stoker & holmes

On Following Legends | The Clockwork Scarab Book Review

Reading Colleen Gleason’s The Clockwork Scarab has me disappointed…

Disappointed… that it’s another series! Its steampunk, alternate London filled with glam and intrigue has me riveted and I’m disappointed that I have to wait - yet again - to find out more about the two dashing heroines! It is rare these days that I find myself reading a book straight through and yet that’s what I’ve just done, which goes to show that this novel is something else…

The story’s protagonists are Evaline Stoker, sister of the famous Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of the famed Sherlock, who were both recruited into a secret society under the orders of the Princess Alexandra to solve a mystery plaguing the high society of London with only a clockwork scarab as a clue.

Your assistance is requested in a most pressing matter. If you are willing to follow in the footsteps of your family, please present yourself…

The main characters are well-rounded, equipped with all the faults and graces that come from having famous relatives. Evaline is a fierce vampire hunter - a twist I rather liked - whose failure at a mission left her traumatized at the sight of blood. Mina, on the other hand, is intelligent and knowledgeable in the  deductive arts, whose reclusive nature leaves her insecure at times. Both are strong female characters driven by their desire to prove their worthiness at an age where women are deemed inferior. Despite their initial rivalry, both comes to like the other and their journey there had endeared them. The three main male characters are perfect foils for the ladies - the impish and stalwart Pix, the refreshing Dylan and the nonsensical, brooding Inspector Grayling. They complement their ladies well, their interactions helping the plot along instead of just being asides.

The story may have been set in the Victorian era where a lady’s life revolves around social functions, but this novel revolves mostly on the mystery and the non-stop action, giving Evaline and Mina a chance to display their skills. It is narrated between the two heroines which gives deeper insight to their characters. The setting might be a bit complicated as the alternate London envisaged by Gleason involves additional street levels and items (e.g., Tufference’s Super-Strenght-Mop-Wringer) that are rather too much. Her descriptions are a tad more detailed which I find both eases the imagining of the characters and the setting, but lengthens the story.


I applaud Gleason’s tenacity in keeping up Pix’s Cockney accent - I thought she’d expose him sooner - and in maintaining a traditional Holmes-esque monologue for when Mina’s deducts. I like how she melded together Egyptian mythology, steampunk, Holmesian mystery and time travel (yes!) seamlessly in one.

The cover art is rather brilliant, showcasing a photograph of a real clockwork scarab held in the palms of lace-covered hands. The title script is slightly curled in elegant gold with the series name in simple font.

Overall, it is a charming and witty read, with characters you can get behind and an adventure that will whet your appetite for more! Look out more Stoker & Holmes novels!

anonymous asked:

hey dear! I have more of a question than a headcanon but I have no idea who to ask since I don't find many blogs for coderealize and I don't understand japanese. All guys have a historical figure they are based on, but when it comes to Saint Germain all I find is very confusing, even his name! what is his name by the way? I mean, I was suddenly self conscious of calling him... 'Saint'.

Mod S here! Man oh man, this is a great question! And I’d be more than happy to answer, being the lit major I am. ^_^ Get ready for a long post! 

So first thing: Van, Lupin, Impey and Victor are all based off of characters from novels, not historical figures. They are all fictional. 

Van is based off of the original Abraham Van Helsing from the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Victor is from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; that’s pretty basic stuff since their books are so famous. 

Now, Lupin and Impey are interesting. Impey is the main character of the novel From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. Ironically, it’s the same person who wrote 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which is where Nemo is from. Hence why Impey and Nemo are rivals; they’re both the brain children of the same man. 

Lupin is a famous gentleman thief from a series of novels and short stories by French author Maurice Leblanc. He’s considered the French counterpart and overall rival to Sherlock Holmes. In fact, Maurice Leblanc wrote a series of short stories in which Holmes and Lupin met. However, the author of the Holmes novels, Arthur Conan Doyle, disliked it. So in the next volume of the series, Leblanc changed his name to Herlock Sholmes. 

So Herlock Sholmes alias in C:R is a reference to the original Lupin stories. Also, many characters in anime are tied to Lupin. Most people have heard of Lupin the III, as he’s the grandson of Arsene Lupin. And the author of the Detective Conan series based his characters off of Holmes & Lupin. 

Pretty interesting stuff, yeah?!

So to reach the heart of the question: What’s up with Saint Germain? 

Saint Germain is the only person who inspired a character who actually existed. But the weird thing about him is that nothing in regards to his origins or his family is really 100% clear. Some people claimed he lived while Jesus walked the earth, but he’s speculated to be the illegitimate son of a Transylvanian prince who supposedly faked his death at the age of four in order to save face. Saint Germain’s age based on historical documentation and the original Count’s claims supports it. But again, nothing is concrete.  

He was known by famous authors like Voltaire and political figures like Catherine the Great. At one point, he claimed that he had found the secret to immortality, and many people claimed he was a great violinist, painter, linguist, alchemist, that he was absolutely rich, and that he had ties to secret underground organizations like the Freemasons and even the Illuminati. He’s changed his name so many times that no one is sure what his real name is. 

The weirdest thing was that he traveled throughout Europe for about 40 years, and everyone he ever met claimed that he never aged at all. And when he did finally die in 1784 , people claimed to have seen him roaming around. He’s in the official records of the Freemasons as a representative in 1785, and a famous occultist named Helena Blavatsky claimed to have taken a photograph with him in the 1800s. People came forward saying they were Saint Germain all the way up to the late 20th century. 

So that’s the reason why Saint Germain has no name in the game and why his character is involved with Idea and that he’s immortal. Because the Count of Saint Germain was the closest figure we have in real life that comes close to being a man-made immortal. 

It’s all really fascinating! <3 

—————————————- Cheshire here! If the theory that Saint Germain is the illegitimate son of a Transylvanian Prince is true, then that would make his full name Count Leopold George of Saint-Germain. All in all, Saint-G is a fascinating character, both in real life and in the game!
Why Reading Young Adult Books Is Good For Adults, Too

We hear a lot about the growing numbers of adults reading young adult novels (also known as YA), and how that impacts the publishing industry. Why might adults be coming to YA in droves? For nine very good reasons.

1. Great Page-Turners

I’m a bookseller in my spare time, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve had an adult come in saying they want something highly readable—a book that will keep them fully engaged and turning those pages. So often in those moments I turn to the young adult section. The most recent YA I just couldn’t put down? Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

2. Shorter Reads

Of course YA comes in all shapes and sizes, but on average they tend to be shorter than literary fiction, making it possible to read a full book on a weekend getaway, while still making time for a frolic on the beach, a glass of wine, and a hot tub under the stars. Shorter books are also great for book clubs filled with overscheduled, overworked people (sound familiar?).

3. Cheaper Prices

Perhaps because of reason #2 (shorter books), but also because teens don’t always have the same pocket money adults have, young adult novels are often significantly cheaper than adult fiction—$16.99-18.99 in hardcover for YA as opposed to $24.95-34.95 in hardcover for adult fiction. Read YA—and save up for your next vacation at the same time!

4. Strong Voices

YA is often written in the first person—not always, of course, but often—which means you find some of the strongest voices in that genre. M. T. Anderson’s Feed blows me away with its futuristic slang—its voice is so strong it feels like its own dialect.

5. Formative Stories

One of the reasons I am so drawn to children’s literature (which we define at Chronicle Books as ages 0 to 18, so the term includes YA) is that childhood is so formative, shaping who we become as adults. Reading children’s literature connects us with our younger selves, and those moments that define us. I just read Lauren Wolk’s gorgeous older middle grade novel Wolf Hollow, about a girl’s friendship with a homeless veteran, and the manhunt that ensues when he’s suspected of a crime. That novel transported me back to my childhood, bringing back vivid memories of my own. Similarly, Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young will transport you to the coming-of-age angst of middle school. And Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell will transport you back to your first love.

6. Literary Masterpieces

YA sometimes gets dismissed as lighthearted or “dumbed down,” which just hurts my soul. The genre is filled with literary masterpieces, from M. T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing to Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun to Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls. All of these books are highly decorated award-winners—check out the Printz, Morris, and National Book Award winners every year for ideas on what to read next.

7. Genre Lit

In adult literature, mysteries, fantasies, sci-fi, and romance are all separated out in separate sections, somehow implying that they’re lesser genres, and that readers don’t read across all of those genres. In YA, those genres are (nearly always) shelved together, giving them equal weight. So many novels are combinations of multiple genres, defying the categorizations so often applied in the adult literature world. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is a coming out story, with the voice of a contemporary realistic YA novel—but it also features giant man-eating grasshoppers, clearly flirting with sci-fi in genre. Looking for page-turning YA fantasy? Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and The Falconer by Elizabeth May—if you haven’t already.

8. Pioneering

So often children’s literature is seen as derivative of adult literature, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Children’s literature literally pioneers new research—material never before published for adults or children, such as in Phillip Hoose’s brilliant Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, based on original interviews with Claudette herself. But children’s literature also takes on topics not always tackled elsewhere, like Sara Farizan’s If You Could Be Mine, featuring the complexities of gay and transgender life in Iran. And it takes on forms not seen before, such as Helen Frost’s stunning YA-in-verse Keesha’s House, or Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson’s highly visual Gena/Finn, a novel told entirely in primary sources like emails, online journals, and fanfiction (complete with a moving scroll bar going down the right-hand side of the novel!).

9. A Little Hope

You’ll find content of all kinds in YA—it’s not all lighthearted romps. But although you’ll find tough topics, some sexy scenes, and a lot of depth, it’s nearly always accompanied by a little hope. And who doesn’t need a little more hope in their life? One of the happiest books I’ve ever read—a book I adore—is My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger. Next time you need a heavy dose of joy, check it out. Also, I hate to be a tease, but I can’t help but mention a book that’s not out yet, but which you’ll want to remember. Get a pen and write this down: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan. Piper may live in a small town, but her artistic ambitions are much bigger, and her journey to create not only distinctive art but also to craft a future for herself will leave you glowing. It’s worth the wait, I promise.

If you need some YA to get you started, try these!

Gena/Finn By Kat Helgeson, By Hannah Moskowitz

The Falconer and Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

The Stoker & Holmes Series by Colleen Gleason

Novels of Intrigue and Romance by Michaela MacColl

SourceAriel Richardson is a children’s book editor at Chronicle Books. Check out her other posts, So You’ve Written a Children’s Book…Now What? and So You Want to Work in Publishing: Advice from a Chronicle Books Editor.

anonymous asked:

Hi :)) I'm looking for a pretty amazing book but I can't find any🙈 have you any recommendation?🙏 hahah

Well you have come to the right blog 😃
Here are some awesome books you should totally check out:
*starting first with series/trilogies*
~PercyJackson/Heroes of Olympus
~The Hunger games
~Divergent
~Harry Potter
~The Lunar Chronicles
~The Mara Dyer trilogy (which I’m currently reading and it’s fantastic)
*now the stand alone books*
~Like every John Green book ever (TFIOS, Paper towns, Looking for Alaska,etc.)
~Fangirl (one of my all time favorites)
~Eleanor and Park
~The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava lavender
~Let’s get lost
And I don’t know if these books are part of a series or they just stand alone but
~The Clockwork Scarab (A Stoker and Holmes Novel)
~The SpiritGlass Charade(A stoker and Holmes Novel)

#readwomen recommendations

I absolutely LOVE this has become a thing on booklr thanks to @ladybookmad. Here are some recommendations from me for well-known/not-so-well-known/diverse/imaginative/completely badass books by female authors:

  1. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
  2. In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
  3. Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. The Stoker & Holmes Series by Colleen Gleason
  5. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
  6. The Article 5 Trilogy and The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
  7. Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun and Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
  8. Literally ANY BOOK by Amy Tan
  9. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
  10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  11. A Northern Light  by Jennifer Donnelly
  12. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir