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)
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!
No spoilers from me. Just don't listen to it in places where you would be embarassed to laugh out loud to yourself.
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.
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!
Say something about yourself!
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.
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
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.
Emily Gray does the performance very well. Her accents and voices are a true performance.
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.
Yes, I read and listened to this and the audio version was fantastic
a mixture of janet evanovich and the twilight series
not that I know of
made me laugh out loud
This book was fantastic and I am so sad to see the series come to an end.
I got this from the 1st in a series sale. I've listened to about two hours and so far I hate it. I don't know if I will even finish it. The writer just plops you down in this confusing world like you should just know what she's talking about. The two leads are awful, they are both boring and not at all sexy, romantic, fun etc... So not what I was expecting or wanted. I listen to a lot of paranormal books (Harris, Butcher, Hocking, Clare, Meyer, Collins, Harper, Ward, Briggs, Vincent, Frost etc...) and I don't think I've ever been so confussed to the point I can't enjoy what I'm hearing.
I also bought Ruthless by Anne Stuart in the same sale - maybe that.
I never even heard of steampunk before. I purchased this book because the heroine sounded interesting. Then had to listen to them all. The world that is created in this series is fun, the action is compelling, and the conversations are a hoot. Love, love, love Gail Carriger and hope she is busy writing more books because I will be buying them. She even made me try tea again (I still don't like it much though). Worth the credit, or in my case, used a credit on this one, and then bought the other three because I couldn't wait for credit time to roll around. Awesome series.
Definitely the audio version is better than the print, because while this is a charming, fairly light-hearted fantasy, it's not great literature. However, Ms. Gray is a joy to listen to, and I may actually re-listen to the book.
I enjoy Miss Hisslepenny's drawl, (If I were younger, I'd be tempted to start talking like that). Her older English dame accent is classic and the pinched, nasal-sounding villain is perfect. Her heroine was perfect as well.
Richard Henry Valdez
One of my favorites. I became a steampunk fan after listened to it.
Alexia Tarabotti. Her character is smart, quick-witted and a power house.
Her British accent is perfect for the story.
Just one touch. And Emily Blunt would be perfect as Alexia Tarabotti.
This series is one of my favorites, and I'm sad to see that the fifth book will be Alexia Tarabotti's last, but Gail Carriger will write a new steampunk series, so I'll be ready for it. I wish, though, that the book was told in a first-person perspective, since Alexia is in every scene of the book.
A light but entertaining read, for those of us who like the occasional dose of fantasy. Well-written, well-read. (And a good buy for $4.95 on audible's "new series" sale.)
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