Review: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1) by Colleen Gleason

Goodreads 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.

Chick and Brain rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I came across this book completely by accident on a recommendation list on one of the many book site I frequent. I read the synopsis. Sherlock Holmes, vampires, and steampunk. Yup this book was made for me! Now only because I did not find it myself, I wait for the library to send me a e-reader version of it. The wait list was FOREVER long, now I took that as a good sign! I have finally received it and have been able to read it. I can say that I am extremely disappointed.

The narrative has more of a steampunk feel than what would normally be classified as an actual steampunk narrative. Maybe we could classify it as steampunk light because there are some steam-powered weapons and vehicles, but that is as far as I would go.

I also would have expected more interaction between Sherlock and his niece Mina. They made a point to bring him up frequently throughout the story but never lead us to believe that him and Mina had anything to do with each other than a passing fancy. Now that is typical Sherlock fashion, but if you are attempting to drawn in readers based on a relationship between the famous detective being related to this new character some interaction is needed. The same goes for Evaline, they say in the synopsis that she is sister to Bram Stoker but other than a passing comment about him writing a book (supposedly Dracula) there is not additional mention of him. There really is not detail about relationship between the two main characters and their famous family members other than their familial relations to the point that the information could have been left out entirely.

We as readers are also given no character development or insight into either of these characters backgrounds from start to finish. Besides that basic information as listed above, we know nothing of these characters. I expect some change or interaction between these characters during the story as they are to be working as a team. However, they seem to be portrayed more as two bumbling females that happen to have a successful mission in the end. Gleason fails to draw us into the narrative or even form connections with the characters. We are also given this love scenario for both Evaline and Mina, which in her case seems to be a love triangle, that seems to have no place in the story. The narrative a many great ideas that are started but are never fully developed that leaves us with many places to go but no clear destination.

For the most part I felt like this book had great potential but ended up feeling like a Charlie’s Angels story line with a steampunk vibe to it. It was a light read, but because of the feeling I came into it with I would not recommend this to anyone looking for a thrilling steampunk read. If you want something light with a steampunk feel this is the read for you. I haven’t given up yet though!


Until next time,



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