Monday, January 19, 2015

The Clockwork Scarab

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

....I don't have a disclaimer for this one. .....STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.

This was kind of a fun little jaunt that got a little broken with story mechanics, but it might be okay depending on what happens in later books. IDK MY BFF JILL, THINGS MAY GET REAL.

An amazon summary, "Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you're the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear—one dead, one missing—there's no one more qualified to investigate. Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The pressure is on and the stakes are high—if Stoker and Holmes don't figure out why London's finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they'll become the next victims." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So, basic premise of the story: Sherlock & Mycroft Holmes are real, vampires are real, Dracula is currently being written by Bram Stoker, and the mysteries are running rampant! It's also basic steampunk....


Alright, I'll just do a real break down.

The story begins with Mina Holmes going to the museum on a summons. She is met by Irene Adler and Evaline Stoker while there's also a break-in at the museum in process. Mina and Evaline are partnered up to serve the Princess under Irene's direction. In the next few chapters, they run into three blokes: Pix, Dylan, and Inspector Grayling.

Pix is an underground thug (sort of) who Evaline takes a sort of smarmy shine to. Pix is a crafty little bugger.

Dylan is...well, the reader should figure this out immediately from the museum scene, but Dylan is from the FUTUREEEEE (2016....or 2015? Pretty much present day) and it just trying to get home but also learn more about their time period.

Inspector Grayling is with the police force and he has a battle of the wits against Mina almost all the time. I swear, the two of them couldn't get within five feet of each other before Mina devolves into a flustered, trying to be logical, young woman. Struggles.


Mina and Evaline were summoned to investigate the disappearances (and death) of young society girls. As women, they tend to be underestimated. As a Holmes and a Stoker, they tend to be crafty as all get out. Mina begins to investigate the clues of the scene and uses Evaline's resources to slowly infiltrate high society to uncover clues. Evaline kind of accidentally wanders into information/happenings and they have a horrendous time trying to work together as they don't really respect each other.

The plot goes on to figure out the mysterious disappearances.....but there is other stuff I want to talk about.

Mina's mother left her about a year ago and Mina is understandably upset about it, and her father, Mycroft, is hardly ever home. Mina has melancholy for this (seriously, understandably) and it plays into her character. The character construction is deftly worked in as Mina tends to have sharper emotional reactions to other people yet she's also very logical. It was freaking brilliant.

Evaline's parents are gone; she lives with Bram as he knows what's going on with her inheriting vampire hunter abilities and she has a doting family in her life. She's constantly trying to prove herself and live up to her namesake, which also plays nicely into the plot.

So, I was impressed with the story development, but I was a bit lost amongst the setting.

It's supposed to be London, but it's also very steam punk-esque (Mina carries a steam gun, literally; it emits blasts of steam). They were always describing three different floors to London and having to ride a lift to get to the higher levels, but I had such a bitterly hard time imagining this. I eventually settled on weird mall that may or may not have light on the bottom two levels. I disliked the setting because I couldn't really get my mind around the outdoors, but the indoors were well described.

THEN THERE IS DYLAN. WHY IS DYLAN THERE. ALL OF THE WHY. Dylan is a character that is most likely from our present time period (he has a cell phone), who knows about Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker, but then wouldn't it be an alternate timeline OR he's stuck in a story or something? I definitely don't know and I really can't see the Dylan aspect going anywhere that makes sense.

All in all, it was fun to read. I just had to brow beat myself a bit to ignore the gaping DYLAN DOESN'T MAKE SENSE and WTF IS THIS SETTING. I'm planning on reading the second one....we'll see how well that goes if I continue on to the rest of the series.

Happy reading!

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