Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Naughty Steampunk

The Gaslight Chronicles:  Photographs and Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Page
(Adult Steampunk)

First, a definition of steampunk for those of you unfamiliar with this particular genre of book. Typically, it will include:
  • an alternate history that involves technology not yet invented but that could have been used in history
  • steam engines, for whatever reason
  • usually set during the Victorian era with strong hints of futuristic technologies and/or supernatural entities
I have read steampunk before and while I don't love it, there are some quite crafty steampunk novels floating around (namely the Scott Westerfield series beginning with Leviathan).  This novel by Page sounded more promising because of the  hints of paranormal romance.  I'm a sucker for that!  So combining paranormal romance with steampunk really got my interest.

To say this novel completely shocked me would hardly be an understatement.  It all started innocently enough.  Amelie, the main character, come from a magical family.  Her grandmother had foresight, the ability to see into the future or see beyond what mere mortals see.  Amelie is an independent Victorian woman and spend her days making a living taking photographs of tourists by the seashore.  She is shocked to discover her own precognition abilities....many of her photos shows a hazy blur in the form of a snake strangling the person in the photograph.  That person soon turns up dead.  Enter Lord Lake, from the Order of the Knights of the Round Table, to investigate.  Sexy, aloof and powerful in the magical arts.

Sounds like a great set-up for a unique story, then POW!  Like an express train from nowhere, Ms. Amelie turns into a seductress of epic proportions.  She turns Victorian staid and respectability into a graphic sexual scene that had me blushing a bit.

And, then the story is over.  Just that quick. 

Honestly, I wanted a little bit more.  Not the graphic scenes but the other parts, the parts that had me intrigued in the beginning.  The paranormal romance, the hints of precognition and magical genius, the main character who  I really was starting to like before she flung her clothes off like .....I don't even know of an instance in real life where one would throw one's clothes off so quickly.

So, in short, I really liked the story...up until a point.  If graphic sexual writing is not your thing, move on to another steampunk.  If this is just the kind of steampunk you enjoy, you will love this installment in the Page line.

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