Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Book: A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway

Title: A Study in Ashes
Series: The Baskerville Affair (#3)
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
From: Netgalley
Genre: Steampunk, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 31st December 2013
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points + 10 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

It has been a year since Sherlock Holmes' niece, Evelina Cooper, bartered away her freedom for the man she loves; the notorious pirate, Nick. Trapped at the college she was so desperate to attend, Evelina mourns the death of her lover, the loss of her best friend and the lonliness of being the Gold King's pet magic user. With tensions growing high in London, the players must choose sides and show where their true loyalities lie...

Wow. Just wow. One thing I can say about A Study in Ashes was that I was never completely clear on how the story would end up. In fact I do think that that is fair to say of the entire series, and I can't believe that it is over now. Though I was reading this book and it was clear just how well it was planned as a series. Slight tit bits mentioned in book 1, A Study in Silks, became clear in their reasons for being included in this book and a lot of the individual story arcs came together.

There were several romances throughout the series and I can basically now only refer to them vaguely for fear of (pretty big) spoilers. But I'd say that things turned out well for most of the characters romantically, and even though in some cases I knew who'd end up together, it wasn't always clear how exactly that would happen! (Or if Evelina would get herself into trouble).

There was a lot of politics involved in the whole series and the detail and intrigue really added to the story. As you can see from my genre description, it was really difficult to actually catagorise as simply one because there was just so much to this book. But they all interwove well and it definitely worked.

The ending was definitely not quite what I expected. Well that's not strictly true. The ending was what I expected, but the major event that led to it definitely wasn't! I liked being taken by surprise but I did feel a wrench in my gut for certain characters because of it.

And now Sherlock Holmes...the format for this last book wasn't quite the same, there wasn't a mystery that really needed solving as such. But the events of the book Hound of the Baskervilles was incorporated into the story (which I had to check online cause I got a hunch it was but haven't read it!) and I thought it wove in well with the story in general. I also really liked the way that Holmes and Watson interacted, it felt right.

I really really enjoyed this series! The story arc feels complete, and yet I want more from Evelina (very nearly gave away a spoiler there...oops!)