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.A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Series: The Baskerville Affair #1
Published by Del Rey on 2013
Genres: Historical, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
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:/
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?
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 🙂