Steampunk-a-licious: The Parasol Protectorate Manga announced
The series, currently containing three novels – Soulless, Changeless and Blameless, with the fourth installment, Heartless, due for release later this year – is set in an alternate Victorian London, where Vampires, Werewolves and Ghosts are the norm, and Queen Victoria negotiates the tense politics that have arisen as a result. Alexia Tarabotti, spinster and sadly half-Italian, is also Soulless. In a world where her touch negates the powers of supernatural beings, keeping her identity under wraps is not the easiest of tasks. Add to this, a scruffy Scottish Werewolf who has a tendency to improper advances, and a flamboyant Vampire Aristocrat with and seemingly inexhaustible information network, Alexia’s life is not that of the traditional Victorian Gentlewoman. At least she can rely on her trusty parasol.
I bought Soulless just before MCM Expo in October last year, but it wasn’t until discovering a copy displayed on the Steampunk stall that I got around to reading it. After that I quickly devoured all three, and I’m waiting with baited breath for the next two installments. The series is campy, fast-paced good fun, with some brilliantly sketched characters and a wealth of wonderful imagery and descriptions. Since then I’ve lent my copies out (and there’s no sign of their imminent return) and recommended it as widely as I can. I’m very excited about the manga, to see how this fantastic world will be visualised. The latest word from Gail Carriger on her blog is that an artist has been chosen, and whilst the style is traditional manga, with “big eyes and youthful styling”, non-manga fans of the series need not panic that the style of the series will be lost in translation: Gail reports that “girl has the fashion down!”