Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason has a little bit of everything -- steampunk, Sherlock, time travel, Egyptology, romance, mystery.

Mina Holmes, daughter of Mycroft, and Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram, are brought together by Irene Adler to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. Mina, who aspires to follow in her uncle's footsteps, is a skilled (if inexperienced) investigator, and Evaline is a highly trained (though also inexperienced) vampire hunter. Together, they must infiltrate a secret society dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet and discover why upper-class girls like themselves have been dying under mysterious circumstances. Along the way, they are sometimes helped, sometimes hindered by an all-too-clever Scotland Yard investigator, a charming pickpocket, and a strange young man from a future where electricity, not steam, is the preferred source of energy.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but I think perhaps it tries to do too much. The time travel element is unnecessary, the mystery is left partially unsolved, and the romantic elements are rather unsatisfactory. There are a few instances where the dialogue is a little too modern for the setting, and a few holes in the plot strained my credulity. I did enjoy parts of this story, but when I closed the book, I found myself thinking that the whole of the story came out as less, somehow, than the sum of its parts.

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher, via the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.)

No comments:

Post a Comment