The Clockwork Scarab

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

What happens when a genius, a vampire hunter, and a time traveler walk into a museum?

I don’t even know where to begin with The Clockwork Scarab. This book is probably the craziest mismatched hodgepodge of different elements I have ever read…and yet I enjoyed it immensely!

The novel introduces Alvermina Holmes and Evaline Stoker, niece of Sherlock and sister of Bram, a detective and vampire hunter tag-team duo called to investigate missing persons and a murder. It really is such a shame that they hate each other and refuse to work as a unit–or maybe not, since their antics are hilarious! Enter a time-traveling teen and the cult of an Egyptian goddess in a steampunk Victorian London, et voilà! A masterpiece of strangeness.

Alvermina is perfect for Sherlock’s niece–incredibly smart and perceptive, she runs through scenes the same way he does. Each aspect is noted and examined, all the way down to the minute and subtle tells. I can’t even explain how happy this made me–those deductions are my favourite parts of anything Sherlock Holmes and without them, it just wouldn’t have felt right.

Mina is also just like her uncle in the social sense. She shines in deduction, and her intelligence is off the charts, but when it comes to social interaction and making friends, Mina starts to fumble. She cares a lot more than Sherlock about this–she’s a teenage girl, after all!–but that insecurity or ineptitude when it comes to being ya know, normal, is there.

Evaline, so-far-on-the-other-hand-she’s-on-a-different-planet, is your typical nose held-high high society girl (except of course that she hunts vampires). She’s used to being the centre of attention and commanding all eyes at a ballroom–her social aptitude becomes a major source of contention (read: jealousy and flaunt-ery) with Mina dearest. What sets Evaline apart, though, is her insecurity about hunting abilities–so at odds with the image she puts forth–and her sheer determination to prove herself worthy. In that regard, she and Mina aren’t so different after all.

Together, the two are an awful pairing, which is interesting because usually the two MCs are love interests or BFFs already. Mina and Evaline work terribly together and as the book goes on things just get worse…until they get better, and you watch them grow to become a more cohesive unit. And most importantly, friends.

I quite enjoyed the other characters too, and loved the certain cameos we get of familiar figures. There’s a run-in with Sherlock Holmes on a case, a few meetings with one Irene Adler (you Sherlock fans know who I mean