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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really aimed at adult Sherlock fans, but a good read for any youngster interested in sluething
My daughter [15] reads a book every few days, plus she has DVD collections of TV's Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Hannay and the like, that supplement her Dresden Files/Vampire and Rom-Com collection. So she eagerly chose this book to read when it was offered. The storyline is about young Sherlock's first case, he's fourteen and it's 1868. My daughter loved the book, which is...
Published on 12 May 2010 by Keith_Joseph

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better
Am I being unfair when I suspect that Andrew Lane would have felt more comfortable writing about the young James Bond? He couldn't do that, of course, because it has already been done (rather well). So he opted for Sherlock Holmes, but gave the fourteen-year-old Holmes a Bond type story. The trouble is that Holmes is not Bond.

And nineteenth century characters...
Published 14 months ago by C. E. Utley


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really aimed at adult Sherlock fans, but a good read for any youngster interested in sluething, 12 May 2010
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
My daughter [15] reads a book every few days, plus she has DVD collections of TV's Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Hannay and the like, that supplement her Dresden Files/Vampire and Rom-Com collection. So she eagerly chose this book to read when it was offered. The storyline is about young Sherlock's first case, he's fourteen and it's 1868. My daughter loved the book, which is aimed squarely at young secondary school kids - in fact it's the first childrens book to be endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate. She says 'Its a new take on Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is still at school, and his older brother Mycroft is totally awesome (he's just left school and taken on the family business as dad has died and mum's ill).'

This first 'Young Sherlock Holmes' book 'Death Cloud' has an ending, but many of the underlying themes are unresolved with Moriarty like arch-villains still left in the shadows (apparently not Moriarty as such, just someone rather like him). For Sherlock Holme's purists the story is in keeping with Conan Doyle's original books, in that there's no Watson [they meet years later], although here young Sherlock does have two 'mates', a street urchin boy and a girl whom he meets via his American home tutor. In terms of 'violent themes' my daughter said 'there aren't any, well other than the odd kidnapping' - although when pressed, she admitted quickly reading through the fight scenes as she was keen to discover the outcome. She thought this book was aimed at 12-14 year olds.

Would she buy the next book in the series - definitely! In fact she would have been very annoyed if there's no sequel - fortunately Young Sherlock Holme's Book 2: Red Leach, and Book 3: Black Ice have now been released [and my daughter was excited when she got them, and loved reading them]. So Book 1: 'Death Cloud' is a hit and 4*, a high score for my daughter also given to the likes of 'His dark materials' and 'Inkheart' [she loves 'Harry Potter' and rates his books 3*, with Michael Morpurgo, 'Chaos Walking', 'The Dresden Files' and 'Wyrmeweald' achieving 5*]. For kids aged 7+, also check out Spielberg's excellent PG rated 1988 film 'Young Sherlock Holmes' thats naturally quite sympathetic to this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A young Sherlock learns his trade........, 29 Mar 2010
By 
mandynolan "mandynolan" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
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This is really good!!!

I was worried that this would be an unconvincing prequel to Conan Doyles masterpieces but it isn't..... IT'S REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!

In the same way as the young Bond books capture the essence of the originals, so does this Young Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes is still at school and is about to have his summer holidays ruined, or so he thinks.....he's actually about to start an adventure that will lead to him becoming the world's greatest detective.....

In this book we meet Sherlock as he learns his trade in logic, his brother Mycroft appears in the book and there is mention of his Father ( a soldier,sent to India), his sick Mother and his sister......

This is a great adventure book, Holmes must battle an evil that threatens the Empire, learn about logic from his new tutor and also have a little bit of a teenage crush!!!!

I would recommend that you give this a go, its the start to what looks like a great new series, its well researched and exciting. It will lead to a whole new generation looking to read Holmes and for the many many fans this is a great new way to look at Holmes.

BUY IT!!!!! and also if you haven't read the originals then buy Complete Sherlock Holmes (Wordsworth Library Collection) and I would also recommend a similar series SilverFin: A James Bond Adventure (Young Bond)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Sherlock Holmes became Sherlock Holmes, 21 Jun 2010
By 
Ye Olde Ed (Chelmsford, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
"Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud" is the first children's book to be commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. (This isn't the first attempt to imagine the great detective's boyhood, of course, but Mr Lane plays fair with Victorian history and with the life and character of Sherlock Holmes. Fourteen-year-old Sherlock is removed from his boarding school and sent to live with relations in rural Surrey, where he incurs the disfavour of a sinister housekeeper but earns the friendship of a most unusual tutor, Amyus Crowe, an American tracker and bounty hunter. Crowe's lessons come in useful when Sherlock is faced with the puzzle of a strange and deadly dark cloud. In solving the mystery, he makes enemies as well as friends; I need only say that the ultimate villain has devised colossal schemes... The novel combines ingenuity and breathtaking excitement with a real feeling for character. Future books will take Holmes through to his time at university, and I for one am looking forward to reading them!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 26 Oct 2010
By 
Stevetrumpet (Beds UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
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This was the start of a great new series for teenagers, very like the Alex Rider and young bond series shows the reader Sherlock's childhood and what he gets himself into even then. It gives an insight into Sherlock's past that has previously been uncovered. Mystery, adventure and villains all packed into this new book which you will not want to put down.

The series is targeted at teenagers and young adults, but adults will also enjoy this book. Most people would say that this is a 'boy's book' which I do agree with, however girls who are fans of adventure or mystery books will also love this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better, 19 Sep 2013
By 
C. E. Utley "Charles Utley" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Am I being unfair when I suspect that Andrew Lane would have felt more comfortable writing about the young James Bond? He couldn't do that, of course, because it has already been done (rather well). So he opted for Sherlock Holmes, but gave the fourteen-year-old Holmes a Bond type story. The trouble is that Holmes is not Bond.

And nineteenth century characters would not have used the sort of dialogue common in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This book, however, makes no attempt to use Victorian dialogue. Sherlock expresses his pleasure by exclaiming "great". He and other youngsters are described as "kids" (admittedly there are Americans in the story). No one reading the book could possibly be convinced that it is really set in the 1860s.

There is an early attempt at a Holmes type deduction, something to do with which carriage Mycroft (Sherlock's older brother) used to visit him at school. But it is very weak and Lane sensibly makes no further effort of that sort.

But the story is rather fun (though I should warn you it becomes more and more far fetched). You also need to know that there is a surprising amount of sadistic violence (of the sort you would expect in Bond but not in Holmes). But that is understandable. Lane is writing for a modern teenage readership and he is probably right to assume that that readership will give up if people are not being constantly slaughtered or beaten to a pulp.

This was a missed opportunity. The young Holmes could have been much more realistically and amusingly depicted. But I shan't give up. I am going to have a go at the second book. If it is very similar to this one I will probably skip to the sixth and latest just to see whether Lane has finally got it right.

Charles
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Legend Begins., 15 April 2010
By 
Amazon Customer "A Likely Lad" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
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A children's book does not mean that it is a childish read and so is the case with this little gem.

I was surprised when I heard that the Conan Doyle estate had given the green light to publishing stories of a younger Sherlock Holmes or prequels but after one hundred and forty odd years perhaps it's the right time.

The writer Andy Lane is well known for producing fast flowing Doctor Who novels and so it is with this book.

As an avid fan of the original Conan Doyle novels, I was very intrigued about the character, would he be the Holmes that we knew or not? Well the answer is yes and no, there are shades of the character that I grew up reading but as he's a young adult he doesn't have the experience of his more familiar self and this is deliberately emphisized, the series will hopefully build upon these missing years of Holmes whith each book nearing the character closer to what we know.

He is without Watson of course and this is a bit of a downer as Watson is as essential to the Holmes legend as the title character is himself and I did miss him enormously especially as I'm used to reading Holmes books through his eyes or narration.

It is a good book and the story holds the attention easily and I look forward to the next book, and the rest, in the range.

Very enjoyable 8/10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of the legend, 13 April 2010
This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised by "Death Cloud", the first Homes prequel authorised by the Conan Doyle Estate. Set in 1868, the teenage Holmes obviously does not have Watson to help him, but its an intriguing start to what will hopefully be a series of books, and with the recent Guy Ritchie Homes movie, this is probably well-timed to pick up on a new, young audience.

As an avid fan of the 1980's TV series starring the late Jeremy Brett, I've (shamefully) never read the original Conan Doyle novels, but after reading "Death Cloud", my interest has been stirred enough to seek out the original Holmes novels. So obviously, I cannot compare the style of Andrew Lane's writing to the original novels, I'm sure other readers can deal with that side of the novel, but its clear that "Death Cloud" treats the Young Holmes with respect, and is thankfully willing to take on the dark side of the character and I'm intrigued how the author will develop as the teenage Holmes heads towards adulthood, so I do intend to follow the series.

This preview copy did contain a few printing errors that I'm sure will be put right in the final commercial print, but otherwise its a strong start for the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the making, 8 April 2010
This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
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Have just finished reading this with my 12 year old son. We love it. The proof copy I have contains many errors but hopefully these will all be put right before the official release. I love the proof book cover - very cool! The title is clever too and the opening line memorable

"The first time Matthew Arnatt saw the cloud of death, it was floating out of the first floor window of a house near where he was living."

LOVE the ending too and can't wait for more books like this.

This is typical Conan Doyle style, as is the rest of the book. Very faithful to the original and it is clear why this is the first children's book to be authorised by the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.

This should become a children's classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes playing Alex Rider, 14 May 2010
By 
P. M. Fernandez "exilefromgroggs" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
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This is not Conan Doyle. In his Holmes stories, we look at the hero through the wondering eyes of Watson. And for all the implications of the recent film, my memories are of the detective's work being mostly observation and deduction, rather than action. Not so in Andrew Lane's book.

But that doesn't mean it's bad. The books are pitched at an audience of children/young adults. Holmes, through whose eyes we now observe the narrative, is a cross between Alex Rider (Stormbreaker (Alex Rider 1)), Anthony Horowitz's child special agent, and Spock from Star Trek, using logic ruthlessly to think out situations.

Lane has gone to a deal of trouble to get the atmosphere, detail and scenery right - the dress, the means of transport, school life - even the smell of the Thames! However, there are certain aspects of the book which are pretty transparently of today's era. The archvillain is completely typical of the "badder than bad" James Bond/Alex Rider villain - not just a Jungian archetype, but a Platonic Jungian one. The dialogue, whilst it nods in the direction of the Victorian era, tends to settle comfortably into 20th/21st Century mode. And whilst the writer grasps to convey some horror of violence and death, the casual gangland feel of the villain's henchmen means that most of the people who die have a real feeling of being cannon fodder.

The estate of Conan Doyle authorised the official publication of children's books. Aside from income (I have little doubt that film and video game rights have been sold), the other objectives of the book - introducing a new generation to Sherlock Holmes, and encouraging boys in particular to read more - are also worthwhile.

This is a professional job, which ticks all those boxes. However, for all its official status, I don't believe for a minute that in years to come this will be considered a geniune part of the Sherlock Holmes caucus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 STAR) A very well plotted detective story!, 12 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book as I love Conan Doyle's Sherlock, the BBC series of SHERLOCK and the latest duo of the the Robert Downey Jr. films, Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows. I am 13 years old, and I must say that any boy my age looking for a bit of a teenage action, mystery or adventure book should give this a go! I disagreed with the other bad reviews as it's really good!
Sherlock is 14, and has to live with his Aunt and Uncle in the countryside. All is supposed to be dull and boring until Sherlock comes across two dead corpses covered in boils! Many presume this is the work the plague, but knowing Sherlock Holmes, he believes that that nothing is that simple... So, Sherlock sets on finishing this case leading him around England and eventually to London. With Sherlock's new friend, Matthew Arnnat, new tutor, Amyus Crowe, and Crowe's daughter, Virginia Crowe, they try to figure out the mystery behind the deaths...
The plot is great and well thought out! There is unexpected twists, action, adventure and plans to bring down England's empire. A must read for a young teenager looking for a new read.
I am looking forward to the next installment, Red Leech!
Thank you Andrew Lane!
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Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud
Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane (Paperback - 4 Jun 2010)
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