The book that took a month to read… A Study in Silks

May 26, 2015 Reviews 19

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The book that took a month to read… A Study in SilksA Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Series: The Baskerville Affair #1
Published by Del Rey on 2013
Genres: Historical, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
Pages: 549
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

London, April 4, 1888 ~ Evelina Cooper, niece of Sherlock Holmes, is ready for her first London Season - except for a murderer, missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse. In a Victorian era ruled by a ruthless steam baron council, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Evelina has secretly mastered a coveted weapon - magic that can run machines. Should she trust the handsome, clever rake who speeds her breath, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything she would ask?

Wow. A Study in Silks took me FOREVER to read! I started it April 21, shortly after y’all selected it for My TBR List, and didn’t finish until May 24 (meaning I didn’t get it read in time for my TBR List Review). That’s probably the longest it’s taken me to read a book in years – but here’s the thing: I never wanted to quit reading it. A Study in Silks had great characters, a compelling plot, and a solid mystery. It just came at a point in my life where I fell asleep every time I tried to read. Bad luck:/

I’m particularly interested in the world Emma Jane Holloway created in A Study in Silks. It’s very steam punk – filled with mechanical devices of all kinds – but it also has this fascinating magical element that is very different from anything I’ve read. There’s these nature spirits -air, earth, plant, etc- called devas and it’s a magic users connection with them (I think) that gives them power. I would have liked to see it a little more fleshed out – I have questions about what’s unique to the main character and what’s “normal”.

Which brings me to the characters – I love them all, even the ones I love to hate. They’re so fully developed and complicated – each and every one of them. There’s a bit of a love triangle – but for me it was a but different because I equally liked and had problems with both guys making it really hard to see a clear choice. I was really happy with how it was dealt with by the end as well.

For those reading this for it’s connection to Sherlock Holmes – I have no idea if it will satisfy you. I wasn’t reading it for that, but I was very happy with his role in the story. For one, the mystery was a convoluted and fixed on tiny details as I remember Sherlock Holmes’s stories being, which is both cool and frustrating. And he’s in it a good amount – but not so much that Holloway took many liberties with his character, which I thought was appropriate.

All in all, really good and worth your time. I gave it 34 days and I don’t regret it, so I suspect you won’t regret the much shorter time it’s likely to take you to read 🙂
4 stars Pretty Great

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four-stars

About Emma Jane Holloway

Ever since childhood, Emma Jane Holloway refused to accept that history was nothing but facts prisoned behind the closed door of time. Why waste a perfectly good playground coloring within the timelines? Accordingly, her novels are filled with whimsical impossibilities and the occasional eye-blinking impertinence—but always in the service of grand adventure.

Struggling between the practical and the artistic—a family tradition, along with ghosts and a belief in the curative powers of shortbread—Emma Jane has a degree in literature and job in finance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. In the meantime, she’s published articles, essays, short stories, and enough novels to build a fort for her stuffed hedgehog.

Berls

Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

19 Responses to “The book that took a month to read… A Study in Silks”

  1. Laura
    Twitter:

    I know exactly what you mean Berls! A Study in Silks took me about a week to read (though if you trust Goodreads apparently it took me 18 months – it’s one I picked up and put back down for some reason) but I absolutely loved it! The sequels are great as well, taking a loot of turns I certainly wasn’t expecting!
    Laura recently posted…Book: His Forbidden Lady by Nicola DavidsonMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It seems to be a book that takes everyone a bit longer than normal to read – it’s on the longer side, but I think it’s because you need time to digest it. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I think I normally would have moved on too – I didn’t because every book I picked up lately I couldn’t get that into and I at least found the story and characters in this one interesting. It was definitely a case of “it’s me, not you” LOL

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I definitely plan to continue with the series. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the Sherlock Holmes bit, butI enjoyed it too.

  2. Lola
    Twitter:

    That’s great you still enjoyed this book even though it took you so long to read. I sometimes find it hard to keep up with the story when it takes me so long to read a book. Although I have read a few books that took me 10 days or even two weeks and still was able to enjoy it, so I can see that side too.
    I haven’t read a lot of steampunk books, I like the steampunk feel, but only have read oen steampunk series so far I think. I am glad to hear you thought the world was done well. I don’t mind love triangles if they are done well. And I love how you describe the characters, well developed and complicated. Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Coyer Summer 2015: Goal PostMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Lola! I haven’t read many steam punk books either, but I seem to keep enjoying the ones I pick up. I think this is my favorite steampunk so far though, the world and mystery were really well done. I even managed to keep up with it, despite how long it took to read. I agree, it can be harder when you read over a long period, so it says something that this book went so well!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’d be curious to know what she thinks if she does read it – I’ve read some Sherlock Holmes stories, but I don’t know the character that well. Definitely not well enough to judge her treatment of him, beyond saying I enjoyed it. I’d like to know what a Holmes fan thinks!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I had it for well over a year and it’s appeared on many challenge goal lists over that year, so I’m so glad to finally have it read. It was quite good, I recommend it for sure 🙂

  3. Ramona
    Twitter:

    Oh, Berls, I’m listening to this one now – and I have done for about two weeks! It doesn’t matter, ducks – it’s a solid story, awesome characters ( how about that Tobias, eh?), and I don’t even mind the love triangle because there’s more a hint than an actual triangle. I hope to finish it while cleaning the house this week, but it’s okay if I don’t 🙂 I’m already behind on my reading challenge, but that’s okay too. I’m having fun listening to and reading all these books, so the heck with the rest! C’mon, say it with me: THE HECK WITH IT! :))) Hugs xx
    Ramona recently posted…The Unreliable NarratorMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      THE HECK WITH IT! 🙂 I’m so with you – who cares if we’re behind or it’s taking a long time – as long as we’re enjoying it?! Tobias is something else 😉 I’m with you on the love triangle – and just wait till you get to the end on that! Oh I can’t wait to see what you think!

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    Don’t worry about that number of days it took you, Berls. You finished it and you enjoyed it. 🙂 I’m actually very intrigued by this book. I like the sound of the world building and I especially like the sound of the character development. If an author can create characters I love to hate, that’s a feat. I’ll give this one a try eventually. Oh, and some of the books on my Reading Assignment will probably take me quite awhile to complete…it’s part of the reason I’ve continued to put them off. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ With Visions of Red ~ Trisha WolfeMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I know you put Outlander on your list, so that will take a while for sure! This book shouldn’t have taken so long, but life got in the way. But it was good, and that’s what matters really. I liked the characters a lot – I think Holloway is quite good at developing them. I hope you get to read it 🙂

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I think you’ll enjoy it Stormi – the mystery element is really strong and I know how you love your mysteries!

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