What is this? I read a book and wanted to write about it?!
In my ongoing research for The Queen, I happened upon The Clockwork Scarab, featuring two fictional characters based on…the work of other fictional characters (actually, props to the creativity) of Ms. Gleason (who, I realize now, I started a book by and did not finish…and while reading this novel thought, ‘Someone is ripping off this nice author’s fictional world,
now things make sense).
Enter the niece of Sherlock Holmes and the sister of Bram Stoker! There are many things I enjoyed about this book. The steampunk elements were perfectly blended, as was the attention to many historical and other finer details. As someone who struggles with romantic tension, there were parts of the subplots with the love interests that worked for me.
Most unfortunately, I cannot understand why the main characters — two strong, independent, and intelligent young women (yay!) HATED EACH OTHER. Thrown together to solve a mystery, these ladies categorically are equal parts annoyed, irritated and spiteful of each other FOR REASONS I CANNOT UNDERSTAND. Certainly, they were brought up in different circumstances, and yes, you don’t have to be friends with someone you just meet, however (and this is my biggest regret with the author’s choice), when our two protagonists constantly rip each other apart, how are we supposed to like them? With strange immaturity, I couldn’t fathom why they couldn’t just get along. Their friction and resentment doesn’t do a lot to serve the storyline and as previously mentioned, why would you want to tear down your characters in front of your readers? Aren’t you supposed to like the leads in a story?
Also, of course people have accents, especially in this time period. However, Pix’s Cockney is so over the top, my irritation level shot up whenever I had to decipher what the hell he was trying to say.
So, I’m stuck. I love the steampunk details and action, but really question why the author decided that these two could never get along. Luckily, they are not fighting over some young man (feminism!), but it is only in the most begrudging of moments they are forced to (sort of) work together.
I will probably read the next book in the series — not because of the characters, but because of the background elements.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?