Gail Carriger‘s books feature a particular style/variant of Steampunk which I like a lot. She incorporates not only all the elaborate gadgetry, gizmos, dalliances and daring-do set in Victorian England of Steampunk at its finest, she adds in a large dollop of the paranormal, as in vampires, and were-beasts. Her delightful Steampunk novels are like pillow mints for the brain. They’re delicious to read and melt into minty goodness in your mind. If you like Gilbert and Sullivan, Steampunk and paranormal romances, you’ll love these books.
A whisper of warning, though. The books she writes as “Gail Carriger” are inclusive*. (If that sort of thing curls your lip, then you really won’t like any of the books she writes as “G.L. Carriger.”)
These books of which I speak are all set in the same “Carrigerverse” of 19th century England during the reign of Queen Victoria and cover two generations of the same family. They begin with the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti, eldest daughter of Letitia Tarabotti Loontwill (neé Phinkerlington), and ex-Templar Alessandro Tarabotti, as related in the first book in the Parasol Protectorate quintet, Soulless, and continue through Blameless, Changeless, Heartless, and Timeless. In Soulless, the first book in the series, Alexia has exciting adventures and marries Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish werewolf and leader of the London pack. It is a love match. As you might suspect, a parasol is involved, as well as hats, Egypt, treacle tarts, and an octomaton. Lord and Lady Maccon have a daughter, whom her mother names Prudence. They move from the country into a London townhouse, next door to Lord Akeldama, a rove vampire with a colorful wardrobe, a taste for young men, and a dirigible named Dandelion Fluff Upon A Spoon.
Prudence grows up and has adventures, which mostly involve not living up to her name. These are detailed in the Custard Protocol books, Prudence, Imprudence, Competence, and Reticence (which comes out in August); and involve hats, mechanical contrivances, were-creatures and dirigibles. Also involved are Madame LeFoux’s adopted son, Ivy’s twins, and a woman named Phinkerlington, who may be collaterally related to our heroine.
Ms. Carriger has another series in this ‘verse, which is the Finishing School series: Etiquette and Espionage, Curtsies and Conspiracies, Waistcoats and Weaponry, and Manners and Mutiny, all of which are in the To Be Read pile.
I will note that all of the above-mentioned books are available in ebook format as well as in dead tree editions. The reading of the above involved multiple pots of tea. No hats were harmed either in the reading of the books, or the writing of this review, and a good time was had by WOL.
*inclusive - accepting of the reality that the Human species includes LGBTA individuals, and that these individuals have the same rights as everybody else.