This story has a completely surreal quality to it. Which can be said for a lot of the Gaslamp stories I’ve read… but this one just takes on a whole new level. I think it’s the combination of different worlds and the childlike dream state that is perpetuated throughout. It just makes this feel incredibly dreamlike – and makes it a little hard to follow through.
Tesla and Edison and their competition has always vaguely fascinated me. After all, they’re work is what we use in our everyday lives and it’s not something that I could imagine being without. And, apparently Hieber felt the same… since this pivotal moment in time is what is featured in this tale. It completely drew me in. To the point, that after reading this story, I bought a collection of works that feature Tesla’s experiments and life… you have to start somewhere, and I’m still not entirely sure who’s side I’m on in that race…
I really didn’t love how this story ended. Alright, luckily there is a trilogy to follow on. But seriously… the way that ended?!?! It was a freaking frustrating ending to a trilogy. Although I still loved it. And couldn’t put it down. And had a huge smile on my face even as I was screaming on the inside. Alright, I was also cheering on the inside, because after all, the good guys won and Sonea actually did get a bit of a happily ever after. Just not the one that I wanted for her…
Not sure why, but at the beginning of this story, I was kind of expecting a much more cheerful and happier outlook in this story. Maybe a bit of a rags to riches story. I was so incredibly wrong. This is a little bit dark, a little bit uncomfortable and a really enjoyable read.
I’m a little bit disappointed that the premise of this story was only fleshed out in a novella. I would happily read a full length novel, or even a series which features Ireland and all of her awkward rescues. Although, maybe that’s just being greedy. After all, this worked brilliantly, and I loved it immensely. Expanding on it could just ruin the enjoyment that it made me feel.
When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t quite remember what this short story was even about. There was a vague memory of enjoying the story and thinking it was very good, but I just couldn’t remember what happened in it. So I had to have a quick look at the pages again. And then it all came flooding back to me. And I’m really not sure why I didn’t remember this much clearer from the very beginning. There was a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to this story, with a great sense of darkness and brutality.
The Princess and the Pea has always been one of those stories that is kind of iconic for me. I’m not sure why, since I don’t often enjoy stories about princessy princesses. But, this version of it using tricksters and the desert is far more to my taste. Actually, I was incredibly disappointed when it was over.
From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvellous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire) by Genevieve Valentine
This was a bit of a weird read. Not in a horrifying or negative manner, but in a, I’m going to read this again and again to see what pops out. It’s fascinating, fun and a perfect mix of reality and fantasy. The unique structure of this story is what I love the most about this story though. It is different, fun and gives an entirely different flow to the storyline than any other short story that I have read recently.
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for years. It was a book that my mum has had for a long time, and it slowly migrated to my shelf across time. So I thought it was probably about time to pick it up and see why I had kept it on my shelf, untouched for all of these years. And, although it wasn’t the ground shattering story I was hoping for, it was still a fun little adventure. Something that was a little bit different to my usual read. And one that I really enjoyed.
As an introduction to Gaslamp fantasy, this was kind of fantastic. And the fact that it was a short story written by an author that I’ve already kind of fallen for… well, that was sort of perfect. After all, this story mixes magic, sexism and a healthy dose of pride and power. Actually, the voice which told the story was one that I immediately connected with and didn’t ever want to leave.