Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning


Star Rating : 3 out of 5
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Content Rating : MILD

Back Cover :
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.”
My Thoughts :
I must say that this was definitely a different kind of book; I picked it up because it was at the library and sounded interesting. With the interest in Sherlock Holmes still making it largely popular from the stories themselves by Doyle, the movies with Robert Downey Jr., or the BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch, a satirical version of Sherlock Holmes is not a surprising route for an author. In this case Sherlock Holmes is known as Warlock Holmes, who just happens to be a warlock.
Though I have not read too many of the Doyle adaptions of Sherlock Homes since High School (now over 4 years ago), I do love the movies and show. From what I remember of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Denning closely writes his book in the same style with Watson narrating the majority of the story and uses similar but satire versions of cases from the Holmes adaptions. Though I enjoyed the irony and satirical version with Warlock, there were some instances that events or cases became too simple and cheesy.
I would not necessarily recommend this book unless you have finished your stack of other books so I gave it a 3 out 5 star rating. I also gave it a MILD rating, though the book does contain violence, it is only referenced and not fully described in detail; it also contains demons and the supernatural so the rating for yourself may change due to how you feel about these type of things. There was mild use of language; but, all I personally noticed was a “d”-word on occasion.

 What I liked :
  • Cliffhanger – This story does have a sequel, otherwise I would have largely disliked the cliffhanger; but the cliffhanger was a surprise to me and makes me want to read the next book to find out what happens.
  • Characters – Since John Watson is still the narrator, I appreciated that his character stayed the same from the Doyle version to Denning’s. This allows the storytelling to stay the same as Doyle’s and allows the readers to put themselves in the story as Watson since he is still a normal human being. I also enjoyed the 180 degree directions that Denning took with some of his characters such as Mrs. Hudson and Denning’s take on Moriarty (this was my favorite character change; and therefore, I will not spoil anything for those of you who may now pick up this book to read).

What I didn’t like :

  • Change in Narration – At one instance in the story, there was a narration change that bugged me. It did not add to the story by changing narration; I think it could have still have been recounted by Watson with him referring to the past. The only thing I can make sense of why the author chose this route is to make it seem like a different story since it was before the occurrences accounted for by Watson.
  • Too cheesy – I did appreciate the satirical and comical route that Denning took, but he stretched this route thin on a couple occurrences. The first occurrence was with the first case; the case was highly improbable because of the little detail that caused the murderer to want revenge (once again not going to spoil it because where is the fun in that).

What Others Are Saying :

A funny paranormal adaptation of the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries. And when I say funny, I mean I actually laughed out loud on several occasions.” - Newbery and Beyond

"While cast and settings are faithful to the original stories, Denning upends the narrative with a host of paranormal turns that range from the irreverent to the gruesome. Mashup fans will be eagerly awaiting more of this obvious match for fans of Seth Grahame-Smith." – BOOKLIST

"Irreverent, hilarious and a ripping good yarn to boot. A must for all those who like their Holmes on the wilder side." - George Mann, author of Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box


Reviewed by Jennifer Snow

Pick up your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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