Review of Young Sherlock Holmes: Black Ice
Sherlock Holmes has seen it all: strange murders, insane yet creepy villains, and terrifying plots that threaten entire nations. He’s been kidnapped and nearly killed on multiple occasions. Surely, there’s no way Sherlock’s sleuthing can get any more dangerous – so he thinks. However, everything changes when a dead man is discovered in a room next to Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft…who is found holding a knife. Naturally, the police assume Mycroft has killed the man, but Sherlock knows better; now, he must only prove his brother’s innocence by finding the true culprit. Sherlock’s investigation takes him from the dark corners of London to snowy Moscow, Russia – from old friends to old enemies. As he begins to piece together the truth, he realizes that a trap is slowly being drawn around him…
Black Ice proves to be rather different from its predecessors, Death Cloud and Red Leech. For instance, Sherlock spends much of the novel without his companions, Matty aand Virginia and more time around adults, such as his brother, Mycroft, and his tutor, Amyus Crowe. The novel explores the theme that evil has many faces in addition to themes of loyalty and betrayal – nothing is ever as it seems. In terms of plot, the case is intriguing, but there is a little too much fighting; it almost feels like the novel is about how Sherlock escapes his captors than how he saves his brother from an unjust death. Lastly, Sherlock is developed based on his relationships with his elders, rather than his relationships with characters his age, as in the first two books. This shift provides a look at a different side of him as the novel takes on a slightly darker tone. Overall, Black Ice is an intriguing and exhilarating follow-up to Red Leech, even if there is a little too much fighting.