Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Book Review: The Spiritglass Charade 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 is in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear-one dead, one 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: a strange Egyptian scarab. The pressure is on and the stakes are high- if Stoker and Holmes didn’t figure out why London’s finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they’ll become the next victims” (Jacket Cover).

This is the first book in the Stoker and Holmes series that introduces the reader to the crazy world of astute Mina Holmes and her partner in crime solving the vivacious Evaline Stoker.

“Evaline Stoker and MIna Holmes never meant to get into the family business, but after the affair of the Clockwork Scarab, they are eager to help Princess Aliz with a new case close to her heart. Seventeen-year-old Willa Ashton is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond. While MIna is determined to prove Miss Ashton is the hapless victim of fraud, Evaline senses there is something more sinister- or otherworldly- at work. The list of clues piles up- an unexpected murder, the return of vampires to London, and a mysterious spirit glass - but are these things connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, “there are no coincidences.” It will take all of Mina’s wit and Evaline’s muscle to keep London’s sinister underground at bay" (Jacket Cover).

This book was honestly capricious throughout each and every chapter. I loved its ever-changing witty angle, always adding in new things to the plot. There are so many different plots she had to manage to tie-in at the end of this book that must have taken a lot of thought and writing finesse to accomplish. Between time-travel, vampires, and famous families there was a lot to sum up and and make it all nice together like a perfect game of tetris.
One thing I didn’t find so interesing about this book is the romantic connection. For Evaline, the author creates a sort of love triangle for her. Little time is spend describing either of the male characters so the reader is basically in the dark about their backstories. Sure, I enjoy a good love triangle, but just the way the characters are portrayed in this one makes it unfathomable why a character would love either of them.

Something really interesting about this book is learning about every day 1800s London behavior. Granted, they didn’t have vampires or time travel in real history, but the author does an excellent job showing what everyday life would be for people there and how different their customs and ideas were. For example, Gleason always goes into detail describing the dress for the time period. In the 1800s girls always had to wear dresses, pants weren’t really a thing for girls. Maids had to help dress the girls because of all the buttons and layers they wore. Gloves were worn at most times along with a parasol and bonnet, all very different things from today’s style of clothing. People had elegant balls instead of parties, and called on their friends for tea. They took carriages to the theater to watch plays. All of this is so different from American normal day life and it’s really intriguing.

Overall, this is just a really great book and a really great series. iI’s hard to say a lot about the book without spoiling it since everything is connected to the first book in the series, but I definitely recommend it.

by Caylee S.

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