Reread to hopefully continue on 2019 I thought the beginning of the book was hilarious Alexia is something else and a danger with that parasol She has no problems with whacking people in the head or men in their nether regions LolAlexia is soulless meaning just what I said, she doesn t have a soul and just her touch can take away others powers, such as the vampires and werewolves In the beginning of the book she is attacked in the library by a rove vampire He was starved, had no sense of anything really and ended up dead when he messed with the wrong woman, Alexia Alexia has a love interest named Lord Maccon yum and he s the alpha werewolf and also he is a leader in BUR Bureau of Unnatural Registry Alexia would like to be involved with the bureau but Lord Maccon told she wasn t covert Of course this rankled her feathers but it is what it is They all end up trying to find out what is going on with the vampires and some werewolf stuff Someone is doing evil things A bunch of twats as usual There are several characters in the story that I enjoyed as well I have to say in the carriage ride to their home, Lord Maccon and Alexia had me cracking up Dear Lord, the things she said All in all it was a great book I wish I had written this book Only because it combines two of my latest fetishes Corsets and Paranormal creatures After the first chapter this book is pretty good, I really enjoyed it although it s not reinventing the wheel in any way Nice romance, appealing characters, melding of the two genres was enough to keep my very entertained and up late I will read another for sure So, I ve got something else to blame on Glee In addition to all the terrible eighties music that I ve been listening to, and image of that terrible Mozart spaceman outfit gone wrong that they put Kurt in for the Gaga episode, I feel certain that the same people who decide on the structure and performance of that show are the same people who decided that it was okay to release Soulless in the form that I read it At it s heart, Glee is simply a weak, changeable framework for presenting touchstones of cultural nostalgia and niche enthusiasms, with interspersed attempts at taking advantage of whatever cultural phenomena have been raking in money over the past few years The plot, characters and setting all radically and inconsistently change as necessary to allow the producers to put on a show about songs and stories that people feel are an integral enough part of their past or current identity to get them to watch the show each week The problem with all this is that if you present a musical revue as an ongoing story, then people at least people like me , will attach certain expectations to the story they re reading This is especially true of any genre storytelling that is, storytelling that will trigger something in the audience s brain that tells them how to process the joke that s just been told, how to view the characters, and therefore how to judge the story s conclusion or lack thereof Glee is written by three different people who do not seem to communicate well to each other, and following any sort of story gets difficult one minute we re watching a mean but you gotta laugh cause he s right commentary on culture and the media, the next minute it s a Very Special Episode that asks us all to sing kumbaya and feel bad for those less fortunate than ourselves It s gotten especially jarring over the back half of the first season I maintain that there were several episodes in the first half that were genuinely good These genres do not sit well next to each other, each exposing the weaknesses and downright awful or mean aspects of the other ie, Are these characters supposed to be simply cardboard cutouts that offer conscious criticism and zippy one liners Or are they supposed to be real people for me to engage with and treat as I would a real person in that situation You ve gotta pick one and tell me what s up, cause otherwise it s an uncomfortable and unrewarding viewing experience, and that feeling is gonna outweigh even my undying love for Journey.I had a very similar experience with Soulless There s a lot of genres elbowing for room in here Regency comedy of manners, Victorian gothic, steampunk, urban fantasy, PG Wodehouse comedy, a bit of SATC, and a prissy bodice ripper if that seems contradictory, well, just look at the rest of the list The author herself talks about this in the little mini interview in the back of my edition of the book, how suddenly, I was juggling subgenres than Ivy has ugly hats Oh, don t worry, we ll get there in a minute Now, I like a lot of these genres separately and I am aware that there are lots of other people out there who read some sort of combination of these genres, and I saw the hand of the Glee producers at work Separately, I like all these things Together It s a Queen medley on top of a Spice Girls cameo with some Green Day background noise, a Broadway power ballad s notes soaring over it all and whatever the hell that Sugar Ray song was that I now can t get out of my head goddamn this idea for a review providing the remix beats Why, Carriger, why must you try to ruin innocent genres who committed no other crime but being so awesome Our heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, is a pretty straight up Cinderella Jane Eyre type, who just happens to have special magical powers she s soulless but there are no downsides I can see to this except that there may be no heaven for you if it exists, but she seems cool with this She is an Indomitable Fantasy Heroine Who Can Take Care of Herself, and a Wounded Duckling who thinks nobody likes her, even though she is prettier, smarter, wittier and has better boobs than anyone in the room Now, that trope is pretty tiresome even Tina Fey doing it ironically on 30 Rock as a commentary on Hollywood standards has started to grate on me But fine, it s a genre stereotype and whatever The problem comes when Carriger applies different standards to the things that come out of her mouth for example, her treatment of Ivy Hisselpenny, which pissed me off to no end Now mind you, this is a woman Alexia calls her dearest friend, who she visits regularly and spends a good deal of her time with It slowly emerges that Alexia finds her shallow, stupid and desperate for a man, as well as having terrible taste with all those ugly hats Now aside from all the how would she know if she s soulless comments people have already made, I thought that, importantly, Alexia was not a nice person I m sorry I can t state it in a nuanced way than that, but it really made me angry Ivy seemed to be yet another foil to make sure we knew just how Special a Special Snowflake Alexia was, and for Alexia to use for emotional comfort while being completely comfortable with viciously making fun of her a few pages later The genre mixing problem shows here because I think Alexia s opinion of Ivy, the possessor of ugly hats, is exactly how PG Wodehouse might characterize a person in one of his short stories, as so And as for Miss Hisselpenny she wore an ugly hat we need say no Fine, but as the book goes on, Alexia s story gets and melodramatic and Tearjerking, with involved Gothic plots and character development past the opening farce, and I m supposed to feel bad for how badly she s been treated, ie, see her as a real person And you know what I don t like any person if the nicest thing you appear to be able to say about your best friend is that she s a shallow bimbo who wears bad hats I m left to assume the only reason she hangs out with her is because she s one of the only characters with less social standing than Alexia, so she can feel secure that she s better than her Actually, Alexia doesn t have a good opinion about any other woman she encounters in the book If all other women are torn down as unworthy in a book that s, in the end, about women ending up with men, I m pretty sure I know what the reason is And it makes it pretty clear to me who really puts the most importance on getting a man Speaking of which, another example we hear over and over that Alexia aspires to Lofty Intellectual Ideals and scorns gossipy, shallow women But then she indulges in gossip later with Lord Akeldama s her Sassy Gay Friend sassy gay chorus which includes at least one incredibly offensive gay stereotype the one named Biffy who magically knows how to do her hair in the most current French fashion , and we re supposed to see the gossip as naughty, titillating fun that all sophisticates take part in So now she s in Sex and the City and Pamela at once Again, PICK ONE Because honestly, presented that way, it seems like just another excuse for the author to give her male attention In short, she takes funny and good things about various genres and makes them mean and self serving.I could go on with the many other similar travesties this book commits, never mind the misunderstanding of Jane Austen, the completely unthinking racism and classism committed while imitating authors from earlier eras, not to even MENTION the insult to the Greek philosophers which Elizabeth has covered nicely or science of all kinds But I think I have made my displeasure clear enough to anyone dedicated enough to reach the end of this review.And now if you ll excuse me, I need to go perform an exorcism on Sugar Ray. Ms Carriger, congratulations This was a great ride I can honestly say that I laughed myself silly reading this book This is one of those books that will probably embarrass you if you read it in public You have been warned This is the first novel that I ve read that managed to cleverly and gently satirize the conventions of historical romance, and it was done in a manner that was utterly irresistible I have not read any Wodehouse, but I imagine I will like him very much, if he is indeed an influence on this author s writing.Not only did I enjoy the humor, I thought the characters were beyond interesting Alexia is one of those heroines that will stand out in the reader s mind She s intelligent, gutsy, fierce, yet ladylike and admirable Although she has moments where she s down on herself she seemed unable to accept that Lord Maccon was interested in her, but it totally made sense to me , she manages to be remarkably comfortable in her own skin I believe that this is a big part of her appeal to Lord Maccon Alexia is an alpha woman that I really like She doesn t come on too strong, and she knows her limits Throwing her weight around is not a tactic that she resorts to But if you try something, she will make sure you know it s not happening I liked that she was a woman of her times, in that she was strong, intelligent, and passionate yet, she possessed the morals and understandings of what was appropriate in her society Alexia s ability felt very novel to me I especially liked how she used it when she interacted with the supernatural people in her life, especially Lord Maccon There s a really good part where Alexia has to get up close and person with a naked Lord Maccon to keep him from changing back into a wolf And they sure do take advantage of that moment Naked Lord Maccon, up close and personal, who could blame a girl Ah, let s talk about Lord Maccon Three words To Die For I loved him Not too surprising, since I happen to adore, big, sexy, Scottish werewolves But it s the whole package with him I like that he s rough around the edges Smooth operators bore me The unpolished, fierce heroes, they get me everytime Ooh, he had me reading this book furiously to get to the next scenes with he and Alexia I loved all his scenes, in human and in werewolf form Alexia and Lord Maccon had awesome chemistry This is not really a romance novel, so the reader must keep this in mind Soulless is of a fantasy with a very strong romance If you take that into consideration and enjoy the ride, the romantic moments will be a pleasant surprise on top of the humor and the fantastic elements Having said that, I loved all the smootchy getting personal scenes This book has that element of Victorian romance that I just love The whole we are passionately carried away, but this is really improper and I hope we don t get caught theme really works for me I loved how they couldn t seem to keep their hands off each other Very appealing Alexia and Lord Maccon are going on my favorite couples list No doubt about it.Now to the fantasy steampunk elements I thought Ms Carriger did a great job Initially, I had to get used to the writing style Like I said earlier, I haven t read too many satirical styled stories I had to realize that I couldn t take things too seriously Once I got into that mode, I was good This book is an interesting hybrid in that it s definitely a humorous story, but there are some edgy, dark elements, as well The automaton was pretty darn creepy I immediately started thinking about golems when it was first introduced I liked how she took the golem folklore and gave it a steampunk twist I could completely understand why Alexia found it so repulsive It was alive, but so opposite from what a living being might be I liked the adventure aspects This book made me think of the old school adventure storytellers like Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, although this book doesn t stray far from the drawing rooms and polite environs of London and its suburbs I could easily imagine Ms Carriger writing a ripping, neo pulp adventure yarn If she does, sign me up I hope she has a Roxton esque hero if she does Hint, Hint I definitely think this would make a great movie in the right hands.Steampunk is a new, but beloved genre for me When it comes to technical and mechanical devices, I have no imagination So I have to give it to Ms Carriger for writing these aspects very well I had a very good visual picture of the steam driven, clockwork technology in my head while I was reading Yet, she didn t overdo it so that I was focused on trying to picture these devices and not focused on the story Vampires and werewolves are the main supernatural beasties in this story They are very politically and socially organized, to the degree that they have advisors to the queen herself I admit, I really had to focus on this aspect, needing to reread a few paragraphs to really gain an understanding of the social structure of the two supernatural groups But it was time well spent I liked reading about the social dynamics of the vampire society, divided up into hives, each with a Queen vampire she s the only one who can make new vamps , and having human servants called drones Lord Akeldama, Alexia s flamboyant friend who happens to be a very powerful vampire, was a hoot His fashion sense was outrageous, and he kept me laughing On the werewolf side, I was enad with Professor Lyall, the competent, extremely intelligent beta to the Alpha werewolf, Lord Maccon, Earl of Woolsey I hope to see a lot of Prof Lyall The werewolf pack dynamics were especially interesting to me, werewolf lover that I am I absolutely love the werewolf salute given to Alexia at the end of this book I was practically clapping I think you could see that the vamps and weres were very integrated into society, and a huge part of the governmental workings of the author s concept of Great Britain of the 19th Century It really gives a different perspective on the British Empire.Man, this was a great read If you re coming from a romance or a contemporary urban fantasy background, this book will take you out of your comfort zones, but it s so worth it Hang in there until you get used to the flow of the language it s very 19th century , and relax and enjoy the witty humor it s very funny You will have a great time Don t forget to bring your tricked out parasol and glassicals, just in case. Loved it Why did I wait so long to read this Alexia is my spirit animal What an AWESOME female lead Spinster who just doesn t give a crap Smart as hell Capable Funny Brash Conall Maccon Best werewolf ever So sexy and gruff and grumpy Big huge manly werewolf Rawr Loved all the supporting characters The butler, Floote, Lyall the Beta werewolf Lord Akeldama, best flaming vampire evah Fantastic world building There s just enough of a little oomph to tweak what we ve all read about vamps and weres The alternate reality aspects were great The author reinvents several historical events with a supernatural spin The romance was satisfying No instalove, no damsel in distress heroine falls in love, but doesn t git stoopid or lose her personality The humor Seriously And tons of witty ways to word things Really good stuff.Gosh, I could go on I really have nothing negative to say about this I m a sucker for historical fiction alternate reality settings with a paranormal spin and this totally worked Definitely continuing the series I haven t liked a PNR this much in a long time There are no steamy love scenes, but what you do get feels just right Buddy read with the MacHalo group I don t know how big a part vampires play in the overall plot, but I m counting this towards vampire month part 2 By the way, vampires play a major part in this I wasn t sure, but yes, they do. Rbrs 4Remember in grade school, when the teacher would ask for a volunteer to give the first speech or present the first diorama or whatever Public Speaking that which is feared than death Comparisons were always inevitable I learned to shoot that hand up like a game of not it, so that everyone would be compared to me but my stuff would gently fade in the mob memory Also, to get it out of the way so then I could relax while everyone else sweated it and got ever anxious Soooo, I was slow with this book and there have been a bunch of excellent reviews written Comparisons are inevitable They re really good and you should read them Especially THIS ONE forgive me if I missed anyone These reviews tear the book apart brilliantly.Most of the discussions about the definition of Romance have been beyond my ability to participate, pulling in outside sources and critical thinking magnificence, but clear enough that I can nod and say yeah all thuggishly with fist in the air I ll try not to be a complete parrot here, as I try to place this book in my limited understanding of the Romance universe Well, I can t even parrot very well because much of it whooshes over my head I would consider this book to be Romance, but not the giggly silly spooning and forking of PtP or barfbag secks of SO M The only real relations occurred at the very end after the couple was married Well, in the carriage on the way to the nuptual bed Because they couldn t wait Anyway The humping so many ways to not say the word wasn t the point, not titillation tit lit.I think the point is to describe an adventure and relationship that the Romance reader can slip on, or project herself I read a couple of the other reviews by serial Romance readers which was quite the task, whew and they went on and on and on about how the dude made her, the readers, feel Sorry for the mixing of singular and plural, but the readers are mostly ladies and the ladies seemed to see themselves as Alexia The man is devastatingly handsome dark strong but the lady is described as not being a beauty she s tall, older 26, not old, but considered beyond the typical marriagable age , darker skinned, larger nosed, likes her food, bigger breasted, a boom chicka bow wow bod Most of her physical qualities are generally described so that a large chunk of the couch potato population could do that thing where they see themselves in the story The clothes are excruciatingly detailed, sometimes the furniture It s like sitcom t.v for the book world, where you don t have to think and it s all laid out for you Which is all okay Don t attack me, puppets and trolls I thought this book was not terrible and performs admirably in its chosen nichewhich I think is mostly Romance of the milder variety despite its attempts to shmoosh together all sorts of categories Essentially, it s a girl meeting and marrying a guy.Each chapter is a contained scene, with all the action and dialogue occurring in one room per scene The story wasn t really remarkable There are vampires, werewolves, descriptions of how they fit into this world The girl and guy don t like each other at first, but that s just because they re extremely attracted to each other and the dislike is an indicator of their future passion Heh The whole thing about the girl being soulless Not well thought out or executed, a convenient superpower for our superheroine The clunky witticisms made me cringe, not because they were really bad, but they were slightly bad and there were so many of themand I m guilty of clunky wit so I can t put the author down for this I cringe, as I do when I see hear feel one of my attempts at wit land with a thud.There were some instances of clumsy writing that popped out like a stray splay, since Ms Carriger took great pains to write so properly and use Big Words She winced at the flavor, looked with narrowed eyes at her cup, and then reached for the creamer. I glare at crockery, too She widened her large brown eyesand lowered her eyelashes beseechingly. Doesn t this sound like her eyelashes moved independently And my favorite Herolled so that she was beneath him Alexia s ivory taffeta gown was held together by a row of tiny mother of pearl buttons up the length of its back the earl eventually discovered this fact and began undoing them with a rapidity the bespoke consummate skill in the art of undoing ladies clothing. Well, hell That sure is consummate skill, undoing back buttons when her back is pressed to the ground Okay, that last one is probably just me, a scene where the author decided to move the pace along by not describing every single movementbut dude lady, you ve been describing details on the near molecular level Couldn t you describe Alexia lifting her back up so the earl could undo the row of tiny mother of pearl buttons up the length of the ivory taffeta gown I was jostled from myI mean, Alexia s, disrobing when you didn t tell me exactly every single movement.I, uh, liked the flamboyant gay vampire and his harem of cooing men There was also a scene of real beauty to me near the end, with the sunset.One last non story thingy the pose on the cover image is only possible for the rare 2% of the population who are supermodels one of the RBRS ladies didn t find it impossible but I suspect she s got some supermodel in her You need a loooooooong torso neck Hee, following the cover credits on the back, the photographed woman titles herself the Gothic Supermodel and you can purchase the costume. 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 EtiquetteWhere 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 InvestigateWith 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 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 If Charlaine Harris and Jane Austen s ghost got together and had a love child, this book would be it.Soulless plays in Victorian era England, in an alternate world where shifters and vampires have revealed their existence to the common folk much like a historical True Blood Our main character is Alexia Tarabotti, a blue stocking spinster with embarrassingly Italian blood and a preternatural a human born without her soul She has the ability to cancel supernatural powers by touch, which helps her deal with Lord Maccon werewolf alpha and book BF material and a horde of vampires and evil scientists pursuing her.The Parasol Protectorate was different from other PNR or UF series I ve encountered because it s my first historical PNR read Fun fun fun Alexia isn t your typical eye boggling hot heroine Her big nose, dark complexion, and over generous curves are a constant source of vindictive amusement to her family and societal acquaintances Alexia also isn t your typical roundhouse kick to the ass heroine she leaves most of the fighting work to others and uses her wits and spinster hood to her advantage the characters in Soulless are astonishingly blas about murder and death An entire organization is massacred over the course of the book, yet the perpetrators are met with nothing harsher than mild disapproval and an awkward air from society Everyone acts like this is an everyday sort of experience There is a flamboyant vampire lord who calls people my darling and crumpet and honeybee That was a new one for me Accidental sex Anyone know those MTV contraception ads that tell you Sex is no accident For example Well in this book, it is Blame the bumpy carriage.I have no motivation to continue with the series at the moment, but if there s a buddy read somewhere I would keep going fo sho. If you ve been on GoodReads for any decent amount of time then you probably know Tatiana If you don t then she is a very popular, entertaining reviewer with almost flawless taste in books and you should go read and like all her reviews abunch.Usually, we tend to agree on a lot of books When comparing books, we generally have an 88% similarity rating which has led me, in the past, to comment that we must be soulmates So you can understand my obvious distress when I read this book and quite liked it when Tatiana didn t.It s hard to say what I actually liked about Soulless because it s hard to categorize what it actually is Some people said it was a Romance, which I struggled with because there really wasn t that much romancing and Alexia, whilst prone to Lord Maccon s physique, wasn t much of a romantic either Then there was the Steampunk which made brief appearances but didn t play a large role in the story.Alexia, a shrewish, intellectual over the hill spinster of good fortune finds herself in a sticky situtation when vampires start to go missing and she gets involved with Lord Maccon, a scottish werewolf who is happy to overlook her tan skin, roman nose and out spoken temperment.It had many of the mainstays of a harlequin romance the horrible family, the mystery , the rich and handsome man.What I found I enjoyed was Alexia s voice and personality I enjoyed her volatile relationship with Lord Maccon and I felt the story was fairly well written with good pacing and an interesting set of characters.What I didn t like about the story, and my main gripe, is with Alexia s apparent Soullessness Alexia states that when she discovered that she was Soulless, her answer was to go look up a bunch of greek philosophy Naturally I do that all the time Should I put peppercorn on my stake Hmmmmm, what do the greek philosophers say about that Aristotle is quoted later in regards to the soul and it is made apparent that Alexia is familiar with Aristotle The thing is, if she really was that familiar with Aristotle then she d know that he believed the soul to be our very essence Our nature The thing that drives us The soul of the eye is sight and all that shit.It appears that the only downside to not having a soul is that she s not very creative and she struggles with fashion Shit Really image error My apologies to all my friends who love this book, but again, I fail to understand the appeal Like with a few other popular novels I ve tried reading recently, this is simply a glorified fanfiction in print If you ever ask me what I mean calling books fanfiction, my answer would be, as with the definition of porn, I can t articulate it, but I know when I see read it It s just too gratuitous and lacks substance, depth, flavor, richness, even though it, at times, entertains.
Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G L Carriger Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea Join the Chirrup for sneak peaks of upcoming gigg
- Mass Market Paperback
- 357 pages
- Gail Carriger
- 13 March 2019 Gail Carriger