Series: Stoker and Holmes (#2)
Previous Book: The Clockwork Scarab
Source: LybraryThing Early Reviewers Giveaway
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult Fiction.
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication date: October 7th, 2014
I asked and received this book through the LybraryThing Early Reviewers program for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Chronicles Books for the book.
The candle flames burned straight and steady. Silence reigned. As the stillness went on, I felt a prickle of anticipation instead of my normal impatience.
The second book in the Stoker and Holmes series, this book went beyond what I was expecting. In the first book, we meet Mina Holmes, niece of the famous detective, and Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram and as it turns out a vampire slayer. Set in a parallel Victorian Steampunk London, the duo sets to solve yet another mystery, once again asked by Princess Alix. The young Willa Ashton has become obsessed with mediums and paranormal events, in search of her lost brother. But is it really a paranormal thing going on or is someone taking advantage of sweet, naïve Miss Ashton?
I was under impressed with the first book, to say the least; it felt to me that the author was trying to reach way too many tropes and in doing so, they were not fullfilled and the characters weren't develop to their full potential.
In this second installment all the main characters get time to grow on the reader and this is a great thing, particularly since the chapters jump from one girl to the other one. I'm still having a bit of a hard time with the steam punk gimmicks, but I think even if they weren't there I would quite enjoy the mystery part.
In this book, while still very analytical, Mina Holmes is not only "logical" and we get to see another side of her. While I could do without the 2 love interests for her, and another 2 (it seems) for Evaline, their interactions with the boys are quite entertaining and luckily the main arc does not revolve around them getting "weak in the knees". Actually that is something I have to applaud in this series: the main characters are strong, intelligent women and most of their interactions are with other similar female characters. They are the ones finding the answers and saving the day!
Now, the mystery, I will admit I did not see who the culprit was, and that is nice,specially when you are having a detective side of the story. It really bothers me when the whole thing is extremely obvious from the beginning. And what is more, the author gave a final twist at the end that makes me really want to get the third book!
I flew through the book during the holidays and so I would recommended for Steampunk fans and for people looking for a fast, fun read.