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Viola Carr Books In Order

Publication Order of Electric Empire Books

The Diabolical Miss Hyde (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Devious Dr. Jekyll (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dastardy Miss Lizzie (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Viola Carr is a fantasy and science fiction author that was born in Australia but currently lives in London. She loves to say she was born in a distant and strange land only to wander into a foggy London to never find her way out. In addition to writing urban fantasy, she also loves to read all manner of fantasy novels and historical novels by gaslight while she listens to the snoring of her cat and classical music. Carr credits her knowledge in history for the Victorian steampunk themes in her novels.

Carr was brought up in a white, educated and middle-class neighborhood and asserts that this had a huge influence on her writing. Many of her novels thus tend to address problems of the middle class that might be called first world problems. For instance, the “Electric Empire” series has a quasi-Victorian setting but has themes from modern world. A good example is the lead who is fighting for justice for murder victims, gender equality and her career. She is more concerned about fulfillment and happiness rather than base survival. Viola Carr has said that she had always been good at writing and always found herself in the clever kid designation at school. However, she only started writing seriously when she was in her late twenties. She entered a high school creative writing project and wrote a high fantasy tale that had all the usual insufferable characters, magical plot-driving objects, and quests. The novel went nowhere but it made her realize that she could actually write and made her determined to improve her writing. But it was not until Carr participated in a National Novel Writing Month and wrote 50,000 words that she was hooked.

Viola Carr was significantly influenced by Anne Rice as she loved her courageous characterizations and lush descriptions. She was also influenced by the epic fantasy styles of the 1980s though she would later wean herself of the influence when it fell out of fashion. However, reading the likes of Hickman and Weis who are known for the legendary “Dragonlance” novels taught her a lot about setting the scene for drama and plot structure. From these novels, she also learned about what not to do when writing fantasy.

The inspiration for the “Electric Empire” series was an idea that just crept into her head then kept leaping and yelling until she had to pay attention. If features Dr. Eliza Jekyll, a crime scene physician who has a double personality. One half is good and wants to work to chase serial killers but the dark half keeps budging in and stopping her from doing it. The tension, just like in the classic “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is that the lead will be toast if the secret becomes known. Just like her father, she has a strange potion that she takes that sets the dark side free to go on a rampage that Eliza the good side cannot even contemplate. Eliza just like Henry is torn between secret delight and righteous disgust at Lizzie’s her alter ego’s wickedness. But just like Jekyll, she is addicted to the excitement and pleasure of doing as she wishes. But once the dark side is let loose it is never so easy to let the genie back into the bottle just as her father found out. Carr develops the magical elements more in the series and pushes a lot of clockpunk/steampunk to give her Dickensian world a magical and luminous mad science flavor. The fact that the lead is a woman trying to make a career for herself in the medical field yet hiding a dangerous secret in Victorian society that finds her unusual just by her choices adds to the tension.

Carr’s “The Diabolical Miss Hyde” is an edgy steampunk fantasy novel that is a twist on the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde classic. The lead is Dr. Eliza Jekyll the daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The novel is set in Victorian London, where Eliza is a doctor and crime scene investigator who hunts killers using advanced technologies. But she will need every skill in her toolbox to catch a new serial killer who has been committing atrocious killing across London. The killer preys on beautiful women that she drugs and then slices off their limbs giving her the name “the Slicer.” Finding the killer may unmask her darkest secret or make her career. Meanwhile, Lizzie Hyde is having the time of her life as an impulsive and seductive woman that can do all manner of dark things uninhibited. The Royal Society sends Captain Lafayette a mercurial man to smoke out Eliza who they believe is a dangerous sorceress. She knows that one wrong step and Lafayette who is also an accursed man would complete his job. But she is addicted to the elixir and as the Slicer case sees her trawling the magical underworld of London, taking the elixir for a much needed break becomes even more urgent.

Carr’s “The Devious Dr. Jekyll” sees Dr. Eliza Jekyll make a comeback after she resolved the infamous Chopper case. She had made a name for herself in the Victorian world that was full of chauvinistic attitudes that had been forced to stop and acknowledge her. But the newfound fame means that she has to be more careful with her diabolical Lizzie Hyde secret. To make matters even more complicated is Remy Lafayette the Royal Society agent that may just want to burn her at the stake, eat her or marry her. She does not know what to make of the mercurial Remy even as the jealous and dark Lizzie wants the persistent and magnetic agent for herself. It becomes even harder for Eliza to push him away, particularly when Remy dangles participation in a bizarre crime in front of her. They are looking for a ritual killer named the Pentacle killer, who draws them into a world of alchemy, spies, and art thieves where the search for immortality has the price of damnation or madness. The only way Eliza can survive in such a world is if she adopts the dark ingenuity of Lizzie. But as they work to foul the dark killer, the vengeful Lizzie becomes even more determined to get rid of Eliza.

Viola Carr’s “The Dastardly Miss Lizzie” opens to Eliza on the end of her rope as she is forced to turn into Miss Lizzie to stop a psychopath who is after the city’s most important sorcerers and scientists. But Lizzie is increasingly getting out of control and is threatening not only her reputation but also her marriage to Royal Society investigator Remy Lafayette. Meanwhile, England has been teetering on the edge of war and her husband is in Paris on a secretive mission that grows more bizarre with each passing day. Could he have been playing for the enemy all this time or could her double personality be driving her mad. Eliza needs her mind sharp and clear if she is to catch the evil genius that is killing prominent London scientists. In their search, they discover a murky world of secret labs, a murky world of forbidden books and a cabal of fanatical inventors that could destroy or change the world. Eliza soon finds out that her enemies are closing in on her even as a bunch of sorcerers use their craft to commit terrorist attacks. She is forced to adopt desperate measures including enlisting the aid of the mercurial, resourceful and wily Lizzie to help her. But Lizzie is true to form and remains just as diabolical and devious and will not hesitate to let the world burn and throw Eliza to the wolves.

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