Review: A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway ★★★1/2

17264584A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
Genre: Steampunk/Historical Mystery
Series: The Baskerville Affair #2
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
ISBN: 9780345537195
Page Count: 513
Rating: ★★★1/2
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: AMAZON
Synopsis: When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.

REVIEW

A Study in Steampunk.

Back with the fantastically entertaining Evelina Cooper, niece to Sherlock Holmes, in this second instalment of the Steampunk mysteries - The Baskerville Affair. This time we start with the main characters all scattered hither and thither after the events at the end of the last book. It's fair to say I was bitterly, bitterly disappointed in Tobias' character in A study in Silks. Not all the way through, of course. Just the spineless move he pulled at the end. He let me down, in particular, because he was my pick for Evelina. Now, I don't think he deserves her if he's unable to man up when it counts. I probably best not go into more detail in case you haven't read in order or are peeking ahead to this review, but he was not in my good books as I set out to read A Study in Darkness, put it that way. And I was therefore hoping to see a great deal less of him in this book. And, hopefully, the swift return of childhood friend Nick. Or should I say, The Indomitable Niccolo!

Well, Nick's return wasn't quite as swift as I'd liked, as it turns out. In fact, he seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to make an appearance, but I loved every scene he was in when he finally did! The love triangle, if you can call it that, has taken such an interesting turn. My own loyalties have been hoodwinked and bamboozled, so God only knows how poor Evelina must feel! I think the romance aspect of these books, while small, is so well done. So subtle and yet so full of feeling. Really clever stuff!

As for the rest of the plot, Holloway ingeniously found a way to work in, with a bit of jiggery-pokery and a whole load of imagination and flair - real life serial murderer Jack the Ripper to her Steampunk world. I thought this aspect - the way she made it fit her plot - was truly fantastic! I honestly cannot fault the worldbuilding side of things at all. It seems water tight and is highly enjoyable to read.

So, why am I being a miserable cow and only giving it 3.5 stars? Well, simply because the beginning, before Nick reappeared, was rather slow-going. These are big books, five-hundred some pages, so it doesn't take much for it to feel like you're hardly moving. And indeed, this time, it felt like we were purposely delaying the action. Therefore, I have to in all honesty give it less than I gave book one, which moved at a much smoother tempo. Still, I found much to enjoy, as ever, and can't wait for book three!


3.5 Stars ★★★1/2
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

  1. Yup I had a problem with the pace of this book too...

    P.S. I linked up my review to yours. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete

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