In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.
Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.
I'm still a newbie when it comes to steampunk. Sometimes the genre is obvious to me, and sometimes - like with Incarnation - I have a hard time understanding where the genre classification stems from. Incarnation is definitely Victorian, but I wasn't able to pick up on the technology that would place this as a steampunk novel. That being said, I think this is the perfect time of year to read a Victorian novel. Last year I read Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense throughout the month of October. The gothic style of Victorian literature is very fitting to the change in the season.
If I were to classify Incarnation, I would just label it a Victorian vampire story. The main character, Lucy, is the same Lucy from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Except she's not. In Incarnation, Bram Stoker is an author for hire who penned Dracula with large deviations from the truth. Lucy tracks down Stoker on her way to tracking down the creature who turned her. The lack of true connection Incarnation had to the real story of Dracula was a disappointment for me. I'm a fan of Dracula, and the use of the Dracula characters felt like an angle at first. By the end, though, I did enjoy the references that came into play.
The beauty of Incarnation to me is the descriptions of the vampire culture in London. Lucy is not like other vampires. While my usual taste in books left me wanting to know more about the vicious and seductive vampires tucked away in London, I remained captivated by Lucy and the world Emma Cornwall created.
I recommend Incarnation to those who are fans of vampire lore and enjoy the beauty of Victorian literature.
6/10: Good read
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