Please join me today in welcoming S.J. Davis, author of Invisible Sun and Ink, as she shares with us her love of Vampires and Steampunk.
Vampires and Steampunk
First, I am a huge fan of everything Victorian. From teacups, to parasols, to bustles, many fashions and ideas during the age of steam can be seen as very romantic and utopian if viewed through the lens of time. But, in reality, the Victorian era was also a very harsh period - a time of the Industrial Revolution, child labor, and a lack of women’s rights.
I am also a huge fan of dystopian and futuristic science fiction by writers such as William Gibson. So, when I discovered Steampunk (Victorian Sci-fi), I found a sub-genre of speculative fiction that I could really enjoy. I found a way merge my love for Jane Austen, John Keats, and Mary Wollstonecraft, add a dash of dystopia, and add a punk rock aesthetic. Did I say I love punk music? Because I love that too!!
DRACULA is one of my favorite novels of the Victorian era. And vampires are a fun way to contemplate the horror of immortality and the mythology of things that go bump in the night. I’m actually shocked that there aren’t more steampunk vampire movies or books because merging a fantastical creature with innovative modern science is a perfect mix for a dramatic narrative.
When I began Invisible Sun, I wanted to begin with the perils of the Industrial Age and man’s obsession with alchemy. In my book, it is through genetic engineering that man inadvertently creates a new race of vampires in Victorian London. But instead of these vampires being scavengers or prowling the fringes of society, these creatures are highly evolved and respected organizers of law and also the guardians of science.
Unfortunately, one stray drop has spilled from this genetically perfected vein. Draegan, a vampire designed before birth to be the final and perfect vampire, turns rogue, attacking the women of London’s East End and upending the precarious peace between vampires and humans. Chaos breaks loose when a virus, stemming from these genetic experiments, is unleashed on the human community - causing insanity. The chase to end the virus, and to stop Draegan, is the core focus, as two opposing forces – a male vampire and a female heroine – work together. But, they both pay a high price for a hopeful end.
My thoughts on Invisible Sun:
Steampunk, and vampires, and people infected with a 28 Days Later-esque virus...oh my! This was my first foray into the Steampunk genre and I have to say, it was pretty exciting. Davis has created a Victorian world of gadgets, goggles, and airships, intertwined with a unique vampire race. Vampires who have a sort of peace treaty with humans and who, mostly, care about the human race. When one of their ranks turns rogue, it turns things upside down and the relations between the two races become strained, to say the least.
Davis writes well. Her narrative is descriptive and engaging. However, some of the characters are very one dimensional and I became lost a couple of times because the book seemed to jump too fast from scene to scene. I liked how she alluded to Jack the Ripper being the rogue vampire. It all tied in nicely historically, which is a big plus, since I adore history. In all, I think the book could have been somewhat longer as to flesh out the characters more and perhaps develop more of the history and story of the vampires. Plus, a longer book would have made the ending not seem so abrupt. In all though, I enjoyed Invisible Sun. It has made me interested in reading more Steampunk in the future.
By SJ Davis
Genre: steampunk and vampires
In Victorian London, at the beginning of the Industrial Age and the height of man’s obsession with alchemy, scientists gave birth to the foundation of modern genetic science. As steampunk airships cut across the foggy city of Gravesend, vampires are brought to life.
But instead of scavengers prowling the fringe of society, these creatures have evolved to be the respected organizers of the Society, a universal religion, and the Guardians of Science.
One stray drop has spilled from the vein. Draegan, heralded from birth as the genetically perfect vampire, has turned rogue, attacking the women of London’s East End. Only his brother, with the help of Lady Astrid West, can hunt him down before he is able to unleash his full insanity upon the helpless city. And only another birth, the birth of yet another perfect vampire, can stop his madness.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/_LhyHSQuNdU
About the Author:
SJ Davis is the daughter of an ex-patriate British mother and a Southern Baptist ex-CIA father. As a child, she spoke in silly accents and recounted outlandish tales of fantasy over afternoon tea and to this day it remains her favorite activity. Born in Long Island, NY, she was raised in the suburbs of Washington DC and went to school for a very long time (University of Virginia and George Mason University), married an all-around wonderful man, had two kids (smart, funny, full of opinions), moved from Virginia to New Jersey to Philadelphia to Chicago, and began her writing career. She is a believer in fate, an avid tea drinker, a stiletto aficionado, Doc Marten worshipper, punk rock listener, and lover of flip flops and cardigans. She has a terrible sense of direction, loves gummy bears, and is a Johnny Depp fangirl.
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