by Emma Jane Holloway
Kindle Edition – Read September 28, 2013
Original Release Date: September 24, 2013
Length: 560 pages
Official Description: This is book #1 in The Baskerville Affair series.
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’s 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.
I was so excited to be able to read this book, and yes I do get overly excited over a lot of books but this one has so many aspects of things I love. First off it is in the world of Sherlock Holmes, which I have loved since toddlerhood. Evelina is the niece of Holmes and we do actually get a little Sherlock throughout the story. Second, we’ve got a steampunk book! I love steampunk, and I haven’t read a descent one in quite sometime. Lastly we have mystery, which I suppose goes hand in hand with the Holmes business, but this is mystery with a splash of magic.
First of all the only thing I really didn’t like was where we were split, in the beginning, between so many POVs, I thought “Oh no! We’re going to take the mystery out of the mystery by giving us all these perspectives.” There are at least 6 different views (off the top of my head) Evelina, Jasper Tobias, Lord Bancroft, Nick and Imogen. That is a lot of different voices to keep track of and it actually took me away from the story at first. Other than that I loved every part of the story. Evelina is such a dynamic character and ‘unladylike’ for her day and time, she loves to tinker with mechanics and wants to go to college, not to mention she was raised in the circus! I love her little inventions, loved the mouse and bird, they were really cute. Oh, I forgot, the love triangle, not a fan of love triangles. Evelina loves Nick, her circus performer first love, and then Tobias, her best friends brother, who is a rake. Personally I preferred Tobias, but that doesn’t really matter. Every character in the book has a rich and colorful story, there is so much detail that you feel that you’re really there amongst all these characters cowering from the Steam Barons, and trying to solve the mystery.
Yes, the book is long, but it’s not drawn out, it paints a rich landscape for the readers to get lost in, to revel in. It brings a sense of reality that few books these days create, instead of cutting up and stuffing things together every piece is intricately woven together to create a masterpiece of a story, one that we will love so much we’ll want to continue on with the next books. So yeah, I liked it, I laughed, I worried and I lost many hours of sleep staying up to read this book.
* I did receive this book for free for an honest review!
“If Uncle Sherlock detested shoddy thinking, she cringed to imagine what he’d make of her fumbling descriptions of a nasty feeling in her tummy when she touched the envelope.”