Sunday, October 14, 2012

Persy -- Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

Sherlock Holmes is a 13-year-old Jewish misfit who doesn't go to school and reads police newspapers for fun. He never interferes with investigations, but follows them closely, all the while solving little mysteries around his household and surrounding neighborhood. But when random chance implicates Sherlock as the accomplice to a violent murder, he has no choice but to go into hiding and attempt to clear his name. But first, he must escape from prison...
I'm not quite sure why, but I was expecting this to be some kind of retelling of Sherlock Holmes, in which Sherlock is a young boy in modern day London or something like that. I have no idea where I got that idea, because that's not what this series is. This really is about Sherlock as a kid before his master detective years.
First of all, everyone should know better than to meddle with Sherlock's past. That's part of the fun and mystery of Sherlock -- you know nothing about him. If you start trying to fabricate mysteries and adventures and details, it just starts to feel a little... meh.
But the funny thing is, Eye of the Crow is actually a pretty good mystery/adventure/historical book, but I really really wish it wasn't about Sherlock Holmes. If it wasn't about him, I'd look on the series with a much fonder eye.
I'm also not sure if this is some kind of precursor to the original Sherlock Holmes, or if Shane Peacock is retelling basic Sherlock Holmes stories. Because there's an Irene in this book (though her name isn't Irene Adler and she's not a thief or anything), and I would find it curious to name her that if it wasn't supposed to mean something. There's also the leader of a street gang, The Malefactor, who is something like Moriarty. The only thing I can figure is that maybe these characters turn into Irene Adler and Moriarty. Or perhaps it's just a big coincidence.
The writing isn't bad, and the plot's okay, and the mystery bit is pretty well done. Nothing about this book screams greatness, and when you add in that it's supposed to be Sherlock Holmes, it turns out to just be a meh-y book. Unfortunately, I'm required to review books four and six, so I'm going to have to continue through the whole series.
You might like this if you: love Sherlock Holmes, and feel obligated to read every version of him you can find; like quick, easy mystery reads that don't require too much energy; like historical fiction; or if you like historical mysteries and don't care a whit about Sherlock Holmes.

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