Saturday, 26 May 2012

Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud - Andrew Lane review!

This is my twenty-forth review for the BBC! :)

I'd like to say thank you so much to Kirsty @ The Overflowing Library for sending me the four books in the Young Sherlock Holmes series (so look out for those reviews in the future!) As a prize for winning the monthly BBC draw! Thanks so, so much! I never thought I'd win one month this year, let alone the best month I could possibly win! As you all probably know I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, so this was the perfect  prize for me! Thanks so much Kirsty, for the challenge and these brilliant prizes. I am extremely grateful.

Title of the book: Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud
Date Published: 4th June 2010
Publisher: Macmillan
Length of the book: 320 pages
Author of the book: Andrew Lane
Price: £6.99 (paperback)
Series: Young Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins in the US)
Follow up: Young Sherlock Holmes: Red Leech
Where I got the book: Sent to me by a publisher via a blogger because I won a competition. Thanks so much!
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Adventure
Available on: Amazon (UK), Amazon (US), and all good retailers!

This is the cover of the book:

In my opinion I really like this cover. Some might say it is a little red, but I think that it adds a sense of mystery to the book, which is always good for a Sherlock Holmes novel! The colours are bright and sharp, the title is clear and eye catching. There are really no flaws. Also I am extremely pleased with the silhouette (you know how I love silhouettes!) of young Sherlock in the corner! I think that this cover is the right fit for this book, as it really draws you in. I like it.

1868. Sherlock Holmes is fourteen and spends his life at a school for boys, a model British gentleman.
Until everything changes. With his soldier Father suddenly posted in India, his Mother unwell and his brother Mycroft busy working for the government, Sherlock has nowhere to go when summer starts. The only guardian left to look after him being distant relatives, he has no choice but to be sent off to live with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their mansion like house in Farnham.
Thus begins a summer that will change everything. When Sherlock discovers a pustule covered body and a cloud that moves of its own will, Sherlock unknowingly jumps head first into an adventure that will show him friends, a brand new villain, and bees. Yes. Bees.
But one thing is for sure, all the things that you've deduced about Sherlock before this? You'll have to deduce again as this will throw a whole new perspective into the mix.

To be honest? I wasn't sure about this book. I am such a fan of the original Sherlock so a book about the younger Sherlock, and particularly a story that doesn't include John Watson or Moriarty didn't really appeal to me that much. I thought that the original Sherlock stories would taint my enjoyment of this book quite a lot.
And sadly, they did.
Before I start I just wanted to say that the only negative I found when reading this book was that I felt that Sherlock seemed a little too much like an.. average boy. I just thought that he would be a lot cleverer to begin with, as by 33 he is an established detective with an unbelievable knowledge. Though to be fair this is the first book in the series, so perhaps he gets cleverer and his deducing skills improve throughout the series. I'll have to read the rest of the series to find out!

Also, I have to say that Lane is no Conan Doyle. That is not a bad thing, however, as I think that these books still have the same wit and amazing mysteries as the originals do! And he gets really bad reviews on just the fact that his writing is not the same as Conan Doyle, which I think is really, really unfair!! That and the plot is what makes this book original!! If you just accept this fact than I think you'll find this book brilliant, just like I do! 

Now onto the many positives that this book has! I found this book to have a horrific villain with a clever and (dangerous) evil plan. But that isn't a  good thing?! I hear you say.
Well, it is. Think of all mystery books that are great but have a really lacking villain. Well this book is great and has a great villain to boot!
He was scary and I liked the fact he had a believe able back story. He was also the only villain in a book that I really, well, sympathised with. Not that I agree with his opinions on the world! Not at all, but I understand why he is so bitter, and, thus, evil. So that really shows that I will really like the rest of Young Holmes series, and that Lane is a brilliant author in his own right, as this is the first book ever to do this! (And I can't wait to read the second book in the series because of this, too.. *no spoilers!*)

Also I really liked the way that the story was so fast-paced. As sometimes I even found the original Sherlock stories took me a while to read, and this was such a breeze, start to finish! I couldn't put it down! Every page had a new deduction of action scene!
There was also no plot holes or anything to this story in general, but this is also a series so of course not everything will be tied up after this one book.

The originality of the plot of this book was also wonderfully written and thought out; you can tell that Lane is a big fan of Holmes and has put a lot of thought into this book and I can't fault that! I really hate to point out the negative I found in this book as I also found so many positives! It's a fabulous idea, it's so well written, the characters are so realistic, and Sherlock is still Sherlock, no matter how old. I really would read this if you are thinking about it, as I really enjoyed this book! And you will too.

My favourite character from this book would have to be.. Sherlock, of course! He is still the same brilliant mind, but younger! And Lane writes him really well as he didn't have much to work with as Sherlock never really told us much about his childhood in the original, so I really applaud him for that! He is a really like able character and a proper hero in this book, and still so clever! 
I'm also so glad that Sherlock can now appeal to the younger generation! I will definitely give this book to my sister to read!

So if your looking for a book that is just the same old fantastic Holmes, but younger, and for younger readers, then this is the book for you! I'd definitely recommend you read it as it really will fill in the missing chapters that we don't know about the worlds first consulting detective. It's a must read for all Holmesians and Sherlockians, no matter what age. Go on, you'll have a blast!
I'd give this book a age rating of 9+, and a personal rating of 6/10.

Now, onto the rest of the series! The game is afoot!

Thanks for reading!
W-O-W xoxoxo
Sorry if there are any grammar mistakes, bad spelling ect. Please let me know in a comment so I can fix it! and comments & follows are hugs<3 This is all my opinion. Please no negative comments because of my opinion expressed in these reviews. Thank you! xoxoxo


  1. Nice review of the book.

    I liked 'The House of Silk' by Anthony Horowitz. I will check this one out.


    1. Thanks so much! Yes, definitely check Death Cloud out; if you are a fan of House of Slik, you'll love this!
      Thanks again,
      W-O-W xoxo