The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason | Book Review

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and the-clockwork-scarabmystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just
one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.



I unfortunately was extremely disappointed with this novel. The premise really interested me and I thought that it was going to be a wild and crazy ride, but it failed to deliver. Normally, I can appreciate and enjoy books that can fall under different genres. This novel, however, tried to fall under all of the genres imaginable and failed miserably. Time travel, historical fiction, romance, science fiction, mystery, vampires, steampunk…just to name a few off the top of my head.

The novel was written with two different point of views: Evaline Stoker, sister of Dracula author, Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock. In my mind, I thought of Evaline to be somewhat of a bad ass. Isn’t that what you would expect from a vampire hunter? From the start, it was hard to differentiate who was narrating what chapter. Mina and Evaline spoke and acted as the same. Also, it seems as Mina was being favored in this book with the most POVs, which was aggravating because she annoyed me.

The side characters frustrated me. I felt like most of them were just thrown in there to be thrown in. Dylan, for example, time traveled from our time to the time where the story was taken place. Why? Dylan served no purpose to the plot line, other than to add another element to the story that was unnecessary. Maybe he has a bigger purpose further into the series, which is fine. But why introduce him now when he doesn’t matter?

On the topic of story lines that didn’t matter..ALL of the romance. Mina was in some sort of weird love triangle while Evaline was into some guy with a – could be fake – Cockney accent who was somehow mixed in with all of the chaos that was going on. Also, while on the topic of accent guy, the author decided it was a smart thing to do to actually write the Cockney accent…which was unreadable. So I honestly couldn’t tell you a single word this guy said because I just decided to skip over his lines. Whoops.

One thing that intrigued me was the mystery itself. The Egyptian mythology really interested me and kept me intrigued with the how the mystery would be solved. Honestly, the only reason why I wanted to finish the book was so I could solve the case and move on. But no, no, no…that would only happen in a perfect world, yeah? I get having one huge case over the entirety of the series. I get it. It keeps your readers wanting more. Look at the Harry Potter series, for example. Though Harry fought multiple different fights over the course of the series, it was all for that final victory in the end.

Want to know the difference between this novel and Harry Potter? At least one was done properly. (I’ll let you take a guess at which one.)

Ok, ok..I’m done bashing. Let me finish off by saying I can see how people could enjoy this and find it interesting. I think if I read this when I was in elementary school, then I feel like I would have enjoyed it. But right now, just…no. I gave it a good shot.


The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason

Published: September 17, 2013

Source: Hardcover purchased myself

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Pages: 356

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

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Purchase The Clockwork Scarab here:

Amazon | Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

(Kindle edition is currently $1.99 if you are interested in this book)



6 thoughts on “The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason | Book Review

  1. Am I seeing things? Britt, are you back? 👻 It’s been forever since I talked to you. Was this one of your spooky Halloween reads? This book sounds ingesting as far as the Dracula/Sherlock mashup, but I can see how that could go terribly wrong if not done properly.


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