Fantasy Book Review: The Clockwork Scarab

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

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 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.

Mina Holmes is a lot like her uncle, self-assured (to the point of cocky) and brilliant at deduction. Evaline, though beautiful, is not as confident – as she has yet to kill a vampire and actually has a weak stomach when it comes to dead bodies. Mina thinks things through analytically. And Evaline jumps into danger without thinking, but she has super-powered strength thanks to her vampire hunting heritage. The two make a good pair, though this first novel has them at odds and working alone through most of the story.

The Clockwork Scarab is a fast-paced, exciting start of a unique new series. Classic gothic horror, steampunk, and time travel make for an interesting mash-up. I’m a fan of time travel when it comes to science fiction, if it’s thought out logically. But time travel in a fantasy, is a little confusing. And it doesn’t quite fit here. Though, maybe it will be fleshed out in future installments. The mystery itself revolves around ancient Egyptian mythology, but takes a backseat to Gleason’s clever character development. Captivating, suspenseful, full of mystery, and a bit of romance – this new series is off to a encouraging start. I really enjoyed these characters and look forward to future adventures of Stoker and Holmes, especially if they begin working as a team.

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