Friday, September 27, 2013

Sherlock Holmes: The Stuff of Nightmares

A spate of bombings has hit London, causing untold damage and loss of life. Meanwhile a strangely garbed figure has been spied haunting the rooftops and grimy back alleys of the capital.

What I Liked About it:

-I have to start off by saying that The Punkettes gets loads of Sherlock Holmes. To the point where we are turning some of it down. So "The Stuff of Nightmares" was a refreshingly different take on the classic stuff. I very much enjoyed the idea of Baron Cauchemar, who was a kind of "Iron Man meets Spring Heeled Jack" character. 

-The story is well written. I know the mystery writer is a good one when I end up genuinely surprised at the twists and turns of the story. There were several things I didn't see coming, and several points that made me smile and shake my head at how clever Mr. Lovegrove is.

-I also found the portrayal of the character of Holmes to be fairly true and accurate in comparison to the original. He always leaves me irritated on Watson's behalf, and this book was no different. I consider that a good sign.

What I Didn't Like:

-Let me first say that I am aware that the writer rarely has any say in his cover. But I was a little disappointed with how the Baron's suit is drawn on the front. To me it doesn't scream "Steampunk". It's just a little too slick looking, like something I'd expect to see Tom Cruise wearing in the next Mission Impossible. 

-I actually found myself irritated with Watson while I was reading. I would easily pick up something that was foreshadowed, or something I'd consider painfully obvious, while the character of Watson was still scratching his head. Of course, then Holmes would step in and explain everything. This only served to convince me that this version of Watson seemed a bit...well...slow.

-There is a good deal of long-winded explanations and interruptions to the narration, which I normally don't mind in a Sherlock book, but at times it interrupted the flow of the action and jerked me out of the story, and I ended up skipping it to get to the juicy action parts.

-At the end there is a transformer bit involving a steam engine which set my eyebrows to raising, and then the bad guy tops it off by monologuing, which reminded me of some cartoonish villain who is conveniently explaining all his dastardly plans to the good guys before he kills them.

-There is also no real room for women in this book, apparently, aside from Mrs. Hudson, who answered the door a few times and made them soup. The only other female character was Watson's wife, who got a few lines about how brave and noble both of the men were. 

In Conclusion:

If you are a Sherlock fan and you want a fresh spin on things, I recommend checking out The Stuff of Nightmares and adding it to your collection.

Oliver the Octopus Gives this 5 out of 8 Tentacles.

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