Soulless

Narrated by: Emily Gray
Series: Parasol Protectorate, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,091 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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?

Soulless is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea drinking.

The Parasol Protectorate

  • Soulless
  • Changeless
  • Blameless
  • Heartless
  • Timeless

For more from Gail Carriger, check out:

The Custard Protocol

  • Prudence
  • Imprudence

Finishing School (YA)

  • Etiquette & Espionage
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry
  • Manners & Mutiny

©2017 Gail Carriger (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Soulless

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good fun

Rather tongue-in-cheek take-off on the vampire/werewolf Victorian scene. The world-building by the author is complete and very well thought out/through. Clever dialogue. Fans of Georgette Heyer/Lois McMasters Bujold/Elizabeth Peters can rejoice. The prose is simply sterling, as is the vocabulary choice--nary a stumble over the wrong word.

But the one thing that sends this romp over the top is the narrator: like Grover Gardner for the Vorkosigan saga and Barbara Rosenblatt for the Peabody/Emerson series, Emily Gray is absolutely perfect as ALL the characters, as well as the running commentary that sends up the alternate Victorian era. A real listening pleasure.

32 people found this helpful

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Somewhat good for steampunky supernatural type

This book was alright. Nothing really to write home about. Definitely lost time period in the conversation and remarks at time and became way too 2000teens. Some of the slips broke spell as they say. But I started reading it because I have decided to read steampunk style books and this was at the top of someone's steampunk list. I would however, suggest anyone read the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman over this one if getting into steampunk. Also, the Leviathan Triligy by Scott Westerfield, and for classics do Time Machine and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I will be reading the rest of these parasol protectorate so we will see how it goes.

11 people found this helpful

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Oh Wow

This book was fantastic. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next, It mad laugh and laugh at Alexia and Lord McCann's banter between each other. They kept getting into funny predicaments. I love the characters they were funny and lovable. We had humans, vampires werewolves and a preternatural. I most definitely will do more in this series. The narrator did a great job with the voices of each character.

3 people found this helpful

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Guy review

The world is interesting. The love senses are brief. Overall nice story snarky MC. Narration was done well.

3 people found this helpful

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exceptional narration for a very good story

Once I got hooked by the story about 30 minutes in, I really enjoyed it. There's some VERY soft porn, but it was part of character development- the virgin spinster and all that. The narration was some of the best I have heard, if not the best! There was a unique voice for every character, and they were easily recognizable- an amazing accompaniment for this character laden book. I thoroughly recommend it!!

3 people found this helpful

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First enjoyable audible read - made me laugh & totally addicted

I started and restarted reading this series of books a year ago and could not get through this first one. I recently started the trial of Audible when I had to drive several hours to visit a friend. I chose this book as an experiment. I wanted to ascertain if the oral presentation of the story would make a difference. It did. The performance of the actress who gave voice to the characters was absolutely marvelous. The accents and emphasis she applied to help the listener get to know the characters and follow the story line was transformative. In general I do not like romance novels or what I consider ‘sappy’ girl meets boy plot formulas; however, the author provided enough content, included my favorite ‘monster lore’ & enhanced the lore with her own unique tweaks and gave the characters sufficient personalities & depth to keep me engaged through to the end. My biblio-addiction is now complete. Thank you Audible. Thank you Ms. Carriger. On to listening to book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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Extremely Entertaining

This series is not a literary masterpiece that will make you cry and shout and question your existence - but it will make you laugh. Out loud. I listened to this at work and got some weird looks when I couldn't stop giggling. In fact, I was so amused that I listened to the rest of the series over the next week or so, as well.
Alexia is wonderful - funny, bold, sassy and humorously prim. I love a good spinster romance story, and a gruff Scottish love interest is even better. Lord Akeldama somehow endeared himself to me - even though I usually find the flamboyant gay man with a flock of young, vain lovers cheap, overly done, and a transparent/flimsy attempt to curry favor from the gay population and "trendy" hangers-on.
The series as a whole almost felt like a parody of a mixed bag of other genres. There were some plot lines that I found a bit implausible, and some jokes that were downright cheesy, but that was part of the appeal. After a string of disappointing and/or heavy books, this book was refreshing. Like settling in and watching a campy, absurd, slightly British comedy after marathoning depressing historical biographies.
That said, I warn you to not get discouraged by the 2nd book. It's miles below the rest in quality and will make you hate Ivy for being so stupid, and hate both the author and Alexia for constantly pointing it out. Also, I feel like Alexia develops into quite the pompous matron as the books go on; like a comedian whose humour turns mean after awhile, when running low on material.
Still, the romance was fun while being not too smutty, there was plenty of action, all the main characters were quite lovable and well-developed, and Alexia herself is a unique, larger-than-life blast! I'd recommend anyone read the first book, at the very least, if you're having a bad day!

4 people found this helpful

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Downton Abbey just got the HBO treatment

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED THIS BOOK. It was very funny and written so beautifully and cleverly that I found even the exposition parts to be enjoyable. Gail did a fantastic job at world building though I would like to know if there are more supernatural creatures besides werewolves, vampires and ghosts. It is never really said if there are and there was plenty of opportunities to do so. Alexia is a very strong and relatable character who was just the right amount of awkward without it being her main appeal. Emily did a fantastic job with the performance and gave the story life and wit, I am certain that I would have enjoyed the book a bit less if I had read it and not listened to it.

Moving to book 2!

6 people found this helpful

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a fun story

I came across this series thanks to the manga some years ago. I quite enjoyed it, and imagine my surprise when I found out it was almost a word for word recreation of the book! I absolutely love it.

1 person found this helpful

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Hilarious, scary,sexy

This book has it all! A whacking good tale and unashamed bodice AND waistcoat ripper that had me laughing out loud at times!

1 person found this helpful