Today I’ll be doing a little something new. As the title informs you, I’ll be reviewing a book. I might have watched Bambi a few too many times as a kid and taken Thumper’s mother’s advice to heart, because I hate giving anything but positive reviews. I’m also rather picky when it comes to books, which is another reason I have not embarked on a review before.
Thankfully, this is a good review, as I greatly enjoyed the story. I love genre blending and I fell in love with Sherlock Holmes long ago when I was maybe eight or nine and saw the old black and white “Hound of the Baskervilles” on television. When I discovered it was an entire series, I, of course, proceeded to read them all. When I ran out of books to read during the summer, I never minded re-reading Sherlock Holmes.
As I mentioned in my post about my haunted phone, I’ve been immersed in all things Sherlock Holmes of late. That would include the lovely Ms. Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective Series.
I shall forewarn you that this is NOT a typical Holmes mystery where he runs around solving everything with poor Watson wondering how he did it. Dump a Victorian era genius into the modern world and things get interesting rather quickly. What I enjoy the most is that this is not simply a mystery. Ms. Osborn blends mystery, science fiction and romance– yes, ROMANCE. So those of you who balk at the idea that Mr. Holmes might be more than a walking logic computer, clearly you have yet to see CBS’ Elementary, where Holmes sinks into grief-fueled drug addiction when Irene Adler, “The Woman” dies. Of course, I shan’t give any spoilers for that.
If that peaks your interest, you may very well enjoy The Arrival. Written to mimic the style of the original Conan Doyle books, the narrative captures the attention from page one and weaves a tale of parallel universes where a figure from literature in our universe is a living breathing individual in another. By accident, he gets brought here when the heroine, Dr. Skye Chadwick, instinctively intervenes to save him, rather than letting him fall to his death at Reichenbach Falls. Over the course of events, the reader finds out that in that particular universe, Holmes did not survive, as he had in others. Sending Holmes back is impossible without collapsing the universe, so he is kept here and Dr. Chadwick is assigned to integrate him into modern society. Of course, a project with potential to change events across multiple universes attracts the interest of some nefarious individuals. Cue Holmes’ investigatory interest as intrigue unfolds.
While another reviewer remarked on the numerous scene divisions, or as he said “random squiggly things”, I did not find them distracting, as they served to demarcate a change in point of view, which happened perhaps more often than in modern writing style.
Ms. Osborn’s characters explain the physics very well, effectively suspending my disbelief. The tension does not build rapidly, as it does in many modern action adventure works, but more subtly as bits of the mystery are woven into place. The tale ends at an emotional climax and with partial resolution of the conflict. The cliff hanger ending seemed perfectly calculated, not unlike an especially intense TV series episode that’s a 2-parter.
Another bit I enjoyed about the book was that it contained a few words which might be termed “five-dollar words”, meaning words not normally used. I can hardly imagine being around a space-time physicist and the great Sherlock Holmes and NOT adding a few words to my lexicon. In this case, Kindle readers will get a chance to use that dictionary feature
The author uses all-caps for emphasis. As it is not used overly much, I did not find it distracting, especially as I’ve been known to do the same thing (*cough* prior paragraph*cough*). I found that the italicized script was particularly small, but this is a publisher formatting thing and not something the author has control over. I tend to overlook things of that nature. If you have trouble reading small print, I suggest buying a hard copy rather than the ebook.
If perchance you are interested in checking out the series, The Arrival is on sale for a limited time.