“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
Boy, do I have a bone to pick with this book... But, everything in order.
This could have been a very enjoyable read.
- I could have looked past the inconsistent character development.
- Could have looked past the fact that I knew who the murderer was from the very beginning (it was as obvious as a sunny day).
- I could have looked past a romance that I wished wasn't there (not that it was bad, I just want a horror book with no romance in it - you know).
But what I absolutely couldn't look past was the fact that one of the MC was so blatantly ripped off from the famous Sherlock Holmes. And I'm not talking about the movie, or the BBC tv-show ( I enjoyed both tremendously by the way). I am talking about the original Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Now, I wanted to give author the benefit of a doubt and so I read the authors note and the acknowledgement - twice. To make sure that I didn't miss the spot where she says that Thomas Creswell was 'heavily inspired' by Sherlock Holmes. But there was no such spot! No mention whatsoever. And that is precisely what plummeted this book into the ground for me.
I am just so tired of new authors ripping off ideas and characters from classics, anime's and just generally other books, and not giving credit where the credit is due!
Now, Thomas Creswell is a very loved character, and I absolutely see why - he's brilliant, he's blunt and he's quite mysterious - alas, if only he was original and authentic in his awesomeness. BUT HE IS NOT! This is actually making me so incredibly mad, and you know why? Because Sherlock Holmes is my hero. When I was a teenager all I read (literally) was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. So when I am saying that Thomas is almost an exact replica of Sherlock - I know what I am talking about. I read each and every story about Sherlock Holmes at least 8 times.
From the way Thomas carries himself to the way he calls Audrey by her last name , Wadsworth, it's all so Sherlock like. He even has a science lab in his flat - just like Sherlock does. He smokes cigars because he finds that nicotine stimulates his brain - Sherlock Holmes smoked opium and injected drugs into himself, claiming the very same thing. Thomas's brilliant deduction methods are ripped off Sherlock Holmes basically down to exact words. The instance where Thomas borrows a dog fro one of their investigations - Sherlock been there, done that. Even the little scene in the train, when Thomas claims to hate to sit idly and waste time in a train - Sherlock Holmes hated being inactive and confined too.
And mind me, this all would have been totally fine - if only there was acknowledgment that Thomas was inspired by a classic detective character. I've read some reviews stating that Thomas reminded readers of Sherlock, and Audrey reminded them of Watson - it's more than just that, as they are basically built on the other two characters. Is acknowledging that in books not a thing anymore? Am I overreacting?
The rest of the book was pretty okay- it needed a subplot very badly, something else to focus on and to bring more dimension to the story. Some parts were quite exciting and I really enjoyed them, while others were silly and quite ridiculous and cliche.
The thing that I loved was how much feminism and girl power was represented in here. In an oppressing world of men ruling over women, Audrey kept fighting her way other dreams, no matter how dark they were. There were few very nice and insightful quotes.
“Pretend I am as capable as a man? Please, sir, do not value me so little!”
I didn't find gruesome parts to be scary, or, well gruesome. And I cringe easily. But the tone went well with the story, and I do have to admit that the last gruesome scene was indeed pretty good.
I enjoyed Audrey too at times, but she was a bit too inconsistent for my liking. She would swoon over Thomas and then start being rude and disliking him for no reason - and that would go on for the whole duration of the book.
Sadly, this was a big disappointment for me, but it wasn't mainly because of the story, or the writing. It was because I felt that author should have said whom her characters were based off, for without doing so, she just claims their brilliance as her own invention - but it is not. If not for that, I'd have enjoyed the story. As Tomas Creswell is definitely a character I'd have adored and swooned for.
Freelance BETA reader.