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A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway
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A brilliant wrap up of all the things building during the first two books of The Baskerville Affair! I already mentioned last week that this series was awesome. Fast, furious, full of wonderful gadgetry, magic, treachery, danger and complex intrigues. I was glued to the books, satisfied with the ending and hopeful for more instalments in the future.

Poor Evie does not get a break after the events in A Study in Darkness, and the third book becomes even more Gothic and intense as all the plot knots start unravelling.

I'm glad that what felt like a love triangle in book #1, completely resolves itself by the end of the second book, which is only natural in the set of circumstances. Both Tobias and Evelina get on with their lives and various challenges they represent, and outgrow their feelings for each other, especially Evie who sees Tobias far more clearly than he sees her, and who typically fell in love with him like most of us - for his potential, not for his actions.

Nick stays his scrumptious self and I as usual do not have any complaints about his dashing piratical persona - he is a lovely character! *grinning maniacally*

Evie... *raises her glass* is going to the dark side, and oh boy, when she goes - she goes. This is one of the reasons why this book was so fascinating for me to read. That pull of dark magic she experiencing is only gonna get stronger in A Study of Ashes, and actually she deals with it in a spectacular way.

Much of the book is also dedicated to Imogen, Mouse and Bird's adventures. While they were not bad, they were not my favourite part of the plot even if they gave the reader more interactions with Bucky and charming Poppy.

Overall, A Study in Ashes brings all the characters together in an explosive way. Expect some dark twists, shocking deaths and epic battles. I'll say no more as I don't want to give you any spoilers. Highly recommended. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
A complicated but appropriate finale to a fine series. The good guys prevail, although one requires resurrection. Enough loose ends to suggest a possible sequel series that would restore and rebuild the world destroyed herein. ( )
  jamespurcell | Oct 27, 2015 |
Holloway finally lost control of all the elements in this story. She should have picked between steampunk and magic, not tried to use both.
  LibraryGirl11 | Nov 5, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An addicting conclusion to the Baskerville Affair trilogy, full of action and all the characters I have grown to love.

Opening Sentence: “You are not welcome here,” said the man in the quietly understated brown suit.

The Review:

I was very interested to see how everything was going to get wrapped up in this final installment of The Baskerville Affair. For the most part, I was very satisfied with how everything turned out. While there were some slow moments, this book moved much quicker than book 2, and there was a lot more action, which led to a much more fulfilling reading experience.

Tensions are rising in England. There’s a war brewing among the leaders of the Steam Council, and no one knows who they can trust. Public unrest is also brewing, as the common people grow tired of being ruled by the steam barons. The Schoolmaster and his rebellion are almost ready to make their move. Who will come out on top in the end?

Evelina Cooper has finally reached her dream of going to college, albeit at the expense of remaining under Jasper Keating’s thumb. He’s fitted her with bracelets that hamper her magic. Any attempt to leave the school grounds is met with unimaginable pain emanating from the cuffs. On the bright side, Evelina has made the acquaintance of one professor who actually supports her desire to learn more about science, one Professor Moriarty. But even being able to conduct her own scientific experiments can not ease the restlessness in her heart. She needs to be able to use her magic, but how will she free herself from the bracelets? Will she ever be free of Jasper Keating?

Imogen Roth is in a bit of a pickle, trapped in an unknown dimension, haunted by the spirit of her dead twin, who will do anything to make it back to the land of the living. With the help of Mouse and Bird, Imogen must figure out how to defeat Anna and make it back to the real world and the man she loves.

My favorite parts in the book would probably have to go to those narrated by Poppy, as she tries to figure out what’s happened to Imogen. I had to admire this 15 year old who is forced to confront forces she doesn’t understand in order to save the sister she loves. She knows that people underestimate her, but she doesn’t let that get her down. I really wish we had seen more of her in books one and two. There are a lot of other narrators as well, making it hard to name an official main character. While the title should conceivably go to Evelina, she really isn’t in the book regularly until after the halfway point. I didn’t necessarily think this was a bad thing, but it did feel a little odd.

There is a ton going on here, which is both good and bad. On the good side, it made the book hard to put down and had me wishing there was more time in my lunch hour for me to keep reading. On the down side, when you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy and fighting the urge to sleep all the time, a dense book is not always the easiest thing to read, so it took me a lot longer to read this than normal. Readers should be prepared for a long book that does require concentration.

All in all, this was a very satisfying end to the trilogy. All the unanswered questions I had at the end of book 2 were answered. Some new plot threads are introduced, leaving things open for a potential new series, one that I would be very interested in reading. Those who enjoyed the first two books in this series should find themselves very satisfied with its conclusion!

Notable Scene:

Tobias’ hand was turning cold. A pang of concern caught at her, thinking it was too bad he was worrying over nothing. But then again, the entire room was starting to get chilly–no, downright frozen. Evelina snapped to attention, her own magic suddenly on alert. Wood had stopped talking, but she could still see a faint mist where his breath warmed the air. Who would have thought? Something is here after all. Evelina reached out with her senses, tentatively touching the energy in the room. There were eight normal, healthy presences there, a few burning more brightly than others. So, some of the society members, including Wood and Miss Barnes, probably had a drop of the Blood. Nothing about that was worrisome.

But they were not alone. The darkness in her magic stirred. It wasn’t just hunger; it was the part of her that sensed danger soonest, and it knew instinctively how to fight.

“There is someone here looking for you, Miss Cooper,” Wood said softly. His voice was rounded with a slight lilt, as if he’d come from Cornwall. “The entity says you were looking for her.”

Evelina sucked in her breath, a quick, desperate inhalation. There was only one female she’d been looking for. “Imogen?”

FTC Advisory: Del Rey/Random House provided me with a copy of A Study in Ashes. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 12, 2014 |
Well the war that has been talked about comes to a head. Things that happened in book one finally come to fruition in book three and bring the Black King into the picture instead of just wondering about him. A few minor plot threads get lost in the shuffle at the race to the end of the book but nothing horrible. I did notice with all three books it took me a while to get into the story and I can't put my finger on what made it that way for all the books. A decent romp if you like steampunk with some romance.

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345537203, Mass Market Paperback)

If being the niece of the master detective Sherlock Holmes affords Evelina Cooper any special privileges in Victorian London, she has yet to encounter them. In the final chapter of this terrific new trilogy, she must navigate a world of paranormal fantasy, romance, and mystery all on her own.

Praise for Emma Jane Holloway’s A Study in Silks
“This book has just about everything: magic, machines, mystery, mayhem, and all the danger one expects when people’s loves and fears collide. I can’t wait to return to the world of Evelina Cooper!”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
“As Sherlock Holmes’s niece, investigating murder while navigating the complicated shoals of Society—and romance—in an alternate Victorian England, Evelina Cooper is a charming addition to the canon.”—Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series
“Holloway takes us for quite a ride, as her plot snakes through an alternate Victorian England full of intrigue, romance, murder, and tiny sandwiches. Full of both thrills and frills.”—Nicole Peeler, author of the Jane True series
A Study in Silks is a charming, adventurous ride with a heroine who is both clever and talented. The brushes with the Sherlock Holmes mythos only add to the fun of this tale, and readers are bound to fall in love with Evelina and the London she inhabits.”—Philippa Ballantine, author of Geist
“In A Study in Silks, Emma Jane Holloway has created a wonderful reimagining of the Sherlock Holmes mythos set in a late-Victorian Britain ruled by nefarious industrial titans called steam barons. Holloway’s clever writing, attention to detail, and sublime characters forge a fascinating world that combines brass-plated steampunk technology with magic. By turns a coming-of-age story, a gas-lamp thriller, and a whimsical magical fantasy, A Study in Silks is the premiere novel of an author to watch.”—Susan Griffith, author of the Vampire Empire series
“Holloway stuffs her adventure with an abundance of characters and ideas and fills her heroine with talents and graces, all within a fun, brisk narrative.”Publishers Weekly
“Splendid . . . The characters are thoroughly charming and the worldbuilding is first-rate.”RT Book Reviews (four stars)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:40 -0400)

"As part of her devil's bargain with the industrial steam barons, Evelina Cooper is finally enrolled in the Ladies' College of London. However, she's attending as the Gold King's pet magician, handcuffed and forbidden contact with even her closest relation, the detective Sherlock Holmes. But Evelina's problems are only part of a larger war. The Baskerville affair is finally coming to light, and the rebels are making their move to wrest power from the barons and restore it to Queen Victoria. Missing heirs and nightmare hounds are the order of the day--or at least that's what Dr. Watson is telling the press. But their plans are doomed unless Evelina escapes to unite her magic with the rebels' machines--and even then her powers aren't what they used to be. A sorcerer has awakened a dark hunger in Evelina's soul, and only he can keep her from endangering them all. The only problem is...he's dead."-- Page [4] of cover.… (more)

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