Review: Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

on Nov 18, 2013
Blurb: 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 is 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?

Genre(s): Historical / Paranormal / Steampunk

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: This is a novel that stands on its own.

I raked my mind for books to compare it to, but nothing pops up. I've never read a series to full of unique, bold characters and a mixing bowl of genres, elegantly put together. What other book has combined vampires, Victorians, werewolves, scientists, steampunk, fantasy and London society so magically?

The cast of characters are similarly diverse. From the powerful and attractive Lord Maccoon, to the intelligent, yet silly Lord Akeldama , to Alexia Tarabotti, the soulless one herself. Alexia does take some getting used too, her soulless state depletes her of many common main character attributes. She is not particularly kind, giving, or selfless, and she routinely complains about her whatever displeasing situation she is in.

I did enjoy the love story between Alexia and Conall. I think they compliment each other very well, and this was my favorite plot of the story.

There is also a graphic novel adaptation of the book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It enhanced the novel and provided good visualization for many of the characters.

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012 she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at She spend her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, gaming, and wearing Victorian style jackets.  M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of books. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab


Intisar Khanani said...

Welcome back, Mal! :) And I think I'm going to have to check out Soulless, even if that cover model looks like she's going to give herself a hernia...

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