“Don’t try to explain the Incarnation to me! It is further from being explainable than the furthest star in the furthest galaxy. It is love, God’s limitless love enfleshing that love into the form of a human being, Jesus, the Christ, fully human and fully divine. Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?” -Madeline L’Engle
Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway
Evie Cooper is a not quite fashionable young girl living in London in the midst of the Steam Barons Rule.
Part Steampunk, Part Revolution, Part Mystery this book follows the adventures of Evie Cooper and her closest friends during a tumulteous Time.
“You have to decide that for yourself” Variations of this line are put forward by characters of all stripes indicating, strongly, that who you are depends highly on who you decide to be and no one can really tell you how that is going to work out for you….this could be the theme song of the entire book–making me a very happy Katy.
Things I liked about this book
1. Character development (everyone develops, everyone)
2. Fleshed out characters (good and evil more often turn to gray, and love is highly valued)
3. Love Triangles…but they are relevant to the plot
4. London: Victorian Age
5. Steam Punk
6. If you’ve read Holmes (YAY) you get Lotsa extra plot points!
7. Class Revolution: This book takes on income differences and revolution in an interesting way (causing some fun 99% thoughts), down with the Steam Barons….
Things to note: The main character is a little annoying at times (she is definitely a teenager when compared to characters such as Mary Russell) and the plot is not strong on the mystery and be warned there is a love triangle, however the strong characters of which there are many who we get to know and see develop and the play with family dynamics are awesome. And the fact that no one is condemned to be evil if they choose not to be is great (I’m a sucker for redemption) Of course I always love Victorian era women, because if they are awesome by today’s standards they are even more awesome for stepping out in a restrictive age…I love me a rebellious woman
Some of this article was hard for me to follow….but….
this part about faith reminded me of some faith and belief musings I’ve been praying about
“faith is a special gift from God, not part of our ordinary epistemic equipment. Faith is a source of belief, a source that goes beyond the faculties included in reason.”
Namely that Faith is a gift of God experience by a group of people, who hold diverse and intricate levels and kinds of beliefs…
although I don’t know if faith/doubt and belief are as black and white as this article portrays (but hey that’s philosophy)
I also appreciated:
“Christians, says Plantinga, can “take modern science to be a magnificent display of the image of God in us human beings.” Can naturalists say anything to match this, or must they regard it as an unexplained mystery?”
Its hard for me to believe we are “accidentally” alive!
In honor of this being the last book in the series, I did what I always do with good series, I reread the entire series before starting on the final book…(I’m a rereader)
(Note, trying to avoid spoilers)
The ending is good–there is still a lot of mystery-type-plot…a lot of loose ends are tied up and there is a definite progression of characters (esp. Sookie Stackhouse). Here is the deal though, I don’t think of books individually (esp if they are about the same character)…they are just HUGE chapters to the ongoing story.
As my husband says, the ending is key…because it reflects on the WHOLE (not because it is an important piece)..see I do book reviews like I do my theology (w)holistically,
ps wholistically should totally have a w on it, it helps the meaning…
Anyway…Here is what I think what makes the Sookie Stackhouse series so good.
1. It explains why so many deaths happen in a dinky little town…my mom says she likes mysteries but after a while its hard to buy that so many murders are happening in the middle of nowhere, vampires, werewolves and shapshifters help
2. It struggles with the questions of humanity (what does it mean to be human? Why am I here?) through the contrast and comparison with the supernatural
3. It deals with Bigotry–big time… it deals with real and perceived differences, prejudices and how even other groups can be bigots (homophobic shapeshifters anyone?)
4. It shows growth…again I know I said this, but the only way you can sustain an ongoing series is to have the characters grow–now Sookie Stackhouse sleeps around a little too much for my taste, but I think that she is sleeping around because she is searching for some self-definition, and in the end, she has learned a lot, not just about guys but relationships, friendships and herself. There is a little bit of obsessing about looks, manners, appearances etc. but I think that is the reality of Sookie’s life (some of it being the culture of a small town, etc)…and she doesn’t frustrate me too much with these hang ups….
I recommend as a fantasy and mystery fan and as a feminist
Better Off Dead, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and one, Dead in the Family, Dead Reckoning, Deadlocked, Dead Ever After
(PS I did watch the first couple of seasons of True Blood, but it was a little too drug obsessed for my taste, not to say that it wasn’t good the focus just seemed to be different…………..)