By: Andrew Lane
Genre: YA Mystery
Pub Date: April 24, 2012
Coffee Beans: 3.5/5
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review
Fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes knows that Amyus Crowe, his mysterious American tutor, has some dark secrets. But he didn't expect to find John Wilkes Booth, the notorious assassin, apparently alive and well in England—and Crowe somehow mixed up in it. When no one will tell you the truth, sometimes you have to risk all to discover it for yourself. And so begins an adventure that will take Sherlock across the Atlantic, to the center of a deadly web—where a friend is in peril and a defeated army threatens to rise again.
This is the second in Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes series, and it's was just as good as his first (Death Cloud). I was excited that I got this from the publisher, especially since I'd read and reviewed the first one for the publisher, as well. Then I started reading it and remembered that it was just as hard to get into as the first time around. It has nothing to do a little to do with the writing but mostly to do with the "heaviness" of the book. It was harder, this time around, for me to get into than Death Cloud was.
As true to the series, it starts with a death being witnessed. All the old characters are back, Sherlock, Matty, Virginia, Crowe, the evil head house keeper Mrs. Engaltine, and even his brother makes an appearance. And, as also is true to the series (and to the character), Sherlock almost dies quite a few times. Lane is remarkable at setting the stage for action and drama, adding details and tension. But when those times weren't around, I felt the story was dragging along far too slowly. The dialogue was far too "maid and butler" to me (As you know, Mr. Smith is actually a jewel thief…) and I felt like my hand was being held through everything possible, like I wasn't capable of figuring anything out for myself. I'm not gonna lie, I skimmed those parts.
Reading it was like a rollercoaster, and I'm glad there were several free-falls of excitement in the fight scenes to pull me through the lulls. As always, pick it up and read it for yourself. You may feel differently than I did.
Happy reading, my friends!