Tag Archives: Egyptian Mythology

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) – Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) – Colleen GleasonTitle: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason
Publishing Info: September 17, 2013 by Chronicle Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mythology, Steampunk, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 30, 2013

    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.

bookreview1When I first heard of THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB, I was like, “Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stocker mash-up? In YA?! THIS IS SO MEANT FOR ME!!!” I did a bit of happy dancing and then finally got around to reading the book. Okay, this sounds like I’m setting you up for a terrible review and truly, honestly, the book was not awful. I was actually really entertained although not quite in the way I was hoping.

The chapters alternate between the first person POVs of Mina Holmes, the niece of famed detective Sherlock Holmes and Evaline Stoker, the much younger sister of author Bram Stoker (whose book about a famous vampire called Dracula has not yet been finished). The book kicks off with Mina’s POV and I feel like we see an AWFUL lot of Mina. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sherlock Holmes and inductive reasoning, all that good stuff, but I felt like she kind of dominated the book and we didn’t see too much of Evaline. True, the chapters did alternate fairly evenly, but the book was really Holmes-heavy with lots of sleuthing and detective work and honestly zero vampire involvement. I’d really like to see these two worlds actually collide so I’m actually looking forward to picking up book two. I’m hoping we’ll really get to see Evaline in action!

The world building was a bit shaky for me. You wouldn’t think you would have to world build much by setting a book in an actual historical time period, but things are a bit…. different, shall we say. It wasn’t quite revealed until later (and I hope this isn’t a spoiler for anyone… it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to say) that this is more of a steampunk, almost alternate universe London. Colleen Gleason has an interesting setting where steam is king, electricity is a dirty word and… well, there IS more but those really might be spoilery things to say.

The mystery in this book involves Egyptian mythology/legends/gods, which HEY. That was perfect considering that’s what I’m using for Classics Retold. Everything seemed pretty spot on (that I could tell… which I may not be a reliable source for this, but take that as you will) but nevertheless, I still wasn’t quite into where the plot of the mystery took us. There were some great Holmesian moments, but I felt like some things were revealed a bit too early and others not early enough.

The romances in the book……… I was just not a fan. I couldn’t get into any of them. Yes, ANY. That means more than two. Mina has a bit of a love triangle (although not quite enough to be a triangle, I think) with a handsome inspector and a curious boy named Dylan who she ends up doubting, trusting, befriending, and then starting to feel all the feelings for (oh, and he’s American). Then we have Evaline and her chap who…. yeah, I just never liked. The personality didn’t have a chance to shine because I was so completely distracted by the cockney accent which was heavily written in. I don’t mind cockney accents, but I felt like my brain wasn’t allowed to pick up on it being stated that he had that accent and then a few words shortened here and it being written in other ways throughout the text. Nope. EVERY single dropped letter or change in speech was apostrophe’d up and it was distracting to read. I was trying to decipher what words were instead of being trusted to pick up the accent in my head and read it that way. It was too distracting for me and I felt like that totally lost the magic of the character.

The relationship between the girls was a bit… tiresome. They treated each other like nemeses when they first started working together on this case and it wasn’t really until the very end of the book that they started to realize they cared about each other as friends. With everything else that they were battling, it was just too much for me to have another conflict in the book. I can get a bit of annoyance or a touch of jealousy, but it was constant and it was too much for me.

Then the LAST thing was Dylan’s entire story line……… Where did this come from? This is a bit of a spoilery area so I really don’t want to say a lot about it but it was not explained well. Yes, yes, it is a series so I can only assume there’s more out there to be revealed but why was it necessary for him to be in the story? So far, it I took him out of THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB… pretty much the same book. Why was he a relevant part of the story? Why was it important that he meet Mina? How in the world did he end up in London? Again, hoping more questions will be answered in book two, but I was really hoping to get SOMETHING more in the first book to reassure me that this was, in fact, relevant information.

I was entertained by THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB, but there were just too many things that left me with an uneasy feeling after I was done. Even the mystery itself didn’t quite wrap up and that was something that I felt should be complete in book one and not left open for the rest of the series. It felt like a plot arc of the book, not a series arc. Anywho… I am interesting in reading the second book in the series when it comes out and hopefully get some closure on a few loose ends as well as more vampires. I would love for book two to just knock me off my feet!


Mina Holmes // Character Obsessions: Facts, detective work, clues.
Mina’s a pretty straight-shooter. Taking after her Uncle Sherlock, she’s all about finding the little secrets hidden beneath the bigger secrets and seeing what others miss. I really did enjoy her character more than Evaline’s, I think just because I adore Sherlock Holmes. Her voice really did seem stronger in this book as well.
Evaline Stoker // Character Obsessions: Kicking ass and taking names, fighting vampires, proving herself, acting first & questions later.
Evaline is a very kickass chick… But I felt like it was almost a little too stereotypically so. I’m hoping for more growth from her in future books, but so far she just seems to act first and figure the rest out later. That’s not always a bad thing but it did bother me a little bit. I think she feels like she has to prove herself because she’s a vampire hunter… But hasn’t even slain a vampire yet. She needs to live up to a name that she hasn’t even had a chance to prove yet so she’s trying to prove herself elsewhere. I’m hoping she can take down a few vamps in book two!
addiction_factor1Kept Me Hooked On: Sherlock Holmes. I love Holmes and… okay, admittedly, I still need to read more Holmes novels, but this was definitely a fun twist and a great connection to the classics.
Left Me Wanting More: World Building. There were so many different elements crammed into this world that it didn’t all quite fit together for me. Part of it was realistic, part of it was fantastical, part of it was sci-fi… Even the concept of Holmes and Stoker was a fictional character and a real life person combined into one book. That was kiiiiind of explained but not really. I guess I’ll just have to accept that this is almost like an alternate history or something!

Addiction Rating

I was definitely entertained by this one but I had a few issues with world building and plot development as far as the romances went and the resolution of the mystery. This might be a good one to borrow first and save your pennies in case it’s not quite the book for you!


     A Study in Scarlet               Something Strange and Deadly

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1) – Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1) – Rick RiordanTitle: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan
Publishing Info: May 4, 2010 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Children's & Middle Grade, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 7, 2013

    Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.


I was actually a little nervous going into THE RED PYRAMID as my first book for Classics Retold, not because of the size or the content, but because it’s really more of a middle grade book than young adult and I haven’t read anything that could be classified as middle grade since Harry Potter. THE RED PYRAMID kind of dances along the line of middle grade and young adult with our main characters Carter and Sadie Kane at 14 and 12-years-old (respectively). The only major difference I would say for the age range is that there’s only a touch of romance and it’s definitely not a main focus of the book, although Carter’s crush does end up playing a significant role.

Okay! Now that we have that all cleared up… Let’s talk about the content. So for Classics Retold, I’m hosting the Mythology portion and I chose Egyptian mythology specifically to read for the challenge/project. THE RED PYRAMID seemed like the natural choice as my first read because it was the only title I could come up with off the top of my head full of Egyptian mythology and not just a retelling of Cleopatra or Nefertiti (although I would love to read those as well)! Rick Riordan is no slouch when it comes to backing up his imagined situations with real Egyptian myths, gods, and legends. Besides the ones I already knew, I actually learned about quite a few more gods as well as how they came into being, according to their legends. I also trusted Riordan quite a bit in accepting their histories as true since it seemed that most of the backstories were the actual Egyptian legends and then the story that was happening in present time was the actual book’s plot involving those “characters”.

THE RED PYRAMID is actually quite a hefty book (the hardcover is listed at 516 pages and the audio was almost 15 hours… I usually listen to books that about 7, to give you an idea of my usual attention span) but it really didn’t feel terribly long! I did feel the length, but I was actually enjoying all of the content. I really, really enjoyed all of the connections to Egypt: the myths, the actual locations, the language… It all really fascinates me! I’ve always been incredibly interested in Egypt (maybe that’s why I watch The Mummy every time I pass it on TV…) and I think it would be amazing to see history as ancient as that still standing!

Rick Riordan, aside from great content, also created some really lovable characters. The banter between Carter and Sadie is hilarious. Carter is a bit more reserved, but Sadie (even at 12) is a bit rebellious and out-spoken so her comments to Carter as a typical, bratty younger sister really cracked me up! I really enjoyed watching their brother-sister relationship grow and change as they face some serious obstacles together.

I think the ending could have wrapped up juuuust a bit quicker but I really enjoyed the book overall! Will I be continuing the series? I’m not quite sure. While I really enjoyed THE RED PYRAMID, I’m already finding out that I get burned out on mythology really quickly if I read them back-to-back. Maybe I’ll try to revisit it in a few months!


Carter Kane // Character Obsessions: Looking presentable, saving his dad, Zia.
I really liked Carter! He was a bit more conservative than Sadie because his father raised him to be just that — He obeyed orders and was ready for anything at a moment’s notice. I really admired his courage when things got tough and I don’t know why, but I’m always a sucker for an older brother/younger sister relationship in a book!
Sadie Kane // Character Obsessions: Mischief, her cat Muffin, making fun of Carter, her mother, Anubis.
I LOVED Sadie’s sass in this book. She had so many clever lines and really brought a strong sense of humor to the story. I also really enjoyed seeing her stubbornness give way to Carter’s organization and planning when it needed to. I think Sadie was my favorite character of the book! 


Kept Me Hooked On: Egyptian Mythology. The mythology/legends in the book were great. It was well researched and a HUGE part of the book — Well, it WAS the book! Haha. I loved how the characters and the gods interacted. The book was sort of similar to how many mythology books/retellings go, but I didn’t mind in the least!
Left Me Wanting More: Is it stupid to say romance? I’ve just been reading YA so long and there’s always a main romance plot. That’s my only minor reservation with MG! I just love falling in love with characters via a romance!

Addiction Rating
Library read

While I really enjoyed this book, I’m not sure if it’s one I would need to own for my bookshelves! It was a top notch book including all kinds of Egyptian history and mythology but I’d probably just borrow this series from the library.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE RED PYRAMID

     Everneath      Of Poseidon

It’s Classics Retold Month!


Ah, the time is finally here for Classics Retold month! We’ve been preparing ever since April to read our classics and post all of the retellings and September is finally upon us!

I just wanted to create a post to sort of introduce what I’ve actually read so far since my plans have changed somewhat significantly!

Just as a reminder, all-in-all, there are five different blogs co-hosting this event which focuses on reading a specific classic along with various retellings/spin-offs. We would love if you would join in for Classics Retold and there’s still plenty of time to sign up! Here are all of the categories and there are still tons of open spots:

My specific selection for mythology is EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY and I’ve had a great time and a hard time with it. Some of the adaptations are great and others I really struggled with. Here’s a quick recap of what’s to come in September!


My first choice was THE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White. This was the most obvious and exciting upcoming read but… I got about a quarter of the way through and was REALLY struggling with the main character. I didn’t like the way the gods were portrayed or the story line and it just clearly was not the adaptation for me. The first book I actually picked up was THE RED PYRAMID which is the first book in The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. I was a little nervous for it because it’s more middle grade than YA, but Rick Riordan did a fantastic job with the myths, legends, and incorporating them into a modern story. I actually think I may continue the series, although they’re quite hefty books! We’ll see how it goes. I attempted a younger MG book, THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS by R.L. LaFevers. I loved Grace Mercy & Dark Triumph but I did not do well with her middle grade. It was younger than The Kane Chonicles but that wasn’t necessarily the problem… I felt like the action wasn’t going anywhere and I quickly became bored. I also read A CLOCKWORK SCARAB which is a mash up of Holmes & Stoker (their relatives) but the main plot revolved around Sekhment and Egyptian mytholgy, artifacts, and traditions. I actually finished it just recently and enjoyed it. Still had a few issues overall, but it was an enjoyable story!



I still have to watch The Mummy and The Mummy II (have to.. haha. I’ve seen the multiple times) but don’t worry. They’re on my DVR now thanks to TNT.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK : Still want to rewatch Raiders because come on… Indiana Jones.

So that’s it so far! Looking forward to the official posts and I can’t wait to see what my other mythology ladies have in store for us!










Classics Retold: Egyptian Mythology Intro Post


Welcome to the CLASSICS RETOLD project! All-in-all, there are five different blogs co-hosting this event which focuses on reading a specific classic along with various retellings/spin-offs. We would love if you would join in for Classics Retold and there’s still plenty of time to sign up! Here are all of the categories and there are still tons of open spots:

If you’re interested in signing up to read a classic and its retellings (and we really hope you’re interested!!!), check out the original into & sign up post HERE. Easy as that! 🙂

I am hosting the MYTHOLOGY section of Classics Retold and for my chosen myth, I’m going with Egyptian Mythology. I’ve always been interested in the ancient Egyptian mythology, probably because it’s so different from the more common Greek/Roman myths and something about Egypt just fascinates me. Also, (don’t judge) for some reason, I always need to watch The Mummy when it’s on TV. The mythology and practices are just SO. COOL. I simply had to pick Egyptian Mythology for this project!

So here are the books I’m going to read for Classics Retold. I may not get to all of them but I definitely want to read a fair few, and since the posts don’t go live until September, I should have PLENTY of time to read a bunch.

Firstly, I want to read THE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White. In my searches I found that a lot of the books about Egyptian mythology really toy with the line between mythology and historical fiction, which is actually pretty neat how interwoven those two are. The only problem I have with that is that many of these books aren’t so much based in mythology as the historical aspects. For example, there are actually quite a few books about Cleopatra or Nefertiti, but they’re more historical fiction than mythology. The Chaos of Stars seems extremely myth-based, though, and I’m excited to read it! Technically it doesn’t come out until September 10th, but I am extremely fortunate to have a copy via Edelweiss!

The next book I want to read is THE RED PYRAMID which is the first book in The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. I actually don’t read much of any middle grade books at all, but I couldn’t pass this one up! It sounds like there’s so much Egyptian mythology in this series that I will be perfectly comfortable in a younger age range (I hope). I haven’t read Riordan’s Percy Jackson series either so I’m not quite sure how the books read, but I’ve heard the audio is pretty good so, I’d like to pick up the audiobook for this one!

Next I’m attempting yet another middle grade book, THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS (why is chaos intertwined with Egyptian mythology so much?) by R.L. LaFevers. I came across this one in my search for Egyptian mythology-based books and was surprised to see that Robin (or R.L.) LaFevers had a middle grade series that just fit perfectly! Before I met her in April, I actually had no idea she wrote middle grade (which is actually her primary writing focus) because I only knew her for Grave Mercy/Dark Triumph. I’m not much of a middle grade person, BUT I trust that I’ll still enjoy her writing in a different age range. I know she does a LOT of research for her books so I’m extremely interested to see all the research that went into all of the history and mythology in this book.

Next I’m trying two books that may be a little more historical fiction than mythology, but still have both aspects present in the books: SPHINX’S PRINCESS by Esther Friesner and LILY OF THE NILE by Stephanie Dray. These books are back in the YA age-range which I love so much and based on the stories of Nefertiti and Cleopatra/Celopatra’s daughter, respectively. I’m super interested to check out these retellings and see how the historical fiction plays out! I really hope there’s a good amount of mythology in the books as well! I love the mash-up between historical fiction and mythology, especially since the mythology really was like a religion. I’m hoping it’ll play a prominent part in these two books!


If I have time, I’d like to get to any number of these books below — Some are more historically based, some with less ties to Egyptian mythology, some are adult versus my preferred age range of young adult, so they’re kind of my “back up” books. I should have time to read more than the ones I’ve listed above so hopefully I can get to a bunch of these as well for a nice variety!




Of course I’ll have to re-watch The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. They’re the classic go-to Egyptian mythology/history-based movies that I somehow find myself watching every time they’re on TV (and The Mummy is ALWAYS on TV). I’m only watching the first two though because they kept making movies after that and let’s face it…. They weren’t great.

STARGATE (1994: Kurt Russell, James, Spader): Whaaaat? I knew the title of this movie, but let’s face it — released in 1994, it would have been way over my head for my age at the time (I was seven). Honestly, this is the summary on IMDb: “A small group of US troups and an Egyptologist use an ancient device found in 1920s Egypt to transport themselves to a distant planet. There they discover .. err, well any more plot would be considered a spoiler. Written by Rob Hartill” Sooooo. Sounds pretty secretive, which is EXACTLY what I want! I have no idea how good the movie actually IS (it’s rated 6.9/10 stars on IMDb) and I actually know very little (read: zero) of what it’s about. I’m actually pretty excited to watch this movie knowing it’s kind of futuristic, kind of mythology-based. Here’s hoping it’ll be interesting and no too hokey!

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981: Harrison Ford AND THAT IS ALL YOU NEED): It’s Raiders, guys. Of COURSE I’m going to watch it. I actually didn’t even think about it until I was doing my search and stumbled upon it as included in a list of movies that have Egyptian mythology as part of their main plot. They’re in Egypt, we’ve got the headpiece to the staff of Ra… TOTALLY USING IT. Granted, I usually think of the quest for the ark as more of the primary plot of the movie, but there’s enough of Egypt & Egyptian mythology in there that I’m totally counting it. If you weren’t convinced, this image alone is enough for me.

I know there are a ton of other movies out there and lots of old classics, but to be honest… the classics don’t quite do it for me. I’ve never been a fan of those really old ones (like, pre-1950) and I just feel like I won’t be as interested. The books are really my primary focus for this project anyway, so I don’t feel too bad skipping them! I know what I like and what I don’t need to spend extra time on!

So that’s it for my CLASSICS RETOLD plans! I’m really excited to dive into all this Egyptian mythology and I cannot wait to see what everyone else has planned!

REMEMBER! If you want to sign up, you still can!! Sign-ups are open until May 25th and we would love to have you join! Please head on over to the intro post and pick a myth that fits you! Not interested in mythology? There are TONS of other classics/genres/eras hosted by my wonderful co-hosts that you can sign up for as well!

Looking forward to September!!