Young Sherlock Snake Bite
Author: Andrew Lane
‘All Legends have a beginning…’ as the blurb on the back says. During lockdown my family and I have been watching the BBC’s version of Sherlock (where Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman play the lead roles). I love how they have set these episodes in modern day London, but have to admit I have not read any of the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle. So when I was given the opportunity to read and review Young Sherlock Snake Bite for Reading Force I jumped at it.
The book is a nice and simple read that is easy to follow, and the way it is written is clever because it tells you what is going to happen before it does, but you have to be concentrating very carefully to spot this. Set mostly in Shanghai (with the rest of the book following Sherlock as one of the crew on a boat), I found the book full of excellent descriptions and with lots of plot twists (you are kept guessing about who the villain is until the end), which I like. It has interesting concepts (for example there are tensions over a potential trade war), some excellent action sequences (I really liked the bit where the pirates attack), and of course such things as poisonous snakes as well!
The author takes the time to develop both the plot and the characters (my favourite was Sherlock) which really brings it to life. And here is the good news – you do not need to have read any of the Sherlock Holmes books or seen any of the movies or TV programmes to be able to pick this book up. I think any 13 or 14-year-old would love reading this.’
Nathaniel Blakesley, aged 12