved about this book:
* The narrator is superb. She does wonderful justice to the characters, the storyline, the Victorian era and all the twists and turns in this book. Huzzah to Emily Gray!
* There are truly delightful characters in this book, too many to describe in this review. Trust me they are without peer. Afterall what author would name one of her characters Ivy Hisslepenny (sp?) if she weren't quite willing to imbue all of her characters with incredibly unique personalities.
* The storyline has twists, turns and momentum. Although this is certainly not a deep or thought provoking book, it is fun and interesting.
* There is an innate sense of humor behind this book that is charming.
What I found lacking:
* Some of the prolonged romantic scenes (read this as kissing and mild groping) went on too long for my taste. That's just me and might not disturb other listeners.
I whole heartedly recommend this book.
People that like the speech patterns of the Victorian era and very little steam in a romance book may enjoy it.
It didn't have any strength to the story. I found it boring until the very end of the book. The female character although had more backbone than other women of that time still needed more to her. There wasn't much to the romance either.
The speaking in proper names the majority of the time and then first name a few times was maddening to say the least. I'm sure there are others out there that like just a hint of romance and love the Victorian era. It just wasn't for me.
Narration was ok. She had a proper British accent and wasn't too bad on the Scottish.
I got it on the daily deal so it didn't cost me full price
I would! Especially if that friend loved tea and parasols and corsets!
Hmm this is actually a hard question for me. I really enjoyed all of the characters. But I think Alexia takes the cake. She is just so funny and smart, I really could picture her clear as day.
Lord Maccon! I loved how she did his voice. Scottish accent and all. She really is a fabulous reader.
There may spoilers here!
I'd have to say the scene where Alexia and Lord Maccon are being held prisoner. She sort of puts her guard down and you can see that she really doesn't see herself in a very positive light (when it comes to Lord Maccon's love interest in her).
First, I must confess that I don't usually listen to or read books about vampires/supernatural beings, but I bought this book because it was a daily special and had a lot of positive reviews.
So, I had to spend a very long day in a very big garage project and the book was my companion. It entertained me, I laughed out loud, and when the book was over, my garage was done.
The narrator was excellent, really made the book, in my opinion. BTW, how do authors think of things like these characters and situations? I'm constantly amazed at the imagination of so many and the benefit I derive from their willingness to share their crazy ideas! I will probably listen to another of these books because it was good entertainment.
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
I purchased this book last February (2012) at the Passion and Prose conference in Long Beach, Ca. where I meet Gail Carriger and she signed the book for me too! Why did it take me so long to get to this book? I have no idea! Everyone else has read it. Let me be the first to say "Shame on me!" I should have been done with the series by now.
Soulless is about a soulless spinster, Alexia Tarabotti who accidentally kills an attacking vampire. Yes! I said soulless as in without a soul. This is England and vampires, ghost and werewolves are apart of normal society with laws and societal rules governing them all. The accident causes Alexia to get involved in an few deadly and uncomfortable situations.
What's the deal with Alexia's soulless state? She was born without a soul and people born without a soul (preternatural) have the ability to cancel out others powers by touch. Vampire to regular person. Werewolf to regular person. Ghost? Not sure it didn't happen in the book so I am not sure if they become regular people too. Anyways, soulless people have to be registered with the BUR (a government agency that keeps track of the supernaturals in England) and Alexis is not. Her mom does not even know. Humm!
I really enjoyed the fun, comical, light heard characters in this book. Gail Carriger wrote each one of them extremely well.
This book has a bit of Cinderella in it too, which makes it so hilarious.
So why four stars and not five? Well, I have to say, if a character ask a question two or three times... shouldn't an author answer it somewhere, some how. "What' up with all the octopus motive everywhere?" How are you just going to ignore something like that. And two, this is completely me and I get it but still.....why is her dark skin soooo negative. I know the answer and I understand the time period but don't beat me over the head with it. DANG! I get it! She is not even dark. She olive due to her father being Italian. Got it! And that is why she can't get a man. OOKKKK!!!! *eye rolling* I am going to read the other books in the series cause I love Alexia so much. She is like a modern woman in her thinking, side comments and actions just stuck in a Victorian Era life.
Audiobook: 10 hrs and 52 mins
Narrator: Emily Gray
Again I did half read and half listen. This might be my new norm. Emily has a great voice and she seems to BE Alexia Tarabotti. I just wish they would have hired a male actor with a deep Scottish accent to be Lord Maccon when the book turns to his perspective.
Soulless is a thoroughly original Victorian romance steampunk romp featuring vampires, werewolves, and their antidote: the preternatural named Alexia Tarabotti. Amidst a frothy confection of Victorian guilded age manners is a gothic underworld of supernatural creatures in a delicate piece with the humans. But then vampires and werewolves start disappointing and Alexia finds herself allied with an utterly frustrating alpha werewolf. Will Alexia, the 'soul sucker' survive the week?
This is a completely amusing and fun book that is both tongue in cheek and also action packed. I was fortunate to listen to the audible version and the narrator really brought the English world alive - I highly recommend listening rather than reading to the story for that reason.
Victorian romance (which is what this is) really needed to be shaken up and author Gail Carriger succeeds admirably. It's one of those novels you both cheer for the main character but also try not to laugh out loud at her travails. I am eagerly looking forward to the next novel.
Yes, the narrator does an amazing job and the story, although not entirely "adult" is very witty and kept me interested.
The moment when Alexia is told that she is being told that she had been told for far too long that she was unworthy. It was very touching.
She did a great job with Alexia and Ivy. They seem to be two extremes in that day and age. Alexia so very intelligent, sarcastic and Alpha female and Ivy who is dense, a bit slow and prone to faint.
It made me giggle and laugh. I really enjoyed the interaction between the Earl and Alexia, their playful bickering like a couple who has been together for years and then being caught in compromised situations, for that period of time was really entertaining.
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