I’ve had this book for a long time, actually tried to read it for a little bit but gave up, and because I’m trying to read all the books I currently have before I buy anymore I decided to pick this one up. I love Sherlock Holmes, the love starting when I saw the BBC version, and so I’m always willing to absorb any Sherlock content. This is perfect for me, a young adult about Sherlock before he was the well known detective. But before we get too deep into this let’s see what the book’s about!
Think you know Sherlock Holmes? Think again. It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with elderly relatives in the country and expecting a tedious vacation. Instead, he finds himself in the midst of a shocking murder mystery. Two local men have died from symptoms resembling the plague. Soon it is clear they have not died from natural causes. Heedless of danger, Holmes throws himself into an investigation of what and who really killed them. With encouragement from his American born tutor and the help of two new friends, he uncovers a diabolical plot. So begins his first battle of wits against a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.
So when writing this review I’ve actually already finished the first two books in this series and I have the 3rd on my bookshelf. As I do with series I’ll review the first book and then I’ll review the whole series when I’ve completed all 8.5 books.
I think what the main interesting point I want to make is how different Sherlock is at 14 compared to the man he becomes in the Arthur Conan Doyle books. I understand he’s a lot younger and has time to grow but it still felt like I could be reading a book about any smart kid. That being said I don’t think that’s a bad thing, that doesn’t make the book bad in any way at all and I’m willing to let it breath. Something must happen through time to make the man he becomes.
On top of that this makes it even more exciting when you spot Sherlock like things such as when he talks about Method of loci for the first time or when he first learns to play the violin. It’s so cool.
I always love a mentoring character in books so Amycus Crowe is 100% one of my favourite characters though I do always love Mycroft. And much like all the characters in this book it’s really well written, each with their own personality and story. No one felt like they were there just to fill space.
The plot itself is interesting, we meet Sherlock on his last day of school and follow him through to being sent to live with his aunt and uncle. I always like when both a main character and the reader is thrust into a new situation so we can both learn about the world together. (Side note, does anyone know what this style of writing is called?) While Sherlock is learning to live in this new world and is making friends we also get our main plot point, it all flows so nicely that it doesn’t ever feel jaring.
All that being said I don’t think this book is amazing, it’s not going to change your life. It’s fun and an easy read, sometimes that’s all you want from a book! I would recommend it but please don’t take it too seriously.
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