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Soulless: Book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate Paperback – 2 Sep 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

Soulless: Book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate + Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate + Blameless: Book 3 of The Parasol Protectorate
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Product details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841499722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841499727
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P. G. Wodehouse (

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)

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)

Soulless is a potent cocktail of genres - fantasy, horror, steampunk, romance and comedy. It's light-hearted, escapist fodder . . . One is amused (SciFiNow)

Funny, action-packed, sometimes raunchy, unashamedly fashion-conscious steampunk adventures (Trudi Canavan (SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author))

Book Description

Buffy meets Jane Austen in this wickedly funny debut novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rachel VINE VOICE on 21 Nov. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Well this one is a stumper....hard to know how to categorise it. In a world of infinite possibilities, someone, somewhere thought to ask the question, 'what would happen if I crossed victorian morality with historical urban fantasy, added a dash of high camp Carry-on and then threw in some werewolves, vampires and fashion tips?'. Soulless is the quirky and delightful answer to that bizarre question. a triumph of style over substance, this boasts little plot to speak of and yet is carried forward briskly by the deliciously spiky and most sarcastic voice of the narrator.

It was a brave and clever publisher that took a chance on this. It fits no neat box and as such could appeal to anyone with a taste for the dialogue of a Buffy episode filtered by way of Charles Dickens. If you have a dry wit and a way with words, there are quotes to be had for you here! I revelled in Ms Carriger's linguistic playfullness. Ultimatly this was less a novel than an excuse to show off an excitable imagination and a command of obscure vocabulary. that said, the plot, such as it was, exploded forcefully in the final few chapters and if this is seen as delightful prelude to a startlingly original new series then in book 2, perhaps having established her rules, convention and voice, Ms Carriger will truly dazzle us all. Recommended- but for who and why, i will have to remain silent!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Boof TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jan. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What an absolute treat this book was to read! I absolutely loved it. I was recommended this book a few months ago so I picked up a copy when in NYC in December as it wasn't out in the UK then. Then in January I was lucky enought to interview Gail for this blog and was even more fascinated and intriguied when I read her answers. Who knew a book about vampires, werewolves and ghosts wandering around Victorian London and attending tea-parties would be so much fun? From the minute I cracked open the spine I knew I was in for a great ride. Our heroine is Miss Alexia Tarabotti and she has fast become one of my favourite characters in any book: she's feitsy, speaks her own mind, sarcastic, soulless, large chested and so funny!
In the opening pages, Miss Tarabotti accidentally kills a rogue vampire who tries to attack her, and although she is put out that said vampire doesn't appear to know that she was born without a soul and therefore immune to any supernatural attack, she is more annoyed that the vampire landed in the middle of the food table and on top of the treacle tart, which she had particularly been looking forward to. Within minutes, The Earl of Wolsey, Lord Maccon, arrives in the middle of the mess - he has been sent by Queen Victoria to investigate the mystery of disappearing registered vampires and appearing rogue vampires. Lord Maccon also happens to be a werewolf, the Alpha at that, and Miss Tarabotti appears to exasperate him at every turn. The characters are what really made this book, for me. Alexia aside, I also fell in love with Lord Akeldama, a flambouyant vampire who practically minces through the pages, and Lyall, Lord Maccon's beta werewolf and sidekick are fantastic, as are the vile Mrs Loontwill (Alexia's mother) and her two sisters.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Skeadugenga TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very fun read. As the first in what I expect will be a successful series it was an intriguing mystery with some characters that I hope will continue into the next books and a lot of comedy (I'd love to know what exactly happened with the hedgehog).

It took me a couple of pages to get used to the initially very formal style, this is just scene setting and by the end of the first chapter things were rollicking along. Alexia is a very appealing character and her practicality in the face of supernatural beings made me laugh out loud.

Suffering from the twin social disabilities of lack of soul and a deceased Italian father (the latter being the most socially damning) she's a cross between Mary Poppins and Elizabeth Bennett with a dash of Cinderella thrown in. Bored by the limitations of her position she is resourceful at involving herself in situations where she can be of use, since her lack of soul makes her a unique asset in finding out who is creating new and unsanctioned vampires in London.

The book is "a Steampunk murder mystery with werewolves", but the thing I was most strongly reminded of were Georgette Heyer's regency romances. Whatever, it was good fun and I'll be reading more from this author, I like her sense of humour.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steampunk TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this, the first of these books, just because I'd heard them described as 'Steampunk'. When it arrived and I saw the blurb about vampires and werewolves, my heart sank. This wasn't what I'd wanted at all.

Within a few pages I was hooked. The advertising slogan that compares these books to P G Wodehouse and Jane Austen is far wide of the mark, but they're great fun nevertheless. The heroine is VERY memorable, there are a host of other interesting characters, the dialogue is often razor-sharp - and there are a lot of titillating laugh-out-loud bits!

These books are near perfect, and I can only think of one thing that would make them (for me) substantially better. The author isn't an 'English' English speaker. This means, in a book set in Victorian Britain, there are frequent moments when the characters speak in anachronistic Americanisms. Every time this happened it broke the spell for me and knocked me right out of the story. Ms Carriger REALLY ought to employ a native Brit to proof-read her manuscripts before sending them off to the printer.

Nevertheless, 5 stars worth of fun!
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