A STUDY IN SILKS
Holloway’s splendid first entry in her Baskerville Affair series will thrill fans of steampunk urban fantasy. While the tome clocks in at over 500 pages, every page exhibits Holloway’s dab hand at characterization. All of her villains, including power-hungry schemer Lord Bancroft, treacherous steam baron Jasper Keating and the mysterious mesmerist Dr. Magnus, are fully realized, three-dimensional characters, even as they commit unspeakable acts for the sake of their ambition. The heroine is on the cusp of entering high society while a part of her yearns for the life she had at Ploughman’s circus, where she performed as a child. But while her personal story has tremendous promise (did I mention she’s Sherlock Holmes’ niece?), it often feels as though the secondary characters, including Evie’s love interests and her best friend push our lead to the margins. Silver lining? Readers aren’t likely to mind, as the characters are thoroughly charming and the worldbuilding is first-rate.