After reading The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, I was quite happy to delve into the second book in this series, The Spiritglass Charade.
Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are on the case again, this time helping out the friend of the Princess. After the death of her mother and the disappearance (and presumed death) of her younger brother, Willa Aston has turned to spiritual mediums. Fraud, murder, and manipulation abound, as Mina and Evaline try to track down what is going on and who is behind the move to discredit Willa’s mental state. Throw in the re-emergence of vampires in London, a dash of potential love interests, and a hefty dose of steampunk and you have a fun fictional tale!
- Mina – I like how she is awkward, gawky, super-intelligent, and strong-minded. Despite all that logic, she sometimes acts without thinking. She would probably be annoying to have as a friend, or at least educational. I feel like cheering for Geeky Girls whenever I read things from her perspective!
- The mix of steampunk, historical fiction, time-traveling, mystery, and fantasy.
- Inspector Grayling. I don’t know what exactly it is about his character that I like so much, but I think he’s a great counter-balance to Mina.
- The dual perspective – it’s kind of fun to see different perspectives!
I was less excited about:
- Evaline. I think that’s probably because I’m not a huge fan of vampire stuff in general, and Evaline strikes me as impulsive, reckless, and at times whiny. I don’t dislike her character, but I’m not a huge fan either. I feel like she’s supposed to be more likeable than Mina, but I’m not convinced.
- I’m not sure what I think about Irene Adler, either.
- Dylan – not super sure why he’s around, or what he adds to the story other than another potential love interest for Mina. Presumably he’ll take on a bigger role in sequels?
Overall this was a fun, engaging read, and a worthy second book! 4/5