“The past and the present are within my field of inquiry, but what a man may do in the future is a hard question to answer."
When I say that I read every Sherlock Holmes story at least 5 times, I mean that I really read every story at least 5 times! It's not a figure of speech. when I was in my early teens I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes - the books that is (the very famous BBC tv-show wouldn't come out for at least 10 years). Yes, I'm old.
My old copy of the book looks like it's been through wart's so extremely battered. I would start from page one and once I finished I'd go back and start re-reading immediately. And then again. There really was a time in my life when I didn't read anything else, just Sherlock Holmes.
So it was very nice to revisit the world again now, after I've read so many different genres in the past few years. And it was just as good.
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
The hound of Baskervilles is a timeless story, and no matter how many times I read it - I still feel the atmosphere of fear it supposed to bring onto a reader. But the past part of this story is not necessarily the mystery - it's the character interactions that we see. Sherlock is at his peak of being a gentleman asshole for sure. He's sarcastic and pompous and the way it rubs other people wrong is hilarious. I've never been a fan of Watson's really, so when he falls for one of Sherlock's jokes is always a good time for me.
The writing is flawless, the pacing is perfect and dialog is sharp and witty. But then, would you expect anything less?
“There's a light in a woman's eyes that speaks louder than words.”
It took me 9 days to read this book. And it's only 390 pages. Sure, I have been quite busy lately, but it's mostly due to me putting this book down and not really wanting to pick it back up.
That said, this isn't a bad book. This is just very slow and tedious first book in the series. I'm sure things get going in book 2, but man book one is a drag, if I were to speak frankly (I always do, so I don't know why I'm being so proper).
“When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.”
To sum this best, would be to say that this book is quite a paradox: it's slow and boring, but it's also very good and interesting? Not things that co-exists usually, but it is what it is. And it's not like the book is overly descriptive, no, there are so many things that the reader doesn't get answers or explanations to, it's actually kind of insane. The whole time reading this I felt left out, as if the author knows things and I don't. As if the whole book is a joke that I'm not on.
“When you spring to an idea, and decide it is truth, without evidence, you blind yourself to other possibilities.”
With all of that negativity aside, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely continue, just not this year. I originally planned to read the first trilogy by the end of the 2018, but that's not going to happen. The first book is the smallest one, and it was so dense and, like I mentioned, quite boring - I don't feel like ending a year with those books. I will wait till 2019 instead.
Also, I have to mention that I was prepared for this book to be slow, and tedious because I read a couple of reviews prior to reading it (no spoilers of course), but still I was surprised by just how slow it was. The name, Assassin's Apprentice throws you off too, big time. It sounds badass, and action-y and all of that. Well, it's not. At all, so if you are to read this book throw all of those notions from your head.
I loved the writing though. Well, let me rephrase. I loved the way it was written, but I didn't like the way the story was told. I make total sense, right? The storytelling is very passive - things happen to characters, but they are told in a way that is not affecting the reader at all. At least didn't affect me. It's very dry, and removed way of telling things and I do not like it. I want feelings!! Think of Lord of the Rings way of telling (if you are a fan of LOTR - you cry, if you aren't - you are bored). Same here, really.
“My silences he mistook for a lack of wit rather than a lack of any need to speak.”
This book however, has a lot of wisdom in it. Wisdom about people - how we see each other, how we treat and label each other. How we treat those inferior to us, how we treat animals. The animal bonds in this book were absolutely precious, but also very sad. I loved and hated how all of those issues the book talks about are still very much prevalent in our modern culture. Did we really evolve from our crude medieval mindset, or did we get worse? Watch the news and the answer is clear.
“It was inside me. The more I sought it, the stronger it grew. It loved me. Loved me even if I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't love myself. Love me even if I hated. It set its tiny teeth in my soul and braced and held so that I couldn't crawl any further. And when I tried, a howl of despair burst from it, searing me, forbidding me to break so sacred trust."
A lot of the plot in the book revolves around politics, which I really enjoyed, but I also wish that more was done, more was revealed, just - more. Hopefully book 2 will answer my questions, whenever I get to it.
My review is all backwards, but this book also made me realize that I prefer fantasy books when the reader is thrown into the midst of action, instead of slowly building up to it, telling backstories and whatever else. I like to be swept off my feet, and this book unfortunately didn't do that. It maybe nudged me a bit, but that's all.