Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London Society. But there's a murderer to deal with - not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch and sorcery the demon enemy of the Empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines - something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty's secret laboratories. What's a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she's never found out?
But then there's that murder. As Sherlock Holmes' niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.
©2013 Naomi Lester (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I love well-written books in virtually every genre. Quirky characters delight me, and it breaks my heart when a good plot is badly done.
Certainly not among the very best, but really worth a listen for steampunk fans. Holloway does lean on the world building of previous steampunk novels, which makes it useful to have read in the genre already. (She also includes a magical component to her world, which isn't the general rule.) Many steampunk novels so far are so taken up with the technology that the story itself is sometimes rather thin and often short. Holloway instead has a complex plot and real character development; there are real villains, but the heros/heroines are flawed and do evolve over the course of the book. Evelina Cooper, the heroine of the book is the niece of Sherlock Holmes, not a terribly original concept but which gave her a (fairly absent) mentor of a sort and a grounding in the times. She has a mixed background, raised in a circus family, but also the daughter of a society woman of good enough standing that she is able to be on the edges of the aristocracy. There are two romantic threads in the story, but they are not the focus of the story, and it is not at all a typical romance. There are two more books following up on this story line; the book itself is long enough that it doesn't feel like an arbitrary way to sell more books. A Study in Silks is truly finished, but I do want to read more about these characters. (Neither sequel is available in audio yet.)
Pretty well the whole book; a few slow moments but mostly the book moved forward consistently quickly. A few repetitions in scenes that could have been helped by better editing.
She did well with all of them.
Not really that kind of book. More of a thriller/adventure.
I'm giving this book 5 stars because I think it is a really good addition to the steampunk genre. I don't think it's a book that I will reread, at least not soon.a
First of all, the story had zero humor. I liked the core storyline, but the author spent far too much time on the whole love triangle, with zero humor between any of the characters. I am used to some of the other steampunk authors like Pip Ballantine, and Gail Carriger who add a lot of humor along with a good story. This book was like listening to a teen girl whining about two boys she liked. The book could have been great with about fifty percent of the love triangle junk removed, and some humor added.
I doubt I'll listen to the rest of the series, since it was just to drab and slow moving. As a man, I don't think I can listen to all the confused love triangle stuff either. I need to listen to one of the other steam punk authors to get back to sanity.
Angele is a great reader, which was one of the only reasons I continued to listen, since the story seemed to drag on and on throughout. Her change of voice for characters is good, and she keeps you hooked well enough to keep the play button going.
Yes, make sure a book isn't mostly a love story, instead of an adventurous steam punk story I was expecting.
Don't bother if you are expecting a fun adventure with steam punk. The story just drags and drags, with zero humor, and far too much "oh I love him, or no i love that guy, oh wait I love this guy again." At the end of the story the main character ends up looking like a foolish girl, while the guys are all jerks.Now I don't mind a love triangle, but it seemed as though the book was saturated with confusing little girl thoughts of who she liked or disliked.
Say something about yourself!
For 21 hours of listening you have a love triangle in a Victorian setting. That means it is not a 50 shades of Grey romance. Her choice of a husband is a dichotomy of wealth vs pauper, titled aristocratic vs merchant class, genteel vs horse trainer.
For 21 hours you have 2 lovely young woman. Both intelligent and best friends. One very fragile with a high rank in society. The other dominate and strong will with the disadvantage of her mother who married for ... of course love and died living with her husband’s circus family.
For 21 hours you have both ladies who lives will change after having the Queen kiss their hand and taking a dance on the floor. God I wish it was a simple as that to choose a person to marry. While the ladies are in the mist of making a life choice there is the issue of a little murder. How unique is a murder of a house maid who is in the (sotto voce) family way and who could possibly be the father?
For 21 hours the best method to keep the niece of Sherlock Holmes too busy to solve a case is to try to besmirch her character.
For a steampunk novel there is not enough gadgetry. That is my main pet peeve. The most interesting ones are created by Evelina, the niece of Sherlock Holmes. As the niece of Sherlock she was conducting her detecting from a negative premises. She want to control the information so her friend’s family honor is upheld. You cannot be impartial that way!
I was disappointed with the portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. His is presented as a man who has no standing and can be blackmailed. A one point Holmes has agreed to think about taking a case. To help nudge Homles make that decision a man threaten Holmes’ family. Really? .
After 14 hours I did wonder when was all this going to be wrapped up. Then I was disappointed with a cliff hanger for one of the characters and what was so evil about the woman automaton. So not cool. I did buy the next book. I want to find out of the story of the dismissed suitor.
Oh for 21 hours, a woman hair will get mussed, gloves will get dirty, cloths will get purchased and the ladies do a little snooping.
I have read a few books in the steampunk genre and have enjoyed most of them. This is DEFINITELY one of the best! It combines fantasy, mystery and fun! I can't wait to read the next two installments! Angele Masters does an excellent job bringing this fun story to life. Although it is a long story, I just couldn't get enough! Emma Jane Holloway is now a MUST READ for me!
This book was fantastical and had a sense of reality all at the same time it was a great distraction from the every day stresses and a wonderful book to listen to during long commute I am surprised to say that I will look forward to reading more in this series
Let me start with Angele Masters, whom has a lovely voice for Steampunk books told from a woman’s point of view. It seems very difficult for most narrators to imitate the opposite gender – though some narrators such as Simon Vance do it beautifully. In this case, Masters’ male characters sounded a little cartoonish but all in all, I enjoyed her narration.
Now for the writing: Emma Holloway is a fine writer with a lot of interesting ideas. I liked her form and her dialog felt fairly natural.
That being said, this book just didn’t grab me. The plot begins with the murder of a young female servant in a house where Sherlock Holmes’ niece happens to reside.
For starters, I am an epic Sherlock Holmes fan. I love the way that Doyle’s books are actually a time capsule to a very real time. I study these stories like a monk studies the Bible (no sacrilege intended). So with that said, I don’t think Holloway suffers from a similar obsession, as her Holmes character didn’t ring true to Doyle’s.
I don’t think I would spoil the plot to say, “Holmes gets shot.” The reason Holmes gets shot is because he shows his hand before he has solved the case. This fact alone is so uncharacteristic of the great detective, whom was often chastised for being so cagey throughout every investigation.
My point is that if an author is going to use such a well-known character in fiction, then the author should be intimately acquainted with the character.
However, that was more of a personal peeve than a plot failure. Just the same, the overall plot didn’t really grab my interest either. Most of the time the main character prattled on about this Victorian Cotillion that served as a generic backdrop. It wasn’t until 15-hours into the book that Holloway finally introduced a sinister automaton but then failed to develop the character (though I suspect the automaton will reappear in future books).
Finally, the most enjoyable part of this whole book was actually the teaser at the end for Holloway’s next book. In it, there is a battle between sky pirates that really peaked my interest. However, after a grueling 21hrs 38 min of A Study in Silks, I don’t think I will read anymore of Holloway’s books.
I give this book: 2 out of 5 gears.
This book is nonsense. Sherlock Holmes' niece helps solve a murder using magic. The girl grows up in the circus and is rescued by Sherlock's grandma. She becomes a young gentle woman, who talks to tree spirits and is sought after by powerful warlocks. Crazy!
There's a little more romance than I would enjoy. Sometimes it jars you out of the mystery. But the plot is good, it sets up the sequel very well, and I enjoyed the relationship between Holmes and his niece. She isn't an investigator, and all she can do is hold the clues until Uncle Holmes comes to town. The world doesn't need another female Holmes. Adler is bad enough.
I'm new to this. But I think I'm gonna love it.
I thought this was going to be a simple read, but it really took me by surprise! Great story, great characters & I find I can't wait to read the next one!
A totally different plot and character.
Yes - she did her best with the material (at least the 30 minutes I listened)
Disappointment, boredom, annoyance.
This isn't a mystery, and it isn't very magical. The plot is boring, and most of the characters trite (seriously, a mysteriously ill girl in Victorian England? A handsome gypsy? A handsome rake? Oh my, the romantic triangle that will probably ensue!
"Strong Willed Steampunk Heroine Perfection"
The mixture of magic, technology & the alternative victorian timeline were a facinating backdrop to the book which was in itself a brilliant addition to the strong willed female detective with hidden magic trope (pretty much everything I read).
I loved that, whilst the novel was writen in from a limited third person view point it kept switching between characters meaning that you missed nothing of what was going on. It often meant that you knew more than the characters & it was a very interesting position to be in as a reader.
Obviously this reminded me of Sherlock Holmes (as he turns up) but it also reminded me of Gail Carriger novels & obviously all the urban fantasy in the 'strong willed female detective with hidden magic' trope.
"Horray for even this book ending!"
This book is so annoying it wouldn't even let me fall asleep because I got so upset with it.
Evalina is a girl who grew up in a circus until her grandmother rescued her and put her in a fancy school where she told everyone where she came from. Until she got bullied for it. The she kept it as a secret and apparantly that's enough for everyone to conveniently forget it.
Oh yes, and when she isn't pondering why she can't do this and she can't do that and why she loves him, and why that is so awful, and oh, there is that other guy that she surely would have married she is sulking, bitching, moaning, doing nothing and rejecting everything the world offers her.
Roundabout seven hours of your life, dear reader, will have passed until the story is set up. 30 Minutes would have sufficed. It has the worst similes (and the most similes, at that) I have encountered since, um, well, I can't remember. A light exhalation like a gloating smile? Yeah, right!
She is revolted by a corpse, then nauseated, then she bends down to inspect it closer, she shivers, sweats, trembles, retrieves stuff from inside a dress without touching the body, stares at it, can't even look at it and ON AND ON IT GOES!
sorry for shouting, rant over.
The story is much too much drawn out, the plotlines have a tendency to disappear and the construction of this steampunk world is neither logical nor appealing.
And if you like Sherlock Holmes, please don't even consider this book. He isn't like the Sherlock I know, neither the original nor one of the modern adaptations.
All in all: don't buy, don't listen to it.
The story rattles along at a steady pace with interesting characters and situations. A really good feel to the time and class system of the 1900th century with a fantasy twist and ' who dunnit ' to add. Highly recommended
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