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December 28, 2014

Steampunk Sundays: A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Halloway

Series: The Baskerville Affair 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Adult-Steampunk
BLURB:
When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.


QUOTABLE QUOTES:
"I learned long ago that the one who fights the longest and hardest for truth does the most damage to everything he loves. Nothing withstands that kind of scrutiny." - Bancroft

"I (Evelina) learned that I can be tempted"
Sherlock gave a brief flicker of a smile. "Everyone can. It's just a matter of who will admit to it, and who whistles in the dark, and who will make that weakness their weapon."
"Weapon?"
"One has to understand the nature of a fatal flaw before one can find it in others. Know yourself, to know your enemy."


This is a case of (maybe) It's not you, it's me. I don't know if I'm suffering from the holiday blues or what because I was tittering between sleepiness and boredom whilst reading A STUDY IN DARKNESS, book two of Emma Jane Halloway's Baskerville Affair. It didn't help that this novel was over 500 pages and felt like 1000 because of the slow pace. 

So the first one, A Study in Silks, left us with a major arc with lots of moving pieces pertaining to this powerful artifact called Athena's Casket. Then there are side stories regarding Evalina Cooper's relationships with various individuals and their respective storylines. It was a fun beginning filled with intrigue and complications and I for one was eager to find out how this epic series is going to unfold. Sadly A STUDY IN DARKNESS suffered from middle book syndrome, the plot of the book itself was simple yet EJHalloway took too darn long to get from point A to point B, lingering on a lot of side stories that were pertinent, to be fair, but IMHO the overall effect of these little threads to the story would still be the same even if it were shorter.

In the case of the automaton, Seferina, it was pretty obvious who and what this mysterious automaton is, no need to flesh her out as much since she was a temporary participant in the story. We get it, Seferina is creepy and she's got something up her sleeve, we don't need several illustrations of this machine's profoundness. Then there's the love triangle whose resolution was underwhelming. There was this huge tension between Evaline, Nick, and Tobias in the first book and the resolution felt like these people are now settling because who they truly want is no longer available. Oi vey! How unromantic! Then there's the evil villain Magnus who's surprise return was interesting at first and then got flat throughout. And finally the Gold King, Keating, his storyline took the longest to come into fruition and as expected, he still has everyone by the balls. 

What redeemed A STUDY IN DARKNESS for me was the ending, which doesn't justify the means but it was a good WTF moment if you get my drift. It's a frickin' monkey wrench and I don't even know how Evelina & Co. are going to resolve this let alone discover Magnus' little keepsake for them. Naturally I want to know but because of this cottonmouth feel this book left me with, I'm not dashing to grab the last book. I'd have to motivate myself some more before I dive in especially as it's 600+ pages long! 







25 comments:

  1. Oh that's too bad. I think I might've fallen asleep, too if I had to wait too long for the plot to get moving. I hope the next one will be better, Braine.

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  2. Oh I'm sorry to know that this one was a little too long for you. I remember loving it but maybe it was easier for me to read the 3 at once too. I hope the next one will give you a better feeling.

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    1. Fingers crossed it will. I've skimmed reviews for the third one and it looks promising.

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  3. There is nothing worse than a story that drags on with just too much. Sorry this wasn't a bit better.

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    1. Like I said maybe it's me and not the book. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

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  4. I totally felt like that with my last book too!

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    1. Hi5! I feel ya sister, hopefully what you're reading now is way better.

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  5. I've had the first book in this series FOREVER but haven't managed to read it because it's so long and I tend to be hesitant about reading long books by new-to-me authors. Seeing as book 2 dragged for you, I'm still not sure I'm in a hurry to get invested in the series. I'll read it eventually. At least the ending was good!

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    1. So true! Long books are so intimidating now, before I seek out thousand pages novels, not anymore! LOL

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  6. I couldn't get into the first book and let the series drop. I mean 600 + pages and slow moving...nah, I'll pass. Good luck with the next one.

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    1. Hahaha, thanks Sharonda, can't blame you

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  7. Unfortunately I had the same encounter as Sharonda. I tried the first book and just couldn't get into it, which is weird because I love me some steampunk! Sorry this one dragged, maybe the next one will be better. I'll wait for your thoughts before I decide to give this series a second chance. Hope you're having a great holiday Braine! :)

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    1. I am! I hope you had amazing presents, Lori. Happy New Year!

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  8. Haha! It was a long slog, but trust me if you do go for the third book, you'll see that all those threads and set ups go some place interesting. It's been a while since I read the series and agreed these are fat with details that can glaze your eyes over, but there are some really big exciting scenes that leave you reading fast and hard.

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  9. I think I would have just DNF'ed this one, Braine. I hope your next read will be amazing!

    Happy 2015 :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I was so tempted to but I figured book3 looks good and I'm halfway done with the series. I'm determined to finish it!! LOL

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  10. I have A Study in Silks causes I couldn't resist grabbing it. It's too bad this second book wasn't better though. I guess we'll see what I think of the first before I worry about it too much, but maybe I'll do the second on audio? I would look into it at least and see if that might work better. They are big books.

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    1. Maybe do all in audio LOL. It's heavy that's for sure.

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  11. Wow, does sound like a powerful ending

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  12. Slow and long, not my favorite type of book :/

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  13. I don't read a lot of steampunk, so it's always interesting seeing reviews on these types of books. The automaton sounds like an interesting dimension, although it sounds like way too much development was focused on it when it was only a temporary character in the story. Great review Braine! You made it through a long book.

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