I feel so torn about this rating. I was so very excited about this book when I marked it as to read almost a year ago. I love Sherlock Holmes, I love the movie adaptations, I love the characters inspired by him and I am a sucker for the BBC series (you're invited over for a marathon any time you like!). This book though felt like it needed the great name of Shelrock Holmes just to boost the interest of love-blinded fangirls such as myself.
"Come if convenient. Even if it's not ... just get here."
The story sees the two very English Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-grandchildren of The Watson and The Holmes, attending the same bording school in America (I know what you're thinking, too much of a coincidence? Well, no. An actual explanation is given later on in the book so we're good there). Charlotte has been raised in the Holmes household, in which deductive skills and sentimental detachment are taught since childhood. Because that's what Holmeses do. Jamie wants to be a writer. How original being the grandson of you-know-who. Now, the two don't know each others but Jamie soon develops an irrational sense of protection towards the girl and often fantasises about running around solving crimes together. She soon gets pissed at his sense of entitlement. Again, they don't know each others but they become besties over a murder that tries to frame them. All of this happens and we're barely on Chapter 3. The crime is not engaging at all. Holmes hides the majority of clues and acts just like classic Sherlock. The problem though is that being her a 16 year old, and not possessing the charm that makes us forgive that ass that Holmes in reality is, she passes for bratty and pompous. She has a drug problem, barely eats, has a lab in which does experiments and plays the violin. I don't want to say that the author could have created a whole new character but that's what I'm actually saying. Charlotte Holmes is a bad copy of the original Holmes and no, I'm not just saying that because she's a girl, I've done a lot of self analysis to try to erase any trace of hidden misoginy learnt throughout the years. She might have been a good character had her personality been original and not recycled.
"I fervently hoped that I was the only visitor she'd ever had to this lab. Or else she was most definitely going to jail."
Even her brother (Milo, how convenient) works for the government and is super duper powerful. No way! I would have forgiven all of this if the author had just gender bent the original characters and moved them into a contemporary setting. She decided to use the dynamics between the classic characters for different ones. Jamie Watson has even an anger issue! You don't say! Reminds me of Freeman's Watson but that's probably a coincidence as well. ("What do we say about coincidence? Universe is rarely so lazy." I know BBC Mycroft, but if I don't at least pretend I believe that I'll pass for bitchy!)
Plus, Charlotte and Jamie keep calling each others Holmes and Watson! For god's sake! You're 16!! Who calls their friends by surname nowadays?! Please, tell me again how that's not supposed to make you compare them to the original ones and forgetting how depersonified they actually are!
I'm sorry I'm being this angry but I had great hopes for this book. The friendship is too rushed and every interaction between the two main characters lives in the shadows of the old literary ones:
"When I caught her taking twenty minutes to eat a single almond, I began wondering if there was some kind of Watsonian guide for the care and keeping of Holmeses."
No there isn't because people are not the copycat version of their past relatives.
As I said before the murder case is not engaging, there's not a twist to be seen and everything just falls flat. Just like my motivation in keeping up with this series.
Still, as this is my personal review, I wouldn't want to put off anyone *she said after having bitched about everything this book stands for for the last five minutes*. If you still want to read it I'm not the judge of anyone! Again, I'm probably this angry because I had huge hopes for this book. Might have been different if I hadn't hyped myself up for the past year.
Last, but not least, the book cover is a pleasure for the eye!