Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: 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.
I purchased this during a round of shopping at BAM! and was intrigued by the interesting twist on the Holmes & Stoker lore. I’m pleased to say that this ended up being a very delightful read.
This book is one of those that seems to span many different genres as it delves into the fantasy, historical and some science fiction as there are mentions of vampires and a fair amount of what I would consider “steampunk” concepts in the book. The story is set in the 1800s and the author does a good job of blending accurate period descriptions with her steampunk aspects and some modern mannerisms to fit the stronger attitudes of the heroines.
I will admit that while reading the book I definitely enjoyed Evaline’s POV more than I did Mina’s. While they both were good and I liked the use of the dual narrative, I found that Evaline was a much more relatable and fun character, whereas Mina could come across as very stuck up at times which could be off-putting.
Another thing that really made me enjoy Evaline’s story more than Mina’s was her love interest, Pix. No offense to Dylan or Inspector Grayling, but Pix seemed like a much more complex character and every time he appeared and then disappeared I wanted to know more about him. My only issue with his character was that the “accent” the author chose to use for him was somewhat difficult to read and I kept having to reread his lines over to make sure I was understanding the text.
It was nice to see all of these characters from stories woven into the book, like Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker, of course going along with our two main characters. I hope that maybe they can have more of a presence in the next books.
The overall plot of the book was good and I enjoyed the mystery of it all revolving around Egyptian mythology and religious practices. There was never really any lag in the pace and the book sped by quickly. I can see how some people say that the book felt like a lot of disjointed things crammed into one story, but I feel the overall idea is for there to be several mini mysteries that encompass one overarching story. This could be why there are several threads left unfinished and details that feel unnecessary in this first book.
Overall I’m happy I picked this up and hope that sometime soon I can read the sequels.