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' 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.
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well written steampunk with a real plot
Certainly not among the very best, but really worth a listen for steampunk fans. Holloway does lean on the world building of previous steampunk novels, which makes it useful to have read in the genre already. (She also includes a magical component to her world, which isn't the general rule.) Many steampunk novels so far are so taken up with the technology that the story itself is sometimes rather thin and often short. Holloway instead has a complex plot and real character development; there are real villains, but the heros/heroines are flawed and do evolve over the course of the book. Evelina Cooper, the heroine of the book is the niece of Sherlock Holmes, not a terribly original concept but which gave her a (fairly absent) mentor of a sort and a grounding in the times. She has a mixed background, raised in a circus family, but also the daughter of a society woman of good enough standing that she is able to be on the edges of the aristocracy. There are two romantic threads in the story, but they are not the focus of the story, and it is not at all a typical romance. There are two more books following up on this story line; the book itself is long enough that it doesn't feel like an arbitrary way to sell more books. A Study in Silks is truly finished, but I do want to read more about these characters. (Neither sequel is available in audio yet.)
Pretty well the whole book; a few slow moments but mostly the book moved forward consistently quickly. A few repetitions in scenes that could have been helped by better editing.
She did well with all of them.
Not really that kind of book. More of a thriller/adventure.
I'm giving this book 5 stars because I think it is a really good addition to the steampunk genre. I don't think it's a book that I will reread, at least not soon.a
Too much of a bad thing
First of all, the story had zero humor. I liked the core storyline, but the author spent far too much time on the whole love triangle, with zero humor between any of the characters. I am used to some of the other steampunk authors like Pip Ballantine, and Gail Carriger who add a lot of humor along with a good story. This book was like listening to a teen girl whining about two boys she liked. The book could have been great with about fifty percent of the love triangle junk removed, and some humor added.
I doubt I'll listen to the rest of the series, since it was just to drab and slow moving. As a man, I don't think I can listen to all the confused love triangle stuff either. I need to listen to one of the other steam punk authors to get back to sanity.
Angele is a great reader, which was one of the only reasons I continued to listen, since the story seemed to drag on and on throughout. Her change of voice for characters is good, and she keeps you hooked well enough to keep the play button going.
Yes, make sure a book isn't mostly a love story, instead of an adventurous steam punk story I was expecting.
Don't bother if you are expecting a fun adventure with steam punk. The story just drags and drags, with zero humor, and far too much "oh I love him, or no i love that guy, oh wait I love this guy again." At the end of the story the main character ends up looking like a foolish girl, while the guys are all jerks.Now I don't mind a love triangle, but it seemed as though the book was saturated with confusing little girl thoughts of who she liked or disliked.
- w. kelsch