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 so, when two society girls go missing, there's no one more qualified to investigate. Now, the fierce Evaline and the logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, in order to navigate the advances of not just one, but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: the 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…
©2013 Colleen Gleason (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"The mishmash of popular tropes (steampunk! vampires! Sherlock Holmes!) will bring readers in, but it's the friendship between the two girls that will keep them." (Kirkus Reviews)
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
I like the genre, the sherlock holms like sleuthing and the british narrators, and this book did deliver that but it is clearly not geared towards adults. Many of the plot developments are obvious to an adult and if anyone had read Sir Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels, one particular development would have stood out like a sore thumb. I'll not say more because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone but as I said, to anyone who has read the original Sherlock Holmes it would be obvious. Even at the end, there would have been a blaringly obvious development being setup for the next book(s) in this series.
That said, I did enjoy the book to a degree, enough that I don't regret purchasing it but I do wish it was properly labeled. This should be in the teen or pre-teen sections.
Jolyn in LA
Other reviewers complained about this book being for teens only. Trash! A good story is a good story… and one that's smart and fun, even better! I am not ready to leave Steampuke London, or Mina & Evaline just yet… so I guess I'll be listening to this again, soon!
Not wanting to give anything away, I just loved the way Mina & Evaline butted heads in their efforts to work together. I loved the way the author let us be in both their heads, seeing through their eyes.
EVERYTHING!!! I've listened to Jayne before, as Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce (amazing books!) I have never read this author before, and gave it a try mostly because of Jayne Entwhistle! Great narration, great story!
If only I could, but I am sure that would be grounds for divorce.
What great characters Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are, and putting them in a Steampunk version of 1890's London, inspired! Now, where is Book 2!!!!!
Yes, I love to listen to books while I make my long drive to and from work.
I loved that this book had two young ladies as crime-solvers and the fact that it took place in a steampunk past.
This book was amazing and kept me interested!
A better narrator. Faster pace. More believable dialog. Characters that took actions in character.
No. My friends are all adults.
No. Nor would I read a book by this author again.
I would eliminate a character. The boy from the future. Not needed. Not utilized. He didn't belong there. Anything he added could be gotten by other means.
This was not marked as a juvenile book. The idea was intriguing. For a reader with less of an idea of how the world/people/emotions works, in other words what reality is, this would be a good book. A book for teens. This might be a good choice for a pre to early teen. But the dialog is period true and there for stilted. I felt the action was slow at times the story crawled. I have reviewed this book as an adult. This is not on the level of Harry Potter, which an adult can appreciate.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Strong young-women heroines, friendship, bravery, mystery-solving, and romance in Steampunk Victorian England? Yes, please!
Colleen Gleason takes several well-established tropes and blends them together to get something fresh and kick-ass.
Sherlock Holmes's niece, Mina and the Bram Stoker’s sister, Eveline are brought together to solve a mystery involving a Steampunk Egyptian mechanized scarab. Holmes has the logic, Stoker has the passion. They must overcome their rivalry and learn to trust each other to save the day.
The set up is genious, but it's the friendship at the heart of this story, as dynamic as any love affair, that keeps you listening.
Narrator Jayne Entwhistle makes me drool. I happily spent hours in her audio-company.
Yes. This story is enjoyable for YA+ audiences, but in no way compares to Sherlock Holmes mysteries which is okay since I didn't want anything that intense.
I'm not sure there was any one memorable moment for me, although I was surprised with the vampire aspects, and I liked the steam-punk bits.
No. For such a beautiful voice, the narrator doesn't demonstrate any range! As a result, the story runs together without differentiation between characters and events. It's easy to listen to, but I kept loosing track of who was talking or thinking.
Yes and No. I am glad I listened to the book because now I know I like the story well enough to go back and actually read the book. No because it's was a frustrating experience to continually be lost or confused about the characters due to the manner in which the book was narrated.
Note to parents: Nothing too intense or inappropriate with regard to romance, vampires or criminal behavior (although we are to assume girls are being murdered).
This book seems to promise a teen steam punk novel featuring two strong female characters. Well....it fails on just about every level. The characters are horrible in many ways. The plot fails on every level. Also, I get that having fictional characters as real people is a thing in steam punk, but if you're going to have Sherlock Holmes's neice, then why not have the other character be Mina Harker (from Dracula's) relation of some kind? Why have one 'historical' and one 'fictional' one?? Really, it's not a great book, and I definitely won't be buying any of the sequels.
So to start off, the characters. Mina and Evelyn are useless, together and separately. Mina is a completely one dimensional character. I get that she's different because she's a Holmes, but the author is so busy with that, she ends up very uninteresting. Evelyn is just useless. She agrees to be a part of this secret team and then does absolutely nothing for days on end for no particular reason. Even if they have their own quirks, they're not exactly great roll models, since every time any young male character so much as looks at them they go all "fluttery" and blush and become completely useless. It's painful to read.
Then there's the plot. It's supposed to be twisty, I suppose, but it's so cliche that it's almost painful to listen to. From the word go it's pretty obvious exactly what's going on and about to happen. The only mystery in the whole thing is the time travelling, and the mystery is: why is it in the book? The time travelling has absolutely nothing to do with the 'mystery' at hand. Nor does it provide any essentials to solving the mystery. It's really just thrown in there for no reason. Maybe it's important in the second book, but I'm not going to stick around and find out.
I think the biggest failing of this book is that, while the plot isn't completely resolved by the end of the book, the big, lingering mystery (aka who is the Ankh) would be so easily solved if Mina was actually half as smart as she's supposed to be OR had the thought processes of a normal human being, she'd already know the answer. If she looked at the whole secret investigation business with any sort of suspicion she'd know that the Ankh was the one person who is continually referred to as the only person always one step ahead and who is mysteriously missing at important points of the story.
Anyway, long story short: very disappointed :(
I am a major fan of both steampunk and the Holmes universe. I have read widely in both fields and in their blends. I purchased The Clockwork Scarab and prepared for an entertaining listen. Unfortunately, the author is apparently ignorant of both fields and others as well. Over a third of the book was "purple prose" right our of 1980's Harlequin romances that was nauseating in the extreme.
Her treatment of Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Irene Adler, and Bram Stoker is shallow and dismissive. How any author can waste such characters in such a idiotic manner is utterly disgusting.
Her treatment of the Steampunk aesthetic is also shallow and dismissive. She obviously doesn't understand anything except for the clothing and "there's steam, brass, and machines."
After dismissing those characters, let's see where her focus was:
The daughter of Mycroft who is a caricature of the socially inept nerd
The sister of Bram Stoker who is a hereditary vampire hunter with superior strength and speed (Hi, Buffy) and a deathly fear of blood (sigh).
A time traveler from our time who provides an iphone as the mechanical keystone (maybe because the author is afraid of real steampunk tech).
If you want to see how this environment focused on a relative of Holmes SHOULD be treated, I suggest The Baskerville Affair trilogy by Emma Jane Halloway. If you want to see how Irene Adler SHOULD be treated grab the Irene Adler series by Carol Nelson Douglas. If you want to really get into the Aesthetic of Steampunk through a rousing adventure combining mystery, artifacts, magic, and historical figures, grab the Ministry of Peculiar Affairs books by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. I wasted funds and time on this book, but will avoid this series and anything else by this author in the future.
The narrator. I couldn't get past her voice and therefore cannot review this story.
depends on the narrator
i don't have anyone in mind, but I know I will not listen to another book by Entwistle.
i sometimes feel that a little steampunk goes a long way, but my first action when i finished this rollicking and suspenseful adventure was to log on to audible to purchase and listen to the sequel. (which isn't out until october 7th... guess what i'm doing that day?) i love that the characters seem true to their respective patrimonies as relations of sherlock holmes and bram stoker, while still being very much the original creations of connie gleason, AND seeming like authentic and realistic teenage girls. as for the vocal performance, i'm pretty sure jayne entwistle could read the london telephone directory and still be riveting; with this material she is clearly enjoying herself as much as we are.
"Much better than expected"
No I have none hence listening to audiobooks all day.
I'll continue with the series, the characters are all likeable, that's the most important thing to me in most books. too many people aren't.
I bought this book because of Ms Entwhistle having listened to her on the Flavia de luce series, the narrator on audible is not as good so I had to get them from iTunes. ||||||
|She has a lovely tone to her voice though one criticism I have is that it is difficult to concentrate on which character is speaking at any time, I feel Stoker and Holmes sound too similar. It would be improved if one of them sounded more distinct say like Daphne in the De luce novels.
Joyfully not a Vampire (or vampyre if your cool) in sight. Like the Theodosia series ancient Egypt makes a welcome return.
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