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Alexia Tarabotti has been on the shelf since she was fifteen. Her mother decided her Italian heritage and unconventional looks (dark hair, dark eyes and the predilection of tanning) was too much to overcome, that no gentleman would seriously pursue Alexia. So she made the early decision to concentrate her attention and money on securing good marriages for her two younger daughters. What her mother didn’t know was this suited Alexia just fine.
Alexia enjoys the freedom spinsterhood allows her; to read whatever she likes, consort with flamboyant friends and concentrate on finding the best foods Victorian London can provide. Plus, well it would be a scandal if it came out to society that Alexia was born without a soul. Soullessness can be an advantage when dealing with some of the residents of London, Werewolves, Vampires and Ghosts, since just her touch negates their power. This comes in handy when a very rude vampire has the audacity of attacking Alexia at party, thereby tossing Alexia into Lord Maccon’s path again, (how many times does she have to say the Hedgehog was not her fault?) and into the mystery of why all the lone wolves and rogue vampires are disappearing from all around England….
If you are looking for historical accuracy of Victorian London, with insights into the life and times of the people living in this period, this is NOT the book for you. If you are looking for a funny, witty, romantic, melodramatic action-packed supernatural romp, then I highly recommend this book to you! I enjoyed every second of this book, the ridiculousness of pairing proper Victorian manners when being attacked by an unknown Vampire is hilarious. Alexia and the rest of the characters are over the top in their personalities and are just fun to read. And the mystery at the core of this book is well thought out as well, setting up future villains and problems in the books to come. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series!
I picked up this book purely because of the author description “Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriated Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life for Europe and inadvertently acquired an education. She now resides in the Colonies with a harem of American lovers and tea imported from London.” If you find this as humorous and intriguing as I did, like urban fantasy without sparkling vampires, and enjoy a bit of steampunk thrown in for flavor, I think you will really like this book. (Not a Kids Book)— Amber
October 2009 Indie Next List
“Victorian London has never been more fun than in the company of Alexia Tarabotti. This refreshing blend of manners, parasols, werewolves, and vampires will appeal to fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Jane Austen -- and it will have everyone laughing out loud. Alexia is a character to treasure.”
— Katie Glasgow, Mitchell Books, Fort Wayne, IN
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
For more from Gail Carriger, check out:
The Custard Protocol
Finishing School (YA)
Etiquette & Espionage
Curtsies & Conspiracies
Waistcoats & Weaponry
Manners & Mutiny
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award. A manga adaptation released in Spring 2012 and a young adult series set in the same universe -- the Finishing School series -- launched in Spring 2013. Gail is soon to begin writing a new adult series, The Parasol Protectorate Abroad (2015).
"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 (Starred Review)
"Deliciously, vampiricly satiric, a tremendously clever, sexy read."—Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author
"Laugh out loud funny and refreshingly different, SOULLESS kept me turning pages well into the night. I enjoyed every minute of this wonderfully unexpected twist on paranormals...Wickedly funny."—Angie Fox, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer
"I was enchanted from start to finish."—sfrevu.com
"Light-hearted and fast-paced, Soulless will please fans of fantasy, historical fantasy and paranormal romance alike."—The Miami Herald
"Soulless is a character-driven romp with great world building and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse."—i09.com
"Soulless has all the delicate charm of a Victorian parasol, and all the wicked force of a Victorian parasol secretly weighted with brass shot and expertly wielded. Ravishing."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians