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256 pages, Hardcover
First published September 15, 2015
His arms flew into the air as he spoke, then dived down again, adjusting vials, tubes, and the flames of several Bunsen burners. He moved around the table with an odd sort of violent grace, like a mad symphony conductor directing the bubbles and billows, until finally he was facing me, though he did not look up. His school uniform was as disheveled as his lab: white shirt wrinkled and untucked, with sleeves rolled up to his elbows; navy-and-silver-striped tie loosened and askew; and blue sweater flung over the side of a chair so that one sleeve pooled on the dusty floor.Who, like his namesake, deduces things.
“You’re the understudy, though you’d rather not be. You took this class for some reason other than your love of the art form.” I opened my mouth to speak, but he stepped closer, his finger in the air. “Possible that it’s a family craft, and you do it to please a parent. Father? No, mother.”His foil is the brilliant Mori. Oddly named for a girl, if it's not politically incorrect of me to say so.
“Moriarty,” I said with a sigh. I didn’t have it in me to play his game that night. “And, before you ask, that is my surname. My given name is James.”She's got a troubled family life with a drunkard Detective of a dad who calls her a whore, compares her to her late beloved sainted mother, and beats up her little brothers.
“We should take the case.”Yep. So off goes the amateur detectives to solve a Deep Dark Mystery/Conspiracy. In-between their snogging sessions, that is.
“‘Take the case’?” I wanted to laugh openly at him then. “Do you think at all before you speak?”
“We could do it. We are clever. The swans on the lake are more clever than those detectives. Perhaps even the trees.”
But more than any of that, I wanted to kiss him and to keep kissing him until one of us ran out of air. So I did.Oh, and the synopsis?
He surrendered first, leaning back just enough to rest his forehead against mine. Out of breath, he asked, “What about the file?”
“Bugger the file.” I grabbed the front of his shirt in my fists and back-stepped toward his bed, pulling him along with me. It took him maybe three full seconds to dead-drop the file to the floor and fall down with me on his crumpled covers.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can't trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.
”I knew nothing about solving crimes. I’d only ever associated that kind of work with my father, and we had never really gotten on, even before he became... this.”I admired her ability to manipulate people so easily, but at the same time I felt the author made those lies too convenient for the people around her to fall for. Her knack for getting people to do what she wanted, escaping sticky situations, and ferocious desire to protect her brothers made you root for her. However, there are times where I wanted to shout at her to “JUST TELL THE DAMN TRUTH” so she could escape her miserable situation. I think the author has the potential to develop Mori even further, make her even more manipulative and devious (if it’s going where I think it’s going).
”Everything I’d known of Sherlock Holmes was extraordinary. Here was a strange and vivid reminder that in the end, he was just a boy from London after all. My feeling of letdown meant it was a reality I needed to face.”This is where this version of Sherlock Holmes fails. What was so wonderful about the original was how extraordinary unique he was. The antisocial, slightly insane man who plays the violin, shoots at walls and is seemingly incapable of any human emotion. Whose deduction skills are legendary and could tell you what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a particular day. With this Sherlock, we get a teenage boy who plays the violin and is considered semi-weird by his schoolmates, but other than that, there is almost little to no resemblance to his literary counterpart. In fact, one would say that he was surprisingly normal. For a character that is valued for his oddities, this is a disappointing development.
”If you did this thing. If you... You would not be you anymore.’”Is this implying that Mori will eventually become the later adult Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis, but gender-bent? Will her mindset of revenge be her eventual downfall? This could be deliciously good, if done right.
"Everything I’d known of Sherlock Holmes was extraordinary."
“I don’t know why I ever come here. To be studied like a rat? To play this bloody game with your bloody rules that mean nothing to anyone! Or maybe I just love the way you refuse to act like an actual person, even for a moment.” I glared up at him again. His face was passive. “More awkward staring? Is that all you will ever have for me?”
He appeared much older, his eyes keen and focused, shifting up and down and side to side. It was as if he were painting the view with his gaze, carefully, so as not to miss a spot.
So I pretty much disliked this version of Holmes. The other character James "Mori" Moriarty was a different job altogether. This book is Mori's story. She was tough, well, although stupid sometimes, but at least she has the character Holmes lacks in this book. Mori has a rough time after her mother's death and she is angry and lonely. But one day, she finds a very
ordinary strange boy in the basement, where he conducts some weird experiments and finds herself in love intrigued by this boy. Lately, Lock proposes to play a game. There was a crime in the park, and the one who will find out quicker what happened, will win. But turns out, Mori has very high stakes in this game and this is more personnel than she could've ever imagined.
Don't get me wrong, Mori wasn't all that great. But she has a backbone, the one Lock lacks (you see what I did here). And sometimes she was fun.
“So, you are a feminist?”
“No. Feminists fight for equity, which is an unsatisfactory goal.”
He grinned. “You’re not satisfied with equity?”
“Why should I be? Men aren’t. For all our generations, men have fought for control and power. Why should women be satisfied to be merely equal?”
But then there's this
angst romance. They fell in angst love after 15% of the book (smell insta love here) and every few pages they make out and then there's more angst.
I parted my lips to speak and closed them again. And before I could say anything, I threw my arm around his neck and kissed him.
And there, sheltered in his arms, I made two startling realizations. I knew that I would probably love this boy for the rest of my life. I knew also that I would never, ever forgive him.
And Lock still acts like a pussy.
“I thought I was more evolved than that. But my obsession with revenge”—he slid his hand up my back—“with wanting to keep you near me from now on, I fear I’m outing myself as the Neanderthal I never thought I’d be.”
Practically every time this poor boy wanted to man-up, she shut him with kisses. Well, girl uses sex to manipulate. Old method, but effective. One thing that I liked in all this angst was, that it seems they are going to be enemies in the next books. I like the idea from lovers to enemies.
When I said above, that I have different feelings toward this book, I meant that like a re-telling of Sherlock Holmes - this story was bad. But as a different story, with two teenagers investigating gruesome killings in the park - this story was pretty decent YA. I liked the language, I liked that this book had a lot of darkness. I liked how Mori's character became darker and darker with every chapter. I want to see how she will evolve. I liked the mystery and that this mystery primary influenced Mori's character, transformed her step by step. This wasn't a light read for me. This story has a lot of ugliness and cruelty. Realism mixed with fiction.
Apart from all the angst, angst, angst (it would definitely help if author cut off some of it from the next book) and stupidity with which characters acted a lot - this is a decent enough story to keep you entertained on a rainy day and even, maybe, make you want to read the next book. Do not look at this book like the Sherlock Holmes re-telling - you will be disappointed. But read it as an absolutely different story. And you may enjoy it.
"Sherlock shrugged. “I don’t understand the need for power, really. There are more important pursuits.”
“Only those who have never felt powerless can afford to think like you.”"
"The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year's pension as a solatium for his wounded character."I just can't see how this Mori could blossom into that criminal mastermind. If her plan at the end had been even half ok, I might feel like she was on her way, but instead it was just a terrible idea ().