Publication Order of Alexia Tarabotti Books
|Soulless||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Changeless||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Blameless||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Heartless||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Timeless||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Curious Case||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Alexia Tarabotti Graphic Novels
|Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 3||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
In 2009, Gail Carriger released the first of a series of novels known as The Parasol Protectorate. Her first novel was entitled Soulless and begins a saga based on the life of her sole protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti.
Who is Alexia Tarabotti?
Living in an alternate universe, in historical England where vampires and werewolves not only exist, but are known and accepted members of society, Tarabotti stars as a soulless woman, or a preternatural (the only one in Great Britain), who finds herself under the heated lights of a murder investigation after accidentally killing a vampire.
Despite her commission of the original murder, Tarabotti maintains innocence of a piling stack of high society murders plaguing Victorian England, but as she is a spinster with a deceased father and a disapproving mother, she is left to prove for herself that she is innocent.
Daughter to a strong Italian father, Alessandro Tarabotti, Alexia is described as having olive skin; dark, curly hair and dark eyes in addition to being tall, plus-sized and well endowed. Carriger gives Tarabotti a wide mouth and “little too prominent” nose, long eyelashes, fierce eyebrows and generous curves, “in exactly the right places.” It is also established that Alexia’s father was bred for the sole purpose of killing the supernatural, thus explaining his and Alexia’s soulless characteristic.
Due to her father’s status as a preternatural, one without a soul, Alexia learns early in her abusive childhood that she has no moral compass either and takes to exhibiting exquisite manners to overcompensate. She also makes a habit of carrying a parasol, which doubles as an actual, customized weapon against supernatural beings in addition to her ability, as a preternatural, to disable the supernatural elements of vampires and werewolves upon touch.
Tarabotti maintains status as the main character throughout all five books in the Parasol Protectorate series, and each book progresses further into her life, along with life-changing events all women can expect, like marriage, in addition to many that most won’t, including battling an army of the supernatural.
In Carriger’s original book, the reader is introduced to Alexia Tarabotti, a 26-year-old single woman in Victorian England. In the beginning of the book, Tarabotti’s biggest problems are her marital status and the status of her father, dead. As the plot progresses, however, Tarabotti manages to accidentally kill a vampire and turn a murder investigation right in her direction.
By the second book in Carriger’s series, Tarabotti is no longer a spinster, and she is no longer Alexia Tarabotti, as her marriage has changed her name. Despite the name change, Alexia remains the same polite, preternatural person, embarking on a new series of adventures against vampires and werewolves after her husband abandons her at their home.
Tarabotti’s troubles don’t stop as her life progresses; in fact, they almost seem to get worse. In her third book, Carriger features a post-divorce Tarabotti being shunned by England’s high society and attacked by homicidal insects. At this point, one thing clear to readers is that Tarabotti isn’t getting a break.
Perhaps one of the most entertaining aspects of Carriger’s protagonist is the stark opposition between her tendency to battle beasts of the supernatural world and her heightened attention to the proper mannerisms and politeness of an English woman. Carriger makes it clear that this habit of Tarabotti is drawn from studying and a desire to counterbalance her lack of a soul.
The Parasol Protectorate series is written as comedy and is praised as such. The books are viewed as entertaining and fun to read, whether one piece at a time or in one large dose and have even been illustrated as comics.
Interestingly, Carriger shies away from the typically accepted idea of what constitutes vampires and werewolves and instead creates her own rule system and society for each species.
Rather than dwelling alone, encased in coffins and interacting with other humans only for purposes of feeding, the vampires in The Parasol Protectorate reside together in hives focused on a queen, not terribly unlike honeybees or ants. In Carriger’s stories, the queen vampires maintain the most power, and new queens can only be created by existing queens. Contrary to modern society, the ability of vampire queens to produce new queens actually increases with age, and the society of the vampires in the Parasol Protectorate seems to be starkly matriarchic.
While the werewolves in The Parasol Protectorate do change into monsters on a full moon, like those in well-known folklore, Carriger’s werewolves have additional stipulations hereto not included, including an inability to withstand sunlight before a certain age and an intense aversion to basil. In addition, these werewolves, contrary to popular belief, are dead at the same level as vampires, and rather than needing only to be bitten, a bloody process is required for creation of a werewolf.
In addition, the vampires and werewolves in The Parasol Protectorates are each tended to by humans hoping to one day become part of the supernatural ranks. In almost all supernatural stories featuring vampires or werewolves, the human race is all but terrified of the strange creatures who walk the night.
Much of the book seems to be dedicated to showing readers how strong and independent this leading lady is. Though she does get married and adheres closely to the established rules of English manner, Tarabotti never relies on her husband for protection or ceases to possess the undeniable ability and bravery to take care of herself.
How is she?
The public reception of Alexia Tarabotti and her collection of tales has been warm from the start, and the books have won a variety of awards including the Alex Award from the American Library Association.
The series was so well received, in fact, that the first novel, Soulless was converted into an unabridged audio book in 2010, and the entire series has been optioned for television in Ireland. In her live journals, Carriger even polls her readers to determine who would play the most desirable version of Tarabotti in a movie.
In addition to a television premier, Alexia Tarabotti and her adventures have recently been approved for adaptation into manga, a specific type of Japanese comic. In the manga versions of the Parasol Protectorate, Tarabotti’s adventures are portrayed in illustration by a certain set of Japanese comic rules, thus lending a creative vision to the characters Carriger has established.
Carriger has proved the success of her brainchild in expanding it past the written medium, and Alexia Tarabotti is worthy of plenty of attention.Book Series In Order » Characters » Alexia Tarabotti