Anew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan AAnew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan Archer. We meet Scarlet when she wakes up in the woods outside of Avalon, Georgia. She's fifteen and she knows her name, but nothing else. Not how she got there or where she came from. Skip ahead two years and Scarlet's been taken in by her guardian, Laura and goes to high school with her best friend Heather like any other teen girl. She meets the smart, handsome, funny, endearing, mysterious etc Gabriel at Avalon's annual Kissing Festival (!) and the two strike up a relationship. Gabriel has secrets, though, including a twin brother that might hold the key to Scarlet's missing memories and her life before Avalon. However, the closer she gets to Gabriel and Tristan and the closer she gets to unlocking her memories, she finds herself in more and more danger with less and less time.
There are aspects of this book that I genuinely enjoyed and other aspects left me looking for a bridge from which to suspend my disbelief.
This book is not at all what I expected. Now, I love all things Sherlock Holmes, so the premise of a pair of brothers who work from the famed 221b BakThis book is not at all what I expected. Now, I love all things Sherlock Holmes, so the premise of a pair of brothers who work from the famed 221b Baker Street address and respond to letters sent to the Great Detective really sounded like my cup of tea. It was a little surprising and a little disappointing to discover that ninety-five percent of the book doesn't have the brothers working together and doesn't even take place in London. The majority of the story follows older brother Reggie as he tracks younger brother Nigel who is in turn tracking a young woman who wrote to Sherlock Holmes some twenty years before.
Reggie is our reluctant detective, starting his journey not in the interest of the letter writer but in the interest of corralling his young brother and setting his life to rights. The first part of the novel I felt dragged and was a little flat...Reggie follows the path before him and rides around in a lot of taxis. The prose seems sparse, and not in a Robert B. Parker sense of sparse, but I felt Robertson shortchanged the potential in his setting and his supporting characters.
Things start to pick up significantly mid-way through the book when Reggie is no longer on his own and the supporting characters become more important. Reggie does start coming into his own as he pulls the threads together and makes some sacrifices to see it through to the conclusion.
Reggie grew on me through the course of the story. At first he seems very flat for a lead, but one of the things I like about him is that he proves to be a man of action as far as the investigation is concerned. Robertson applies a very deft hand at Reggie's character development and his deductive skills as they grow, although he retains several flaws.
I will definitely be reading the next in the series, hoping for the brothers to be working together, fewer taxi rides, and some fleshed out characterizations. ...more