A Study in Darkness
by Emma Jane Holloway
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Kristina | Source: Edelweiss, NetGalley
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.
A STUDY IN DARKNESS has a much darker and more gruesome tone than its predecesor, A STUDY IN SILKS. While I liked the lighter tone in the previous book I enjoyed the fact that Holloway ramped up the danger since that meant more fun battle scenes with steampunk technology and thrilling chases. I was also amazed at just how dark and gory this book gets with the murders done by Ripper explained in stark detail. The worldbuilding continues to be amazing and becomes even more complex as the story goes on. A STUDY IN DARKNESS is not the best book to read as a standalone as the complexity of this world is much easier to wrap your head around if you read the first book.
Before reading A STUDY IN DARKNESS I hoped there would be more pages spent on the steam barons and I was not disappointed. The steam barons who rule London with iron fists are ambitious, calculating, and ruthless. Reading about their backstabbing and the political intrigue almost made it seem like I was reading a political thriller at times. I like that The Baskerville Affair series has so many villains and people who you don’t know whether to trust or not as it helps make the story that much more dangerous and perilous as Evelina is entangled in the webs of the steam barons.
Evelina continues to be an amazingly strong character for her age considering how much trouble she gets into in A STUDY IN DARKNESS. I liked that she learns how to use more of her magic as the magic in this series is pretty unique in its specificity to certain elements. While most of the secondary characters take a back seat to the action, Nick gets practically half of the book in his POV and I loved it. Nick basically plays ‘steampunk pirate captain’ wielding his wild magic to amazing effect while also becoming entangled in the war against the steam barons.
A STUDY IN DARKNESS brings more darkness to The Baskerville Affair with a whirlwind of steampunk fueld fights and dark political intrigue. Being the middle book in a trilogy is hard with no real beginning or end but A STUDY IN DARKNESS does a good job ramping up the anticipation for the finale A STUDY IN ASHES available December 31, 2013 from Del Rey.
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About the author
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