Tuesday, October 14, 2014

YA Review/Interview: The Spiritglass Charade [blog tour]


I am excited to welcome Colleen Gleason, author of the Stoker and Holmes series, to the blog to discuss her books. I'm also really excited to share my thoughts with y'all on the second installment of the aforementioned series.

The Spiritglass Charade (Stoker and Holmes, 2) by Colleen Gleason, October 7, 2014. 360 pages. Published by Chronicle Books. Source: publisher.
After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, "there are no coincidences." It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.
First Sentence:
I reside in the very modernized London of the fifty-second year of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's reign.


If you stopped by the blog yesterday then you most likely saw me gushing over The Clockwork Scarab, if not, then I highly recommend checking out my review of it. While I am so excited over being able to read The Spiritglass Charade shortly after reading book one, I was surprised to find myself liking it more than book one. I thought I couldn't possibly love this series more than I already did...apparently I was mistaken.

I shall endeavor to keep this as spoiler free as possible, so, that you, dear reader, can experience The Spiritglass Charade awesomeness for yourself.

After thoroughly enjoying the first Stoker and Holmes adventure, I was left wondering how on earth could the second one live up or pass it. Well, that was easily accomplished as the characters, Mina and Evaline, both should tremendous growth between the two books.
     While I thought they owned their respective abilities in the first book, the second one showed them using their abilities to their best. Even though I thought they grew within their capabilities, it was their grudging respect for each other and the other's abilities that made this an interesting read. I really enjoyed how they slowly came to trust and rely upon each other; also, their mess-ups and jabs at each other made for some hilarious reading. Gosh, I love the Stoker/Holmes case solving duo!
   
Onward...

Again, I was impressed with Colleen Gleason's ability to weave a fascinating and absorbing mystery. While I was able to figure this one out, unlike the last one, I enjoyed it because The Spiritglass Charade played to the strengths of both Evaline and Mina giving them both the chance to show off their skills. Even though I really enjoyed the mystery, it was the revelation regarding Irene Adler, yes, that Irene Adler, and her past that really hooked me. I loved seeing this different side to her character from what we've seen previously; it just gave her story that much more.
   One of the other reasons I have found myself enjoying this book/series so much is the side characters. I have really enjoyed watching them come to life and add a new dimension to the overall character story-lines. It's just been interesting to see how their involvement has pushed the girls to work all the harder to get things done.

Finally, this book really has everything to pull one in. I really cannot say enough good things about Colleen Gleason's writing or this wonderful series. It is just so good and one not to be missed.

Final Verdict: The Spiritglass Charade- Such an excellent follow-up to The Clockwork Scarab! Just read this series already!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Spiritglass Charade earns




Now that you have seen my thoughts on The Spiritglass Charade, dear readers, it is time to hear from the lovely Colleen Gleason as she answers some questions. Trust me, you do not want to miss her answers as it'll have you wanting to run out and pick up this book.

Interview

1.      In seven words, can you tell us about The Spiritglass Charade?

Holmes & Stoker try to debunk seances.

2.      As a fan of the Dracula and the Sherlock Holmes novels, I'm dying to know why you chose to have both Mina and Evaline come from the Stoker/Holmes line? 

A traditional element of steampunk is the juxtaposition of literary characters with that of real historical figures, so I knew I’d be starting with that concept. Then, being a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, I knew I wanted to begin with a female version of the brilliant detective, since I wasn’t aware of any sort of female take on Mr. Holmes.
Then I learned that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker were actually friends! And so the idea of melding in a vampire element made a lot of sense—especially since I’d also written a series about a female vampire hunter during the time of Jane Austen. I thought it would be ironic if Bram Stoker’s sister was a vampire hunter, and he was writing about vampires.
3.       So, what do you think are the best and worst personality traits of both Mina and Evaline?  

As is often true for all of us, a person’s strength is also his/her greatest weakness. In the case of Mina Holmes, her strength is of course her non-stop brain and decisiveness, as well as confidence in her own intelligence. But that causes her to come across as pedantic and know-it-all, and keeps her from being able to build personal relationships.

As for Evaline Stoker, her greatest strength is her physical strength and confidence that she can completely take care of herself, that she can just blaze right in without thinking and do whatever she wants because she’s strong and fast and specially endowed with her super-heroine like capabilities. But that impetuousness puts her and her companions in danger at times, and she also learns that maybe there is a bad side to being a superhero. People don’t always agree with you or like your decisions.

4.      Alright, from your favorite chapter in The Spiritglass Charade can you share with us a two sentence teaser?

From Miss Holmes’s point of view:
“I’ve made a mistake,” I said. “It’s—” “Wha—huh? You’ve made a mistake? You? Wait.” Evaline yanked open the carriage window and stuck her head out, looked around, then drew herself back in. “The world isn’t ending. Big Ben’s Infinity Day Clock hasn’t stopped. You can’t have made a mistake. It’s a day just like any other day.”
5.      If you could have tea with any author, dead or living, who would you choose? What would be the first question you asked them?

Ooh! I’d love to sit down with William Shakespeare and find out how many of those plays he actually did write. And I’d like to sit with Jane Austen and find out if she ever truly loved someone. I’d also like to meet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and find out if he still believes in spiritualism and spirituality (he was a great believer in mediums and seances).

6.      Last book you couldn't put down?

Hmmm. Probably my umpteenth re-read of The Half-Blood Prince. J

7.      The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose? 

Iron Man of course! J

About the author:
Colleen Gleason is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the paranormal romance series The Gardella Vampire Chronicles—about a female vampire hunter who lives during the time of Jane Austen.

You can haunt Colleen Gleason at-
Goodreads | Twitter | Website |

You can check out all the tour stops below:

  1. Esther's Ever After
  2. Chronicle's Book Blog
  3. Anna's Book Blog
  4. Kid Lit Frenzy
  5. Caught Between the Pages
  6. Mother Daughter Book Club
  7. Cracking the Cover
  8. You're already here...because this is my stop.
  9. Forever Young Adult
  10. SciFiChick.com
  11. On Emily's Bookshelf
this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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