Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sherlock and vampires and Wrenchies oh my!

 Any casual Sherlock Holmes fan knows that the master detective can solve even the most difficult case put to him. What if he has to fight immortal, super strong creatures though? That is the premise of the graphic novel Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London by Sylvan Cordur√© and Laci. It starts after Sherlock's defeat of Moriarty at Reichenbach falls. He has returned to London unknown to his faithful companion Watson. Watson is newly married and Sherlock doesn't want to endanger the couple. A strange being is attacking Londoners of all social strata and soon Holmes and his brother Mycroft find themselves under attack which they barely escape.

Things get stranger when the vampires summon Holmes to find one of their own who has gone rogue killing indiscriminately and damaging the fragile alliances that the vampires have with London high society. Holmes reluctantly agrees to help them even though he doesn't trust the vampire king Selymes. Holmes devises a cunning plan to rid London of the vampire menace forever.

Though this work is a speculative Holmes adventure I was fascinated to learn that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a contemporary of Bram Stoker and wrote a few vampire-inspired tales. You can check them out here.

This was a good read and it was told in an epistolary style with Sherlock relating the events in his will to be delivered to Watson should he not survive his encounter with the vampires. I couldn't help but notice that Sherlock bore more than a passing resemblance to Jeremy Brett, star of the Sherlock series that aired in the 80s and my all time favorite tv Sherlock. I recommend this book for teens and adults.

20575438I often read Kirkus reviews to see what is new in graphic novel land and I came across a new book called The Wrenchies. To be honest the review did say that due to the graphic nature of this book (the creatures enter through the kids' eyeballs) that it was not for everyone. My gripe with this book is that the story seems to fragmented. I wasn't sure how if parts were a dream or if the characters were travelling through dimensions.

Even though the first part was set in some dystopian future where kids battle daily with weird creatures and live in fear of Shadowsmen I enjoyed this part more than the latter parts with a kid named Hollis who walks around dressed in superhero garb. Later parts of the book just involved too many characters and it became hard to track who was who and to make sense of what was happening. I did like the whole meta-textual nature of the book though because the cahracters stumble upon a copy of a book called The Wrenchies and use that to figure out what relevance the book has to their present situation.I am guessing that there would be teens who might like this book because that is who I would recommend it for. It is too graphic and obtuse for younger readers to comprehend.

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