Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud by Ananya S.

Review of Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud

Sherlock Holmes is an intelligent fourteen-year-old who leads an ordinary sort of life. As his mother is ill, his father serves in the army, and his brother pursues a career, Sherlock is sent away to the countryside to live with his aunt and uncle. Here, Sherlock meets an eccentric tutor named Amyus Crowe, and his life takes an extraordinary turn. During an outdoor lesson with Amyus Crowe, Sherlock stumbles upon a body. His interest piqued, Sherlock finds an overwhelming desire to solve the mystery behind the body and the strange “cloud of death.” Sherlock’s curiosity takes him from country fairs to dark corners of London as he pieces together a murderous plot that threatens his best friends…and the whole of Britain.
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane is a suspenseful read filled with red herrings. Its riveting plot keeps readers interested until the very last page. Additionally, Lane includes interesting character development; when characterizing Sherlock, he doesn’t focus too much on the strengths or weaknesses of the character. He instead tries to offer a more balanced portrait of Sherlock. Lane also makes Sherlock more relatable to today’s teenagers. Furthermore, Virginia Crowe, Amyus’s daughter, is portrayed as modern in terms of her views on gender equality, despite the fact that she grows up in a time period when women are expected to wear dresses and become housewives. Overall, Death Cloud is a thrilling start to Andrew Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes series.

~Ananya Swaminathan

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