Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book: A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway

Title: A Study in Darkness
Series: The Baskerville Affair (#2)
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
From: Netgalley
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Historical
Release Date: 1st January 2013
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Though Evelina Cooper, and her Uncle Sherlock Holmes, were in the good graces of the Gold King, Keating. When Keating finds Evelina in a position that could destroy her, he makes her work as his spy in Whitechapel, where Jack the Ripper has begun his reign. Searching for the Blue King's maker, Evelina comes across more than she expected, including at least some sort of acceptance, dark magic and intrigue...

Evelina went from strength to strength as a character, both in her intellegance and her emotional journey. She was never particularly shallow, but her priorities definitely shifted in A Study in Darkness. She also figured out what (and who) she really wanted, which helped with that journey. I loved having a female character that made mistakes, but was determined to get herself out of them, and not always in the most logical way.

One thing I did notice about A Study in Darkness was that there were actually very few characters newly introduced. The vast majority were the same as in the previous book, and they were all intertwined as enemies, friends, love interests and allies, and not always necessarily in the same way.

But oh my the ending. I don't even know what to think now (other than I need to read book 3 very VERY soon). It wasn't just Evelina's ending that left me needing to know more, but Imogen and Nick's as well. There was just so much going on that I have been left with a definite need to know more.

A Study in Darkness made something interesting happen...it made me completely change my mind about which way a love triangle should go, which I think is a testimony to how well Holloway writes her characters. It probably helped that I spent a lot of the first part of the book going 'Oh Tobias you didn't.' to change that to 'Oh Tobias you idiot.' But then I managed to come to terms with it and started to see how the situation was better.

I loved the introduction of Jack the Ripper, though there was a moment where I very suddenly realised who the culprit was and exactly what was going on. Very defiintely a Eureka moment and it tied up a lot of loose ends and speculation! It also wove together several different parts of the story which definitely worked well!

A Study in Darkness was a fantastic read, full of suspense and intrigue, mixed with passion, love and loyalty. It was a book that actually kind of haunted me when I wasn't reading, and made me want to keep turning pages when I was. It also made me giggle in a few places (particularly one quote:
"Or at least without more than what the French so poetically term the little death." 
Its times like this that I love speaking French and knowing what the reference means!)

A quote which I thought summed up Sherlock Holmes and his views well:
"Ladies don't spy. They gossip. Copiously. Bring me back something useful about Keating's activities."
There was also a quote that most definitely sums up books!
""Lovely, aren't they?" Magnus strolled accross the room to pat a fat tome. "And almost as necessary as food and drink to those who love them."" 
While reading comments: 
I know I don't normally do this in my reviews, but I can't help it with this one. I'm currently about 20% into the book and a few things have caught my attention:

  • I can't help but find that Holloway has done a great job of characterising Sherlock Holmes so he does come across like his original counterpart (there wasn't enough of Sherlock as a character in the previous book to truely draw a conclusion) 
  • (No spoilers, this is all clear within 2 chapters and as the characters aren't together that is 2 introductary chapters anyway) Nick still loves Evaline, Evaline still loves Tobias, Tobias seems to have been a bad boy (though I do think that that isn't what it seems, maybe hope!). This isn't going to end well.