Soulless : Parasol Protectorate

  • by Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by Emily Gray
  • Series: Parasol Protectorate
  • 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Firstly, Alexia Tarabotti has no soul. Secondly, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Thirdly, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
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? Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This one is a keeper

This book has taught me a lot - that there is a sub-genre called steampunk, several new words, and last but not least that there are still books that manage to bring on a new angle on the whole vampire and werewolf-hype.
The book's main character is Alexia Tarabotti, a person without soul, a so-called preternatural. In perfect logical conclusion, she cancels out the supernatural abilites of vampires and werewolves. She is a spinster, an intelligent, italian-looking spinster with decidedly strong opinions. When she keeps bumping into gruff werewolf-pack-leader, Lord Maccon, they discover that they feel a growing mutual attraction - despite the infamous hedgehog incident! But supernaturals keep disappearing, and what is going on behind the doors of the new Hypocras club?
Set in a slightly different version of Victorian England (with a lot more steam, and maybe even more etiquette), the characters move according to social rules, but they manage to finagle (see?! new word!) everything just as they wish it.
Apart from flawless story-development, likable characters and logical inner workings the book greatly benefits from the truly outstanding vocabulary, the witty dialogues and the prospect of books two, three and four.
The narrator keeps the characters distinguishable and manages to convey the properness of the British stiff upper lip.
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- Cornelia

Splendid witty steampunk entertainment

“Soulless” did not live down to its title. It is, in fact, a book that demonstrates remarkable spirit and significant amounts of pluck under pressure.

Set in an alternative Victorian London, in which vampires and werewolves have been Establishment figures for centuries, dirigibles fill the sky and respectable young ladies do not move about town without a chaperon, “Soulless” tells of the trials and tribulations that befall the remarkable Miss Alexia Tarabotti after she unintentionally kills an impertinent vampire with the aid of a hair stick and a parasol.

Miss Tarabotti is remarkable not because of the stain of having had an Italian father from whom she has inherited unfashionably tanned skin and an over-proud nose, nor because, at twenty-seven she is still a spinster, nor even because of a regrettable tendency to read science and ask inconvenient questions, but rather because she was born without a soul. Being soulless gives her the ability to neutralize the powers of supernatural beings, cancelling out the over-abundance of soul that is believed to explain their existence.

“Soulless” is witty, fast-paced, and complex: It is delivered with a deftness of touch that keeps it from plummeting into the horrors of pastiche. It is far from simple to create a Victorian feel to a book while introducing supernatural beings and an alternative political history but Gail Carriger does it with an ease of execution and flair for linguistic nuance which enables me almost completely to overlook the misfortune of her having been born in America. This is, after all, not her fault.

“Soulless” provided me with a splendid diversion from its first page to its last. It was aided in this by skillful and playful narration by Emily Gray, who mastered not only the rhythm of the language and the pace of the humour but the wide variety of voices and accents that the book calls for.

If you feel the need, or simply are privileged enough to have the opportunity, to spend a few hours away from the cares and traumas of the early twenty-first century, then this reader recommends an excursion into a supernatural Victorian London in the company of Miss Alexia Tarabotti.
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- Mike Murphy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-12-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks