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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Winter of the Passion Flower by Annie Seaton


 Winter of the Passion Flower by Annie Seaton


Reviewed by Maria

Miss Indigo de Vargas, a young gentlewoman of aristocratic Spanish lineage, lives on the Cornish coast in the 19th century, as the Crystal Palace exhition approaches.  She runs a futuristic holiday resort fuelled by the inventions of her late father, a scientific genius indeed.  That her late father was a man of the future is evident given the fact that he reportedly expired on a mission to the twenty first century. However, it is quite clear that the gentleman would have done well to have paid less attention to his scientific inventions and a little more to his daughter's moral formation.  The young woman's behaviour is simply scandalous.  Rumour has it that she has taken more than one lover to her bed and that she tires of gentleman easily.  She exhibits some overtly masculine traits which belie her feminine appearance - she tends to take the lead in her relationships with gentlemen. This is way too scandalous....

Oh, enough, enough.  That's my Victorian alter ego, Miss Mariah Perryman taking over.  She's a bit of a prude, don't mind her at all.  The Victorians did throw a bit of a blanket over the excesses of ages past.

No doubt, Indigo's throroughly liberated.  She was, I believe, full of inventive spirit and that can't exist in a straitjacket, moral or otherwise.  This book was my introduction to the steampunk genre and I was impressed.  Steampunk, is a sub-genre of historical, firmly set in the age of steam complete with the inventive, pioneering spirit of that age.  Indigo takes time travel in her stride. Not to mention ray guns and shape shifters.  She just hops into her rattling contraption of a time machine, cogs awhirl, brass fittings notwithstanding and off she goes.  She's just as much at home in jeans and a tee shirt as she is in a corset and a bustier. 

A delightfully humorous read, innovative and memorable.  Highly recommended.

Grab your copy here, or if you are in the UK, here.