If you have been long time follower of my blog, you might be aware that I have a theory that with the advent of recent Speculative Fiction including (but not limited to) Harry Potter and Urban Fantasy the old idea that technology will ultimately wipe out all magic (as proposed by such classics as The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Wizard of Oz) has since been changed to the idea that magic and technology are parallel and coexisting worlds instead (something that I think THEOLOGY needs to catch up on…see full theory here )
So Steampunk, is our re-writing of the collective narrative, showing that even if technology had been bigger and more present in the Victorian Era, no way in the world would it have done away with magic…or religion for that matter…
There also tends to be good narratives inserting women heroines, non-hetereo-normative romances as well as developing ethnically empowering narratives. Writing the novels in such a way that they broaden our understanding of history
Steampunk, now, because it is fairy tales and technology…and people in history…we can see it better now….
Steampunk is the next step on Speculative Fiction’s natural development as it narrates itself through the contemporary world as it is today
Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway
Evie Cooper is a not quite fashionable young girl living in London in the midst of the Steam Barons Rule.
Part Steampunk, Part Revolution, Part Mystery this book follows the adventures of Evie Cooper and her closest friends during a tumulteous Time.
“You have to decide that for yourself” Variations of this line are put forward by characters of all stripes indicating, strongly, that who you are depends highly on who you decide to be and no one can really tell you how that is going to work out for you….this could be the theme song of the entire book–making me a very happy Katy.
Things I liked about this book
1. Character development (everyone develops, everyone)
2. Fleshed out characters (good and evil more often turn to gray, and love is highly valued)
3. Love Triangles…but they are relevant to the plot
4. London: Victorian Age
5. Steam Punk
6. If you’ve read Holmes (YAY) you get Lotsa extra plot points!
7. Class Revolution: This book takes on income differences and revolution in an interesting way (causing some fun 99% thoughts), down with the Steam Barons….
Things to note: The main character is a little annoying at times (she is definitely a teenager when compared to characters such as Mary Russell) and the plot is not strong on the mystery and be warned there is a love triangle, however the strong characters of which there are many who we get to know and see develop and the play with family dynamics are awesome. And the fact that no one is condemned to be evil if they choose not to be is great (I’m a sucker for redemption) Of course I always love Victorian era women, because if they are awesome by today’s standards they are even more awesome for stepping out in a restrictive age…I love me a rebellious woman
And I hope there is another trilogy exploring this underworld with WAY more Holmes in it….