Customer Reviews


87 Reviews
5 star:
 (48)
4 star:
 (27)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, articulate, original nonsense
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...
Published on 21 Nov 2009 by Rachel

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea - execution not so good
The whole idea isn't as original as some people seem to think - magic and supernatural elements blended into historical romance has been done before and rather better. Try 'Sorcery and Cecilia' for magic and Regency elements in a well-written, funny book.
The main strengths of this one as in the characters, but I came close to giving up on occasion. The book is...
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by G. F. S. Taylor


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, articulate, original nonsense, 21 Nov 2009
By 
Rachel "rachel337" (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!, 15 Jan 2010
By 
Boof (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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.
Miss Tarabotti's adventure with trying to track down what has happened to the disappearing vampires and werewolves and getting herself kidnapped by a man with a wax face are nothing compared to the other big distraction that keeps following her around in the shape of an increasingly randy Lord Maccon. There are fangs, fur, ghosties, tea, treacle tart, peacock hats, silver-tipped parasols, adventure, science, satire blended with steampunk and some fantasy - the whole shebang.
I really did enjoy this book and I can't wait for the next in the series, Changeless, to come out in April. I can highly recommend this book and urge you to read it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, very enjoyable, 11 Nov 2009
By 
Constant Reader (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly bonkers, but super fun!, 7 April 2011
By 
J. Scott "JS" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best books I've read in a long time!, 7 Feb 2011
Soulless was brought to my attention by a friend and on reading the first page I was hooked, the vocabulary is great and the humour fantastic. The author has created a heroine who doesn't consider herself perfect and is fabulously outspoken (especially in the Victorian era!)

Ms Alexia Tarabotti is, in simple terms, a spinster with no soul! She "accidently" kills a vampire, aggravates an Alpha werewolf while attempting pack etiquette and along with her trusty parasol beats her way through a pleasing mystery concerning London's high society. Including disappearances of the supernatural, hats of a rather stomach churning nature, a scientific cult who quite fancy finding out just how soulless she is....Oh and plenty to eat of course!

Great fun, made me laugh out loud, a fantastic read :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun book, 1 Dec 2011
By 
Sarah Lambert "Book addict" (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This book was recommended to me by a friend, it sounded a bit bizarre but I decided to give it a go and am very glad I did. It is very hard to categorise this book, apparently its "Steampunk" but that doesn't mean a lot to me. It is a strange mixture of regency romance, like Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen, with vampires and werewolves, like Twilight (but thankfully without the teenage angst!), and also a mystery element, vampires and werewolves are going missing.

Alexia is a great character, a feisty female struggling to conform to Victorian social etiquette and also dealing with being soulless. She reminds me of Amelia Peabody, from the Elizabeth Peters novels from the same period, with her trusty parasol she can take on anyone. The other characters are great too, especially Lord Maccon, a werewolf who works for the Bureau of Unnatural Registry and is rather annoyed to find Alexia keeps cropping up in his investigations. Other good characters are Alexia's vampire friend Lord Akeldama, Lord Maccon's second in command Professor Lyall and Alexia's best friend Ivy Hisselpenny.

I highly recommend this book, it should appeal to readers of all types of genres, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bodice ripper, 17 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was a bit like one of those rom-com films you get dragged along to by your wife/girlfriend then end up enjoying.

It blends Austin, steampunk, vampires, Frankenstein, Annodracula and perhaps even Pratchett into a witty little tale. A tale that has a definate chick lit flavour but was also surprisingly naughty!

I have to say the romantic elements dominated things a bit too much for my tastes but then I am a bloke. It will be interesting to see what my wife thinks of it. What I like was the writing style which was sharp and funny. The characters which were individual, fully fleshed and suitably eccentric and we had a strong female lead who avoided the usual cliche's of either being stunningly beautiful or running about in leather leotard swinging twin samuri swords.

I would have like a bit more drama and action and a bit less romance and descriptions of clothing but as I said above I am a bloke!

Without wanting to 'spoil'. The tale centres mostly around our heroine Alexia who as well as having no soul has also written herself off and excepted her spinsterhood. Fortunately the beefcake of the book Lord Maccon has a rather different view of her, but also happens to be head of a kind of supernatural police force working for Queen Victoria. Their romance of course does not run smooth and were it not for them being forced together by a dastardly plot that seems to be 'disappearing' many of the City's vampires and Werewolves (now a respected part of Victorian society) they may never have known about each others affections.

Looking at all the glowing endorcements this book has received it doesn't need my vote of confidence but I shall give it anyway! One for the fairer sex but a lot of us chaps will like this too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charm and wit rolled in irony and oblivion, 14 Feb 2011
The main character in this series is all the things I wrote above. The usual first person urban fantasy this is not. With Austenesque charm and deportment, the heroine goes about foiling crimes of a supernatural nature and tackling the bad guys with the help of her trusty parasol.

I even enjoyed the fact that her flirtations with the hero (werewolf) were well underway when the book began, it gave another sense of the unusual to this engaging, narrative of supernaturals in the time of Queen Victoria.

Buy it. Love it. Read the next one. I'm full of imperatives today!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Fun, 28 May 2010
By 
Claire Mill "Cem" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series from Gail Carriger. It's part urban fantasy, historical fantasy, part steampunk and I love it. It's written in third person, and takes a little getting used to as the characters are most commonly referred to by their titles, rather than first names. It's fun and adds to the tone of the book, but it is slightly strange for the first chapter or so. Set in London, England during Victorian times, vampires and werewolves are known members of society. Then there is Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural. She's soulless and as such, when she touches a supernatural, they become more or less human for the time she is in contact with them. All abilities connected to the supernatural, disappear, like say, a vampires fangs. Which amuses me a lot, though I'm not too sure why. Anyway, Alexia is a bit of a loud mouth with a serious intellect for science, standing out from the majority of London's upper class with her darker skin and attitude. It more often than not gets her in a little trouble, but she is also very strict with her manners, as any proper Victorian lady should be.

When Miss Tarabotti finds herself in the middle of a BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) case involving disappearing werewolves and vampires, she can't help trying to find out more. Must to the frustrations of Alpha wolf and high ranking BUR agent, Lord Maccon. He does his best to keep Alexia out of trouble and safe whilst attempting to get to the bottom of the problem.

I loved this book from start to finish. It's funny, snappy, with great characters and a solid plot. While manners and decorum play a part in the book, they don't give it a stuffy air. It's wickedly fun and there are some surprising twists along the way. Alexia is a great main character with her spark and wit, along with some deep built insecurities which make her very real. Lord Maccon is just plain delicious. And leading vampire is Lord Akeldama, a flashy rove vampire (unattached to a 'hive') who is a great friend of Alexia's. He is very entertaining with his nicknames and the delight he takes from being the one to know as much as possible about what's going on where, and with who.

It's an easy book to get sucked in to, with the action starting on page one and never really letting up. I had a hard time putting this book down. I love the ending in that it fairly neatly wraps this book up, but gives great hints to whats to come in the next book. I'm not normally much of a fan of anything set in the past, but this, despite it's setting, is still urban fantasy and great urban fantasy at that. It's very different and it makes for a great change of pace to the usual books in the UF range. If you like the genre, then this book should be a must read for you. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book, Changeless and I'm already looking forward to Blameless, book 3, in September as well!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously haphazard and fiendishly funny, 23 May 2010
Alexia Tarrabotti is a terribly put upon young lady. Her father is Italian and dead, her mother and sisters are quite the silliest ladies you ever could meet and her best friend has the absolute worst taste in hats. She is a spinster and quite without prospects (hardly surprising with that nose) and yet despite all that she seems to have attracted the attention of the distressingly direct and frequently furry Lord Maccon. What is a lady to do?

Worst of all, Vampire's and Werewolves are going missing and she (in all of her soullessness) seems to be suspect!

Hilariously haphazard and fiendishly funny, I laughed the whole way through. Any one looking for a brand new, immensely enjoyable, take on the supernatural should look no further than Soulless.

I am already eagerly awaiting the next novel from this genius author.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews