Monday, May 8, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: The Initiation

The Initiation (Lock and Key, 1) by Ridley Pearson, September 20, 2016. 384 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Publisher.
In the pantheon of literature’s more impressive villains, Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, James Moriarty, stands alone. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes him in the classic tale “The Final Solution,” Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher, and a spider in the center of his web. He is the Napolean of crime—and now, for the first-time ever, New York Times bestselling novelist Ridley Pearson explores the origins of his evil ways.

Our story begins when James and his younger sister, Moria, are unceremoniously sent off to boarding school at Baskerville Academy. It is not a fate either want or welcome—but generations of Moriarty men have graduated from Baskerville’s hallowed halls. And now so too must James. It’s at Baskerville where James is first paired with a rather unexpected roommate—Sherlock Holmes. The two don’t get along almost instantly, but when the school’s heirloom Bible goes missing and cryptic notes with disconcerting clues start finding their way into James’s hands, the two boys decide that they must work together to solve a mystery so fraught with peril, it will change both their lives forever!
First Sentence
Terrified for my life, I ran from my brother.

If only I had realized that was a re-imaging centered around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock and Moriarty, then I would have read it as soon as I received it from the publisher. I say this simply because the Sherlock Holmes books are some of my favorite mysteries (after Agatha Christie's work, of course). While this is not the first retelling of Sherlock, for middle grade or young adult, that I have read, it was one of the more interesting ones.

  • If you have not read The Initiation yet then you are missing out on adolescent Sherlock snark!! I about died of laughter every time Sherlock spoke because everything he said was so, so him. I really truly loved Ridley Pearson's teen version of Sherlock; as well as the conflict between him and James (you know Moriarty). I just feel that he captured those two characters so well, which was one of the reasons I found myself enjoying this one so much.
  • Even though I'm certain she's not canon, Moria Moriarty was a fascinating character and a great choice to narrate the story. Moria was both fierce and loyal, two qualities that she would need to deal with both her brother and Sherlock. Honestly, sometimes it felt like she was the smarter version of Watson...just related to who would deem himself Sherlock's nemesis.
  •  I've seen some complaints on Goodreads about how the characters spoke, like they were still set in the 1800s, personally I liked the way the characters spoke. I thought it gave the book a nice feel with them using proper English and not, you know, using slang that will be irrelevant in a year or so.  So, yeah, the writing and language of the book were definitely a highlight as it fit the characters so well
  • You know what, this book was simply a fun read. I really enjoyed the whole mystery surrounding the school and the Moriarty family and how the two were tied together. Even though the story focused primarily on Sherlock and James, it was more about Moria in the long run as she was connected with both of them. Seriously though, the story, characters, and writing are so enjoyable in this one. 

Final Verdict: The Initiation-  As entertaining as it was hilarious; the mystery surrounding James and Moria, paired with the know-it-all, and super awkward, Sherlock made this an irresistible read. 

The Initiation earns

A copy of this book was received from the publisher in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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