Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro | Rating: ★★★★★ 

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson return in the action packed sequel to last year's fantastic starter, A Study in Charlotte. I, for one, am so beyond excited. This trilogy isn't near its end yet but I already know it is one of my all-time favourites. I'm becoming obsessed with dear Charlotte Holmes. Not to mention the tone of writing we see from Brittany Cavallaro, which is reminiscent to a classic novel.

If you've yet to read this gem of 2016 releases, allow me to catch you up to speed: in this world, Holmes and Watson aren't fictional icons. Instead, they were historical figures who--yes--solve the very crimes we know so dearly from the classic stories. This series follows the families, generations down the line, and as many so say, history repeats itself. Unlike most the usual retelling, or sequels, it's mindblowingly good; entirely due to Cavallaro's out-of-this-world's prose and knack for quick winded banter.



In fact, it is one of those novels that reminds me why I love to read to begin with.

The Last of August picks up pretty quickly where its predecessor ended and follows the two best-friend's as they navigate a tricky path of friendship, survival and, of course, solving crime in the ways that only a Holmes and Watson can. It does start off slower than A Study in Charlotte but it more than makes up for it in tone and plot. I love the way that the story is told, like a classic story coming to life. This isn't some dim and lifeless tale in the young adult genre, it's smart and grips you until the final pages.

Back in action: Holmes and Watson had quite the first adventure, didn't they? Just as in the first novel, both characters are full of life and depth that is not unlike watching a real person talk. Their banter and chemistry is off the charts as usual although they do share their fair share of rough patches--which is to be expected. I liked seeing them outside of school and in different settings as well as the exposure to much, much more of Charlotte's family, and the inclusion of a certain-supposedly-dead Moriarty that Charlotte screwed over in the past.

Which leads us to the main mystery at hand: Leander, Charlotte's uncle and also Jamie's father's best friend, is introduced more heavily into the plot. I really liked him! I only wish we'd seen more of his interactions with both Jamie, Charlotte and Jamie's dad. And the better part of the novel is spent tracking him down. I won't spoil the how's or the why's but I really enjoyed seeing this character introduced. I am quite intrigued by him and wish we'd get a spin-off, really.

(Leander's friendship and, ah, love of James Watson.)

Needless to say, I was especially intrigued and invested in finding Leander. I loved the way the story unfolded; in typical Sherlock fashion, fast, intelligent and always thrilling. You think you've got it figured out but then... well, you're faced with at least three more tricks.

The Last of August has everything. Smarts. Sarcasm. Coming-of-age-bullshit. Holmes. Romance. Mystery. Thoughtfulness. Watson. Art. Action. Moriarty family. More family drama and connections. Great writing. A breathtaking tone. Fantastic settings. Once again, this series is can't miss.

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