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Steampunk Young Adult Review: The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (Stoker & Holmes #1)


Egalley thanks to Chronicle Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
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. And when two society girls go 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 murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK 

8/10

* * *
This is a pretty fun combination of famous bloodlines, which reminded me ironically of Starsky & Hutch


Alvermina Holmes is a niece of Sherlock Holmes who is practicing the same methods of deduction as her famous uncle (and pretty successfully) at seventeen years of age. She is that very nerdy know-it-all type who likes to memorize street names and train schedules and experiment on things in her own laboratory.

Evaline Stoker is a very young, green vampire hunter, who is dying to prove herself and make her famous ancestor Victoria Gardella proud. She is also a sister to Bram Stoker who is writing his book about Dracula. She is rush, impulsive and impatient, a complete opposite to Mina or so it seems.

So when Irene Adler, another well known character from Sherlock Holmes books partners these two on an investigation into a disappearance and death of several young girls of the ton, their relationship starts as a total disaster.

It only takes a couple of near deaths and captures, few love interests, breaking and entering, sneaking into a ball, embroiling themselves into a secret society and plenty of bickering to end the book on a splendid tandem of Stoker & Holmes.

So why have I given it only 8 out of 10?  Well, the plot is mostly great but there were couple of issues for me personally. First of all, there is a time traveller, Dylan, whose story is unnecessary and very underdevelopped. I felt like he really wasn't given his due as a character and was acting like a prop here and there. The same goes for Pix and inspector Grayling. They were very intriguing characters who were just not given any lime light, which was a shame.

Secondly, the switch between Stoker and Holmes points of view was often very confusing and abrupt, and it was taking me awhile to adapt to it.

At last, the ending itself  left us not with a bang but with a whimper and with a lot of loose ends. I understand that it's all geared up for hooking the reader into the new series, but I'm not a fan of a book that doesn't sum up everything in the end nicely.

Otherwise, it's a nice read, which I recommend with few reservations.


* * *
Вроде бы и интересная концепция у этой книги, и читается она неплохо, однако особых восторгов она у меня не вызвала.

Партнёрство Стокер и Холмс напоминает мне Старски и Хатча. Альвермина Холмс - семнадцатилетний вундеркинд, идущая по стопам своего знаменитого дяди Шерлока. Она знает названия всех улиц Лондона, и все расписания его поездов, а для развлечения проводит эксперименты в своей лаборатории.

Евалина Стокер, с другой стороны, отчаянная голова, неопытная молодая охотница за вампирами из знаменитой семейной ветви Гарделла, которая жутко хочет показать, что она достойна своего наследия и своей знаменитой прабабки Виктории Гарделла. Она импульсивна, дерзка и остра на язык.

Когда Ирен Адлер сводит в партнёры Эвалину и Мину, прося их от имени Её Величества помочь ей в расследовании исчезновений и смертей молодых девушек Тона, кажется что такое партнёрство обречено на полный провал.

Однако, несколько неудачных операций спустя, пару-тройку грабежов, проскальзывания на балы без приглашений, открытия секретного общества и крепчания отношений на фоне нескольких любовных интересов, парочка начинает работать вместе вопреки самим себе и их таким разным темпераментам.

Сюжет очень неплох, однако мне не понравилось, как потенциально прекрасные второстепенные персонажи Дилан, Пикс и инспектор Грэйлинг были практически невостребованы автором и не разработаны в этой книге. Дилан к тому же путешественник из будущего, чья история вообще оказывается задвинута в угол и упомянута мимоходом.

Разделение сюжета на точку зрения Эвалины и Мины тоже какое-то грязное. Их рассказы и начинаются и прерываются обрывисто, и не всегда ясно от чьего лица ведётся повествование.

Наконец концовка какая-то вялая. Всё просто останавливается, а не закругляется, а я это очень не люблю, хоть и понимаю, что сейчас такие ленивые концовки в сериях очень популярны.

В общем, читать можно, но осторожно.
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