Review – Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1)

I kept seeing this book around so I did what I do and added it to the long list hoping it wouldn’t get lost under everything else I keep meaning to read. One day, after yet another review of a book I’ve yet to read, I decided to download a sample and then quickly downloaded the full book because I was hooked. It’s fantasy, steampunk, vampires, and werewolves, and ghosts all rolled into one with a preternatural thrown in.

Alexia Tarabotti is the oldest daughter in a well off family in Victorian England. Her two younger sisters are much prettier than her and their mother has much higher hopes for them. At 26, Alexia is a spinster on the shelf and is content to be able to live the life she wants. Always told she wasn’t pretty due to her father’s Italian heritage which she’s inherited too much of, she doesn’t go about worrying about attracting a husband but also wouldn’t be opposed to the idea. This is clear when she’s in the vicinity of Lord Maccon, the Alpha werewolf of London who works for Queen Victoria. While attending an event without refreshments one evening, Alexia takes matters into her own hands and wanders off to the library to partake in some tea where she is promptly attacked by a vampire. When Lord Maccon shows up to investigate, things get rather out of hand and the two end up more involved than anyone thought they would be while they work together to find an answer to the vampire attack.

This one is such a comedy of manners that I did laugh out loud in a few places. While Alexia does try to be proper, it doesn’t always happen that way and she can never stop talking even when she knows that if she were to just shut up, many of her problems would either disappear or never appear in the first place. She’s good friends with a rogue vampire, one of the oldest in London, keeps trading verbal barbs with the Alpha werewolf of London, and manages to get herself invited to the vampire hive in London. For a woman with few precious prospects, she’s always up to something and most of the time it’s quite funny.

The odd thing about Alexia is that she’s preternatural, meaning, she has no soul and can render supernatural beings, such as werewolves and vampires, harmless. She makes them human simply by touching them. I like the little twist with her. While I do wish there would have been more explanation about Alexia and how preternaturals happen, I was content to roll with things because the book is really entertaining.

I thought I had enough of the vampire/werewolf thing but it seems all I need was a new approach. Somehow, this book doesn’t at all feel like it’s full of these two types of characters.

Soulless in the first book in The Parasol Protectorate series followed by Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless. I have a feeling I just found my summer series reading. If you’re looking for something fun, pick Soulless up. It won’t disappoint. It’s a fun read for those days when you really want something new to get lost in.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1)

By Gail Carriger

Orbit

I SBN-13: 9780316071659

4.25 stars

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4 thoughts on “Review – Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1)

  1. I’ve seen this one around and have been thinking of picking it up eventually. You saying it offers a new twist on vampires and werewolves, though, is pretty exciting. I may have to move it up the list a bit!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have gone on to read Changeless and Blameless (I am waiting for Heartless to be returned to the library). In fact I liked it so much that I suggested it to my book group and we will discuss it on Thursday.

    The first scene, with the vampire trying to bite Alexia when his teeth keep retracting, is hilarious AND she beats him up with her parasol! I loved Ms Carriger’s voice and her dialogue is often very funny. Some of the characters are beautifully absurd: especially Ivy, with her awful hats, and Lord Akeldama, the most outrageously camp vampire. The world is sufficiently different from the normal vamp / were fare to make it interesting and the concept of the soulless is unique as far as I know. I am sure that you will enjoy the rest of the series. :)

    • I’m already through Changeless. :) I’m holding myself back from buying Blameless at the moment. I know the series is limited and I want to spread them out but I could easily read all of these in a week!

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