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Spotlight on Steampunk: Mini Reviews!

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Today for Spotlight on Steampunk: Two mini reviews! Firstly, there’s the manga adaption of Soulless by Gail Carriger, which I reviewed yesterday. Also, I have a mini review of Anatomy of Steampunk: a great non-fiction steampunk collection that I won at the MCM Expo in October! (:

Soulless: The Manga

Story by Gail Carriger, manga by Rem.

Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 (The Parasol Protectorate Manga)Goodreads Synopsis: The life of a spinster in Victorian London isn’t an easy one on the best of days, but such a life becomes infinitely more complicated when said spinster is “soulless” – a preternatural bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds. Miss Alexia Tarabotti has this unique distinction, and when she is assailed at a formal gathering by a rove vampire, an encounter that results in the death of the half-starved creature, her circumstances become exponentially more complicated indeed! Now caught up in an intrigue with life or death stakes, Alexia must rely on all her talents to outmatch the forces conspiring against her, but it may be the man who has caught her eye – Lord Conall Maccon – and their budding flirtation that truly drives her to her wit’s end!

My Review: If you’d like to read about the story and character, click HERE! In this review I’m going to be talking about the artwork.

The Soulless manga was really fun! I read it straight after the actual book, so the story was already fresh in my head. Maybe that wasn’t a great idea, because then I knew what was coming and couldn’t enjoy it as much… oh well! This was a really fun read, though. Everything was adapted, so well. I was expecting for a few parts to be left out, but everything seemed completely accurate, which was awesome. The drawings of the scenes were exactly the way I’d imagined them to be in my head, reading the novel!

The artwork is extremely pretty. Very often, I had to stop and read over a page, just because I wanted to drink in the illustrations all over again. Especially, the parts like the scene near the beginning with the airships in the park: so pretty! So steampunk-y! I loved it ;D Rem has done a brilliant job in conveying all of the details and the witty dialogue beautifully. It did seem to move a bit fast though, for me, but then again I’m probably reading at the wrong pace. I haven’t read manga in ages and I’m so used to non-illustrated stories that I went through this too quickly, I think. But, Rem has created a gorgeous manga, that I think I’m going to buy along with the next two (I borrowed this from a bloggy friend)!

My Rating:

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I borrowed a copy of Soulless: The Manga Volume 1 from Nina at Death Books and Tea. Thank you so much for letting me read it, Nina! (:

Anatomy of Steampunk: The Fashion of Victorian Futurism

By Katherine Gleason, published by Race Point Publishing.

Anatomy of Steampunk: The Fashion of Victorian FuturismGoodreads Synopsis: From formal outfits to costumes crafted for the stage, from ensembles suited to adventure to casual street styles, steampunk fashion has come to encompass quite a few different looks. But what exactly is steampunk? Originally conceived as a literary genre, the term “steampunk” described stories set in a steam-powered, science fiction-infused, Victorian London. Today steampunk has grown to become an aesthetic that fuels many varied art forms. Steampunk has also widened its cultural scope. Many steampunk practitioners, rather than confining their vision to one European city, imagine steam-driven societies all over the world.

Illustrated throughout with color photographs of the dazzling creations of numerous steampunk fashion designers, Anatomy of Steampunk is an inspirational source-book. In addition to presenting the looks and stories of these creative fashion artists, the book also details ten steampunk projects for the reader to try at home. Allow steam to power your imagination!

My Review: What a brilliant book! I’m so glad I got to read this- I absolutely loved it. Over the past couple of week,s I’ve been dipping in and out of it: Reading a few parts every few days. It’s such a brilliant book, and, like the manga reviewed above, I kept going over the same pages, staring at the pretty pictures. I didn’t realise, when I received this, that it was entirely about Steampunk Fashion- I thought it was about a few other things too- though it was still really great.

It’s basically a non-fiction anthology of fashion designers and steampunk/gothic models. The passages of writing about them are really fun to read, but I think the most captivating part of the book were the pictures. There were some amazing photographs, of some absolutely beautiful steampunk fashion designs. (Also, DONNA RICCI! I LOVE DONNA RICCI’S STUFF. Excuse the capitals. You may recognise her name because she is the gothic steampunk model who features on ail Carriger’s books) Every few ‘chapters,’ there are step-by-step guides to designing different parts of Steampunk outfits: From steampunk goggles to trousers to top hats. They’re’re all really brilliant, and looking over them, I really want to make them! Overall, a great in-depth introduction to steampunk fashion. It’s an awesome source for costume ideas or art inspiration: I’m definitely going to be taking inspiration from in to use in my drawings!

My Rating:

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I won a copy of Anatomy of Steampunk: The Fashion of Victorian futurism from Aurum Press at the London MCM Expo. 

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