Thursday, October 9, 2014

[Review: The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason]

"The Spiritglass Charade"
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #2
Pages: 360
Genre: YA, Mystery, Steampunk
Date Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events 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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To The Spiritglass Charade,

Every single time you're story wraps me up in it's pretty words and mesmerizes me. I have to admit that I enjoyed myself completely while I was shoving my face into your pages. It's books like you and your predecessor that prove that a well written mystery is always something to make time for. The setting and characters that you house have become some of my favorites and they are only becoming more so. By George, you've done it again!

-The White Unicorn

I was excited to dive into the second installment of the Stoker & Holmes books and let's just say that I wasn't disappointed with the outcome. Gleason has brought back our favorite characters in bigger and better ways this time around and I have to say that I enjoyed every single minute of this steampunk mystery.

I have to comment on the fact that it's been awhile since I read the first book, but I feel like Gleason did a lot of character building this time around. The set up story is done and now she gets the chance to throw our girls into even more messy messes since we already know who they are. Gleason also shows us more of the girls personalities and even though I enjoyed them the first time around, I have to say that I adored them to pieces this time. Mina and Evaline are both snarky and witty on a whole new level and it really worked for me. They act like the girls that they've been raised to be, but they also have these secret kickass sides that we get to see. 

I love the fact that Mina and Evaline aren't best pals. It adds this consistent tension to the story. They work so well together and they respect each other, but they don't depend on each other. It's a very different feel then we normally get in YA lit and I commend Gleason for creating such a dynamic relationship between our leading ladies. She gives them their own identities and it makes reading her books fascinating. Where a lot of books would have the girls depending on each other or the males in their lives, Mina and Evaline are fully capable of kicking ass and taking names by themselves... in most cases. But that's what having a partner and a slew of talented friends is for, those moments where you can't do it on your own.

Of course the boys are back as well. Dylan is still trying to get back to 2016 and trying not to fall for Mina. Grayling is still running around trying to outwit the girls and "keep them safe". Pix is still keeping to the shadows and making Evaline swoon. Gleason is taking her time developing them and there is still a lot of mystery surrounding all of them, which works well with her feminist plot line. Plus, as a reader it keeps me interested in all three of them.

The actual plot line of The Spiritglass Charade is one that I could go on and on about, but that would lead to spoilers, and God knows you'd hate me if I gave you those. I will say that Gleason is a Queen when it comes to weaving a story. So much more happens in the book then Willa's supposed insanity. Gleason has a way of hiding the real mysteries out in the open and keeping you busy with the little details. In this way, it's always a surprising pay off to me, as a reader in the end. 

I'm excited to know that there will be more Stoker & Holmes books. At least, I think there will be? I mean, with an ending like that, you know that Gleason has a lot more planned for her extensive and exciting cast of characters in the future. I for one can't wait for the next mystery to be released out in the wild!

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!   

1 comment:

Little Miss Becky said...

I really need to start this series soon! You've made it sound so amazing!