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By Alice on 01-09-18
A fast-paced classic adventure with modern twists
Mycroft Holmes and the Adventure of the Desert Wind starts out at a fast pace and never really slows down, all without feeling rushed. The main characters tumble from one tight situation to the next, with any downtime in between being acknowledged, but not drawn out, which I appreciated.
Mycroft, a smugly confident action hero in this book, is a bit of a bastard, but not irredeemably so, and the two other main characters - Dr. John Watson and Secret Agent Victoria Trevor - get their own chances to shine and demonstrate competence despite Mycroft's initial conviction that any company will only slow him down.
I must admit that apart from seeing a few film and TV adaptations, I am largely unfamiliar with the Sherlock Holmes stories.
This didn't impair my enjoyment of the story as far as I can tell, although I'm sure fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories will recognize a character more here and there.
At the same time, The Adventure of the Desert Wind deviates from the originals (as far as I'm aware) both in terms of Mycroft Holmes' character traits as well as in its treatment of supernatural powers.
Whether you consider this blasphemy or a welcome change of pace depends on your relationship to the original story, I suppose.
Very mild/vauge spoiler: Personally, I appreciated some of the changes, but was left a bit wanting in terms of receiving an "aaah" moment where strange occurrences suddenly start making sense.
The narrator does a very good job at evoking a sense of stress during the action scenes, but it took me a moment to get used to his voice and style of speaking - I had a little bit of trouble understanding every word in the beginning.
He also doesn't distinguish very clearly between different speaking voices, making it sometimes difficult to determine the speaker or to guess whether something is said out loud or part of the main character's inner monologue.
I also must admit that I didn't particularly like the slightly cliched Italian accents for Italian characters.
In conclusion: Mycroft Holmes and the Adventure of the Desert Wind is a quick, enjoyable and entertaining read not without its flaws.
For transparency's sake: the book's author is a friend of mine.
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