Of Parasols and Octopodes

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Given the heavier manner of the last few posts, I find it’s time again for another installment of my Influence and Inspiration series. And for this I must ask, do you know where your parasol is?

The love of steampunk and all things Victorian came before, and I must say in fact led me to this amazing world that Gail Carriger has graced us with. I found the first book of her Parasol Protectorate series while volunteering at my local library and thought it looked like a fun read. Considering the well worn cover and binding I’d say that was recommendation enough.

Yes, I do judge books by their covers. That is why god put them there.

Do you know what I did following that discovery? I went home and purchased the entire boxed set of the series. Being lucky enough to come into it so late I read the entire thing in nearly one sitting and further proceeded to purchase the manga versions offered as well.

The world itself is amazing and very well thought out. Vampires and Werewolves running around Victoria’s London, their only foil being the main character Alexia acting as the supernatural counterbalance. Being Soulless, or better known as a preternatural, she has the capability to neutralize supernatural abilities.

Even so, I think the world only serves to better set up my favorite part of the series, the adversarial romance between Alexia and the werewolf alpha Conall. While I can certainly sympathize with the supernatural and daylight folks plight, I find most often I worry more about these two and how they’re getting along.

There is even a bit in the end where I sincerely believed Miss Carriger was going to deny us a happy ending after all because as an author she writes raw human emotion so vibrantly that you live it yourself.

Since my happy discovery she has greatly expanded her universe to include a prelude series set in a floating finishing school of death, a continuing series following the worldwide adventures of Alexia’s metanatural daughter Prudence and her friends, and the new addition of a series of novella’s to further enrich the story we’re truly only beginning to know.

It is abundantly clear that these stories are written with love, and are the result of their author having fun. And that is what I take away from Miss Carriger’s work as an aspiring author, that it doesn’t matter how silly your ideas sound so long as you fill them with enough life and heart. Dare I say, even soul.

If you haven’t check her out yet, your life is sorely lacking. And I pity you.

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