Rebel Fire by Andrew Lane (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #2)
I am not a purist in my love for Sherlock Holmes. I adore the Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss BBC reboot of the series. I only don't like that it takes forever for a new season to come to the US (Moffat! Gatiss! *shakes fists*) I love the Guy Ritchie movies. I love the 1980s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett in the title role, even though the episodes can be a little cheesy. I'd probably like Elementary, except I don't get the channel in my basement apartment. But I also have a strange love for books that tell about the childhoods of established characters.* Rebel Fire is, as you can see, the second book in the Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins series (also called Young Sherlock Holmes series). In this book, Sherlock, his tutor Amyus Crowe and Virginia Crowe, Amyus's daughter, catch up with John Wilkes Booth. Everyone thought Booth to be dead after he assassinated Lincoln, but he survived (although his mind did not) and is being used as a pawn in a plot by Confederate sympathizers to invade Canada. Like the first book in the series, Death Cloud, the plot twists are rather silly. Yes, the plot twists in Doyle's stories are also improbable, but these books really push my ability to suspend disbelief. I also fought a bit against the characterization as it feels like Sherlock is headed towards a Robert Downey Junior adulthood while Mycroft is headed towards a Mark Gatiss with a big side of mushy brotherly love that struck me as totally out of character even though I did get a case of the feels when I read those scenes. Still, the book was not short on adventure, show-offy Bond villain speeches or improbably action sequences and I enjoyed reading it, even if I couldn't quite fight the urge to roll my eyes at some of the choices Lane made. My snobby literary critic side warred with the side of me that also enjoyed Librarian: Quest for the Spear, and the cheesy action story side won the day as far as Lane's books are concerned.**
If you like this series, there are at least 5 novels and a novella, according to Goodreads. Book two was originally called Red Leech when it was released in the UK, a nod to a weird, silly and kinda gross plot twist in this book. It seems like only books 1 and 2 have been published in the US but you can get books 3-5 from different sellers on Amazon if you're interested.
*Although apparently I hated this back in 2011, when I reviewed Death Cloud. Go figure.
** Lane has also written a Torchwood book! Set, as far as I can tell, sometime between series one and series two of the show! Which means Iantoooooooo! Squeeeeee!
cross posted at (Library Lass) Adventures in Reading.