Review: Clockwork Scarab

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The Clockwork Scarab

Series: A Stoker & Holmes Novel

By Colleen Gleason
Hardcover: 356 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 17, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1452110700
ISBN-13: 978-1452110707
Available September 17, 2013 at Amazon and other online bookstores

(Debby and Kat’s score 5 Thumbs up!)

Product description:

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Our review:

It was decided that this book would be sent to me since my wee one’s (Kat) age is the intended audience. When I told Kat that a book was on the way and that she would be giving a review of it, she excitedly waited (and checked daily) for the mail. Last Wednesday, she rushed in with a package saying “It’s here Nana”! So, we opened it, and her first journey into the world of murder mysteries and great sleuthing begun.

Now, my wee one is the typical 13 year old girl. She loves things pink, she loves fashion, she’s into Skylanders…and video games. It just so happens that the same day we got this book, she also received a new video game that she had also been waiting for. She played that for a little while in her room and then came out and sat down and started the book. Even though she knew that I was an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes and have been watching him lately on Netflix, she basically knew very little about him and his stories except that he solved murder mysteries. So, when she started reading this book, and she read through the first 3 chapters before setting it down (remember, her NEW video game was here!), I knew that this book was something that was well written. After all, if it could take her attention from her favorite pastime and newly acquired and long-awaited video game, this author had accomplished  a great feat!

Kat set the book down several times to play her video games during the first half of the book. But then, somewhere just after the half way mark, when she started reading again, she just couldn’t seem to put it down. Even for her new video game. And she kept coming out from her room and telling me about what was happening in the story, VERY excitedly. And when she told me that she was close to the end of the book after about the 5th time of coming out from her room, I knew right then, that the author had a BIG hit on her hands!

When Kat finished the book, she told me all about it and said, “You’ll like this book, Nana.” And by George, she was right! Even though the intended audience is a young crowd, even some of us who are more acquainted with Sherlock Holmes will find this an interesting read. I could see why the first half of the book had a harder time keeping Kat away from her new video game than the last half because this is where the setup of the story is (naturally). And because this is Kat’s first introduction to a murder mystery, she’s not used to a longer developing plot. But, with that said, it DID keep pace and on par for her attention with her new game! This spoke volumes for this book. So, when I read it, I went in knowing it was a good read. I was not disappointed.

In classic Holmes style, this story is set in London, in 1889, at the dawn of electricity and the slow demise of steam generated mechanics and during the tumultuous time of Jack the Ripper. But here, steam generation reigns supreme. Electricity is outlawed. And three worlds are one. The world of the greatest sleuth of all times (Sherlock Holmes), the world of the greatest vampire story ever written, by Bram Stoker (Dracula) and the world of technology from steam mechanics (there’s an awesome steam mortorcycle and air ship!) to time travelling, combine to create a most delightful stage for not only solving a murder but also involving deduction about an ancient secret society which introduces an arch nemesis for the great young female Holmes. No, there are no vampires. But there is a vampire hunter! And, there’s a new generation involved, the niece of Holmes and the younger sister of Bram. Both are teenagers, coming into their own greatness and carrying on their families’ tradition for sleuthing and solving mysteries.

katana2“I like this book and I recommend it to any teen who likes murder mysteries. What kept me reading is the intrigue that faced the young teenage sleuths and the way the author combined the ancient world with the future.

The story starts with a mystery. A meeting is set up by Miss Holmes receiving a letter with directions to go to the British Museum at midnight if she was willing to follow in her family’s footsteps as her help was needed. But there was no other information. No signature and other information would be given only at the meeting. She decided to accept the invitation. There, she met up with another young girl who happened to be another sleuth of a different kind, a vampire hunter and together, they went into the museum to meet with who sent them both the invitation.

They meet up with an older lady who tells them about 2 murders and a disappearance of 3 young teenage girls from well-known wealthy families which she wanted them to help find out who the murderer was. Found at each scene was a scarab. Which Miss Holmes found to be a mechanical geared device.  While at the meeting, they heard a noise and followed it and found a weirdly dressed young man bent over yet another murdered young girl. And this began the mysterious journey through London, time and ancient secrets that kept me wanting to read this to the end. I hope the author makes this into a series because I want to read more about Miss Holmes and Miss Stoker and find out if the boy returns to his time in the future and if Ankh, Miss Holmes arch nemesis, returns.”

Conclusion:

This is a very well written book which keeps you on the edge of your seat and waiting with bated breath as to what happens next. It even ends with a mystery! With the clever combination of ancient secrets, old and futuristic technologies, historical and fictional history set in the near past of today’s world and the fact that it kept my wee one’s attention and wanting more, we give this book 5 thumbs up!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: We received this book free from Chronicle Books. We were not required to write a positive review. The opinions Kat and I have expressed are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Four Stages of Enlightenment Test

Your result for The Four Stages of Enlightenment Test …
The Arhat (Perfected Being)
This is your last birth

As an arhat you have reached enlightenment. This is your last birth. All that you see now is the results of you past karma, but no more karma is being made by you. Once this life is done, all of your karma will be exhausted, and you will pass into nirvana.

Only a bodhisatva or buddha can call you his diciple.

“Beings are Numberless, I vow to free them. Delusions are inexhaustable, I vow to end them. Entrances to the way are boundless, I vow to enter them. The Buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it.” – The Bodhisattva Vows.

Arhat

The Four Stages of Enlightenment Test

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Know The Divine

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“As above, so below; as below so above.” — The Kybalion.

The beauty and mysteries of what we see and don’t see above are the same as here below and vice versa. The saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun” comes to mind. There is a harmony, agreement and correspondence between the physical, mental and spiritual planes and this principle of universal application and manifestation, the Principle of Correspondence, is an Universal Law.

So take a few moments each day to meditate and reflect upon this knowledge to open up what otherwise would remain unknown and you will see the sameness of all that exists and will see and know the Divine.

Let Your Little Light Shine

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“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” – Jesus (As written in the Gospel Of Thomas)

The Light and Love of God is within you.

If you bring forth the light and love within, it will transform you.

If you do not become one with the light and love of God within you but instead turn to darker emotions then that negativity will become an anathema to the Christ within.
So…let your little light shine!

Elephant-sized “zombie mosquitoes” are invading Florida!

Well not really, but that’s the way the media makes it sound when reporting on the new breed of larger mosquitoes now appearing in the area. One online publication compares a mosquito bite to a “knife wound.” (Seriously.)

Click below for a satirical article making fun of the media’s wildly exaggerated scare stories about mosquitoes: 

Monster mosquito panic! Global warming causes elephant-sized zombie mosquitoes to invade Florida; victims sucked dry! 


Listen To The Divine

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“I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest”. – The New Covenant of God

God is within…He even says so Himself! There is no need for a middleman to teach you what God Himself has already written upon your mind and soul. We call It our “inner voice”. Make it a practice to listen to It each and every day…..and hear God!

Know Thyself and Know God

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“…the greatest of all lessons to know one’s self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God… and that man becomes God, since God so wills”. – Father Clement of Alexandria

For when God made man…He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. (Genisis 2:7)  We are all God within ourselves as God gave a part of Him to each of us. We call It our soul. We just have to quiet ourselves and find Him inside. So set a time of quiet aside each day and get to know yourself within, and there….you will find God!

Pathways To The Divine

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“Howsoever men approach Me, even so do I welcome them, for the path men take from every side is Mine.” – Krishna (Christ), from the Bhagavad-gita

There are many pathways to the Divine….and it matters not which you choose, none is better than another as ALL is welcomed because they ALL lead to the Divine. So choose to travel the pathway that speaks to your soul and worry not as the Divine awaits to welcome you home at the end of your journey!