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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

4.2 (3577 )
5 star
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4.2 (2753 )
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Story
4.4 (2725 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Julia 04-18-12
    Julia 04-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much fun!"

    This entire series is so much fun. I listened to all of them back to back, I was so into them.
    The narrator does a stellar job, so I'd highly recommend to read them as audio books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-16-12
    04-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted to like it."

    I tried several times to get into this book. I don't know whether it was the narrator or what but I thought the story line lacked. I usually know if I will like a book with in the first few chapters and I just didn't like the main character so I knew it wasn't going to be my favorite. I finished, but I was like eeh it was alright.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcie CULLMAN, AL, United States 04-16-12
    Marcie CULLMAN, AL, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2011

    To Read or Not To Read

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love It!"

    I had read and reviewed Soulless by Gail Carriger previously on my website. Even though I loved Soulless I had not continued on with the series right away. Since a year had passed I decided I wanted to 're-read' this book. I downloaded it from audible and was not disappointed.
    Emily Gray narrates this fantastic book. She really seem to capture the wit and humor of Alexia Tarabotti. Listening to this novel brought to life the words of Gail Carriger. Gray reads how I imagined Alexia to sound in my head. I especially liked hearing the heated exchanges between Alexia and Lord Maccon read aloud. There are some blush worthy scenes in this book. Gray does a fantastic job with giving each of the characters their own voice. This is definitely one of the best audio books I've come across.
    If you've not had the chance to read Soulless yet you need to. It has mystery, romance, werewolves and steampunk. It's a highly enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delah 04-15-12
    Delah 04-15-12 Member Since 2012

    Which came first... the books or the glasses?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Narrator - Just not into Sci Fi I guess"

    The narrator is really good. Some of the story was good, even some of the sci fi parts but too much sci fi turns me off as I am not a sci fi reader in general. I can take a little sci fi. I was enjoying the story to a point but then it got too much into the sci fi talk and it started to lose me. I had to give it up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Harlingen Tx., TX, United States 03-28-12
    George Harlingen Tx., TX, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2015
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    "If you dig romance novels"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No I just did not like this book. It was interesting how it was written, but I will not read another.


    Has Soulless turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Do you think Soulless needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No Not interested in reading one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 03-27-12
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You can't just have one..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If the friend had a camp sense of humor and wanted to be entertained with a detective story set in an alternate victorian England, I would. Must want to laugh about vampires and werewolves.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The heroine is very unusual and the love story that develops is not predictable. Strong heroine in any era.


    Have you listened to any of Emily Gray???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She gives a great performance, very well suited to the tone of this satire, ernest where it needs to be, light in other parts, she gives Alexia the perfect voice. Often made me laugh out loud


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It often made me laugh or guffaw at some of the more camp passages. I got the book on a promo sale and did not know what to expect, what i was getting into. Now I want to get all the rest of the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Belleville, IL, United States 03-17-12
    Barbara Belleville, IL, United States 03-17-12 Member Since 2015
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    "One of the best"
    What did you love best about Soulless?

    If Jane Austen and Dr. Seuss had a love child it would be Gail Carriger. I am so jealous of her command of the language and her bizarre imagination. She combines the Victorian English of Austen with the vivid imagery of Seuss to write some of the funniest prose I have ever heard. I generally hate sex scenes in books, they are typically so overwrought, but these are the best sex scenes ever!! Hilarious. I have purchased well over 1000, yes I said 1000 books, from Audible and I have never bothered to write a review before but I enjoyed these books so much I had to take moment to sing their praises. I raced through all five books. I also hooked a friend on them who also raced through all five books. We both have Ph.Ds by the way, so not just for the young adult. Please Ms. Carriger...write quickly!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Soulless?

    No spoilers from me. Just don't listen to it in places where you would be embarassed to laugh out loud to yourself.


    Have you listened to any of Emily Gray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Emily Gray is my new favorite narrator. I would like her to start freelancing with other companies and spend all of her time reading as many books as possible. Her ability to find the perfect voice for each character and the perfect inflection for each phrase is unsurpassed by any other narrator I have ever listened to. These books would not have been nearly as funny without her as the reader. I am in awe of her ability to create so many separate characters each with such distinct personalities.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Hilarious is my first response. You become very attached to the characters and the villians are villians you will love to hate. Great fun....I would not steer you wrong my darling blue bells!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger 03-16-12 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator, Emily Gray, was fantastic!"

    Bought on Audible

    What I Loved: Soulless was a wonderful mix of romance, intrigue, and all things proper English (with a supernatural twist). This is the first steampunk novel that I have ever read/listened too. The mixture of science and story were both intriguing and fun to read. The amount of description in this book for everything (clothing, buildings, instruments) took some getting used too but afterward was a fantastic way to get a visual of this world. The story itself was fantastic and Alexia was a great central character. She was very multi-dimensional despite not having a soul. I loved Lord Maccon too, he was the perfect match for her.

    What I Liked: Soulless would not be the book it is without all the supporting characters. They continually add to the story in the most unexpected ways. I love her friendships with the unfortunately dressed friend and her dandy vampire. They were both good companions for her to have.

    Complaints: None

    Audiobook Review: The narrator, Emily Gray, was fantastic! The only voice I found annoying was Mr. Seimens but even then he was annoying anyway. The reading pace was fantastic and the nuances were just perfect.

    Why I gave it a 4: Soulless was more than I expected and kept me interested from beginning to end. I will be continuing this series and in audiobook.

    Who I would recommend it too: Steampunk Readers

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Oak Park, IL, United States 03-07-12
    Regina Oak Park, IL, United States 03-07-12 Member Since 2015

    Regina

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    "Fun, Light Romance"
    Where does Soulless rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I am so mixed on my rating for this book but I think I will settle on 3.5 stars. The narration is fabulous and deserves a full five stars. Emily Gray performs the various voices convincingly – men and women from various countries and with multiple styles of accents. The jokes, inner monologue observations and one liners are hilarious. These are all delivered in a manner that subtlety makes fun of the prim and proper rules of the Victorian era. The humor drives the story, carries the story and also deserves five stars. The world building is interesting, not intricate or complex but it is interesting. For me the weakest part of the book is the storyline and the characters. Not that I didn’t like the characters, they are just not fully developed; their portrayal is more akin to a tv show, which is not a bad thing. I think it is purposeful. The storyline is enjoyable but I was not on the edge of my seat nor did I care too much about what was happening, I was more interested in Alexia’s - -the main character – jokes and thoughts. And well, there is a romance – between a prim and proper “spinster” who is 25 year old and a strong brash Scottish werewolf who is centuries old. The romance was not original, but it had some very amusing scenes (typically involving a naked werewolf in human form).

    Alexia is a funny character. She is the child of a proper British lady and an Italian lothario. Apparently, Alexia bears the mark of her father in that she has a strong nose and “tan” skin. Due to these characteristics combined with a highly assertive personality, Alexia was put on the “shelf” at the age of 15 and not permitted to be presented to society. Her family treats her like a non-servant Cinderella and she sees herself as they do – unattractive due to her Italian characteristics and overbearing. These short-comings from society’s point of view made Alexia interesting and refreshing to read about.

    So where does that leave a person trying to decide if they want to read this book? Honestly, I am not sure but here are my thoughts:

    1. Do you enjoy books primarily driven by romance ?
    2. Do you enjoy jokes and musings about naked men?
    3. Do you think that Scottish men are the sexiest men alive?
    4. Do you enjoy rewritings of the Cinderella tale?

    If your answer is Yes to any combination of 1, 2 or 3 then I suggest you read this book and read it soon. If your answered No to 1, 2 and 3 or you answered Yes or No to 4, then I have some further thoughts to ponder (really #4 has no determination at all on this highly scientific process, I just threw it in):

    5. Does the Victorian era fascinate you? And if it does, can you have a good time poking fun at this time period?
    6. Do you enjoy books that make you laugh out loud?
    7. Can a fabulous narration job make a book for you?

    If you answered Yes to both 5 and 6 (even if you did not answer yes to 1-4), then I say give this book a try! If you answered Yes to 7 in any combination with all of the questions, then try the audio if you can get it from your library.

    So there you have it! I am glad I listened to this book, if I find myself without an audio book or if there is a fabulous audible sale that includes #2 in this series then I will move on and listen to #2.


    What does Emily Gray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Emily Gray does the performance very well. Her accents and voices are a true performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Atlanta, GA, United States 03-06-12
    Eric Atlanta, GA, United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2005
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    "To my total surprise, I LOVED this book!"

    I chose this book as a last minute choice and I absolutely loved it. The lead characters sense of humor and Victorian sensibilities had me sitting in my car to finish chapters. This book is somewhat of a cross between Jane Austin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Twilight series, but much, much, much more fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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