Monday, January 15, 2018

Books With Bean ~ Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins Series ~ Book 1: Death Cloud

Books with Bean, book reviews by teens, death cloud, sherlock holmes

Title: Death Cloud 
Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins Series, Book 1

Author: Andrew Lane

Published: 2010

Genre: Young Adult/ Historical Fiction/ Mystery 

Summary: Sherlock Holmes is 14 and getting picked up from boarding school by his brother Mycroft at the end of the school year. He learns that many changes are about to take place in his life. His father is in the British army and has been sent to India, and his mother's health is not well. So instead of having the fun summer at home that he had planned on, he is being sent to live with his estranged aunt and uncle in their home at Holmes Manner in the English countryside. Sherlock is a bit disappointed and thinks that his summer will now be quite dull, however, he finds it to be just the opposite. Upon arriving at the house he finds it run by his aunt and uncle’s housekeeper, Mrs. Eglantine, who seems a little off. Then one day while sitting and listening to the sounds of the forest, a boy named Matty, who is about his age, approaches him saying he had seen something strange. A body covered in what looked like boils. Not wanting to go to the police Matty had come to Sherlock as he looked like he might be able to find out what happened. 
Sherlock initially doesn’t think much of what the boy says, but when he and his newly arrived American tutor Amyus Crowe find another body that looks like the one Matty told him about Sherlock becomes more curious to find out what happened. 

What I liked about it: I really liked the settings and the characters. Sherlock really feels like the famous Sherlock Holmes if he were that age. Not as amazing as he will eventually become, but still very good and always learning. Over the books Mr. Lane has him learn things that become a part if the personality that we know as the grown up Sherlock of 221B Baker Street. Deduction, violin, marshal arts, and other things. 
One of the other things I liked about it is the new set of characters. One of the things all the other kid Sherlock books and movies I have seen or read try to do is add in the characters we know from Doyle’s stories to give us a sense of the familiar. Such as a young Dr. Watson and that sort of thing. Lane does not do this. He realizes that Dr. Watson and Sherlock don't meet until A Study in Scarlet and so gives Sherlock new friends and enemies to deal with which I very much enjoyed. 

Language: Hardly any.

Romance: Sherlock’s tutor has a daughter named Virginia who Sherlock finds himself attracted to but as far as actual romance they briefly share one kiss in the fourth book and that is it.

Violence: There is a bit of violence and some of the villains do die but its not really graphic. There is some fighting as he follows criminals over the series. Fights with swords, bears, and sometimes just hands and fists.  

Magic: None

Recommended Age: Sherlock is 14 in the first book and I think that that is a good starting age. 

Note on order: There are as of right now 8 books in the series. They were originally published in England and then published here. Because of this it can be a bit hard to find copies of the later 4. The second book was published with a different title in America but it is the only one.

1. Death Cloud

2. Red Leach (Rebel Fire in America)

3. Black Ice

4. Fire Storm

5. Snake Bite 

6. Knife Edge

7. Stone Cold

8. Night Break

Books with Bean, book reviews by teens, death cloud, sherlock holmes

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