Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Death Cloud

Title: Death Cloud
Author: Andrew Lane
Published: 2010 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Series: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #1
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

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.

First Sentence:
'You there! Come here!'
Sherlock Holmes turned to see who was being called and who was doing the calling

I love Sherlock Holmes. And by that I don’t just mean I love Robert Downey Jr., though I do, I really love the Arthur Conan Doyle stories of this unstable genius of a man. However, I wasn’t all that excited to read about Sherlock as a kid. Then something on the cover caught my eye and reassured me. This is the first series about young Sherlock Holmes to be endorsed/approved by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate.

Everything about this book is amazing and CRAZY.
Sherlock has to go live with his uncle and aunt in the countryside during his school break. While there, bored out of his mind, Sherlock meets a new friend, Mattie, and together they attempt to solve a mystery concerning strange deaths. Soon Sherlock’s tutor, Amyus Crowe, and his daughter Virginia join in to solve the mystery.

The easiest way for me to explain the awesome behind this evil plot is to ask you to think of the Alex Rider series. If you’ve read any of them, you’ll know this type of completely ingenious but dementedly evil plots. This villain is just pure evil and when you finally see him . . .*shudder*. He’s perfect in his villain-ness. In order to beat him, Sherlock, Mattie, Amyus, and Virginia must travel around England and France and escape death over and over again. It’s intense.

This Sherlock is (obviously) younger and he’s beginning to gain the skills he perfected as an adult. It’s interesting to see him mess-up frequently because of inexperience. At the same time, he amazes me with his already budding genius.

I desperately want to read the next book, which has already come out. Consider this series if you love the Alex Rider series, if you love Sherlock Holmes, or if you just love mysteries/adventures.

Content Warnings: Possibly mild language

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