Avalon Revisited (Blue Moose Press 2010) by Olivia M. Grey was my first introduction to Steampunk fiction, a genre blending science fiction, fantasy, history, horror, Victorian, and speculative fiction. Since I met Ms. Grey, I’ve been introduced to this new and intriguing subculture, traversing the world–form the wilds of London to the mayhem and extremity of the Burning Man.
Carefully researched, Ms. Grey’s writing style kept me intrigued until the very end. I was able to walk with the characters through cold nights “full of murder and monsters” ( (81). The protagonist, Arthur, a vampire, is both the subject and narrator. He is by his own admission a man who “wasn’t polite company” (7). He meets Avalon, a dark-haired beauty who obsesses and distracts him. She is quite complicated and you’re never sure about how his pursuit of her will go until the very end because of a key conflict: He is a vampire and she a vampire hunter. He says, “Of all the women I’ve had in my time, I fall in love with a vampire hunter. Of course” (86). Though he knows his obsession of Avalon is self-destructive, he says, “This was love. This agony. This suffering. This sinking feeling in my chest. Feeling unable to live without her. Knowing I could not live without her. Knowing I would do anything for her, even if it led to my own ruin, for I was nothing without her” (187).
At no point did I lose interest in this sexy, vampire tale, and at no point did I feel I left Victorian England, in spite of the anachronisms associated with Steampunk fiction. I highly recommend this novel. It’s not your typical vampire read, and the skilled craft of O. M. Grey will keep you reading till the very end. You may even be motivated to show up at a Steampunk conference or read more in this genre. You can read more about Olivia Grey here (O.M. Grey is a pen name for Christine Rose): http://christinerose.wordpress.com./
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