Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Review: Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes:The Legend Begins) by Andrew Lane
Author: Andrew Lane
Published: February 1st, 2011
Source: Received for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.
Let me start this off by saying that I've never read any Sherlock Holmes novels or short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, so I have no idea how this book measures up to those or how accurate it is. All I know is that though I enjoyed it, it's not going on my favorites shelf.
This book had the potential to be everything that I'd ever wanted in a book: historical setting, mystery, smart main character, a little romance. Sadly, it just didn't fit together they way I wanted it to. I enjoyed it for sure, but not as much as I'd hoped to. Sherlock was definitely a great main character (I love it when they're smart) but some of the other characters felt a bit...flat to me.
The mystery in this book was mysterious indeed. So mysterious that some of it was over my head. I had a hard time understanding the means and the motive once they were revealed, though I guess that I could have not been paying close enough attention.
The setting was something that I loved, because I love all things historical. And English. So England in 1868 was awesome to read about. I thought that the pacing of the book was pretty good also. The beginning was a little hard to get into, but after that it was steady.
Basically I enjoyed this book, but didn't love it. If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan you'll want to give this one a try. I think that it'll be the biggest hit with younger/middle grade boys outside of the fans.
Overall: 41/50 B-