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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2015
I'm always wary of getting into books from a series that aren't by the original author, what if they don't get the tone right? What if they blemish the original series I love etc etc. There are simply many ways for them to go wrong. The stylish covers of the new Holmes adventures by James Lovegrove supported by the large amount of positive reviews inspired me to give them a go and so far, so good.

This is the first of three Sherlock Holmes novels Lovegrove has currently penned (the other two being Gods of War and The Thinking Engine) Set in 1890, Stuff of Nightmares starts with a powerful opening of Watson arriving at Waterloo station as a terrorist bomb explodes causing a shocking amount of death and devastation. This is the third boming to have gone off and the country is beginning to panic. Having witnessed the horror first hand Watson immediately sets off to find his old friend Holmes knowing he would be in the thick of the investigation.

What first struck me about this book is Lovegove's excellent use of language, just the bomb scene at Waterloo station alone was wonderfully described, not only in it's use of words but the tone of the book was spot on written from Watson's point of view as if he is penning it, as it should be. The story treads at a steady pace following Holmes's investigation meeting a fair amount of both familiar Holmes characters such as Mycroft, Mrs Hudson, Lestrade etc as well as a host of new faces which are brought to life with equal skill, my favorite being the infamous Baron Couchmare who turns up in truly splendid fashion at every appearance. The balance is also very well done with a mixture of serious moments but also humour. There are also times where there are rather dark aspects explored which made me feel slightly ill at ease, but in a good way, it was just well written.

I will say this though, Holmes purists will hate it as the plot becomes pretty Steampunk. The ending is especially over the top (I loved it personally) taking things as far in that direction as it's really possible. However even with these more fantasy elements Lovegrove shows a great love and respect for the source material and has created an excellent novel that takes Watson and Holmes on a great adventure that is a little different than you would expect and for that alone I think people should try it. I have already bought the next one ha ha.


+ Well written throughout.
+ Excellent pacing.
+ Baron Couchmare.
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on 9 October 2013
Sherlock Holmes has always been a fantastical character, a hero larger than life with extraordinary and unlikely abilities, and he's well suited to adventures of a strange and uncanny nature. In this rollicking yarn, Lovegrove bleeds a little of the steampunk genre into the great detective's world, and does it in so careful and explicable a way that the resulting story does not feel terribly out of place next to Doyle's original tales. A key part of the blend is Watson's narration, so impeccably depicted here that it carries a weight of splendid authenticity, and sells the added elements with delightful authority. What usually suffers in new fictions such as this is Holmes himself, who can sometimes take second fiddle to new gimmicks. Not here. Holmes is dominant throughout, and exactly the powerhouse of deduction you would expect. Great fun.
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on 21 August 2015
As a Sherlock Holmes story this feels like a very good attempt with Holmes and Watson feeling very true.

It's Holmes meets steam punk which is a heck of a shift but it's entertaining and fun throughout.

I've knocked a star off because I don't really buy the modern sensibities that come to the fore especially some of the more x-rated content which I don't think a man of Watsons era would have penned.

But very good for all that.
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on 29 September 2013
The test of any truly good pastiche is whether or not you find yourself still trailing doggedly behind Homes and Watson after the first 20 pages or so, as they wind their way through the foggy thoroughfares of old London town. I can say unequivically that with this you certainly do. Whilst some of the terms used are not those that Doyle would have used they are easily overlooked. If you are a fan then read it. You won't be disappointed.
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on 13 August 2016
This series from Titan books are a slight side step into a dimension where slightly more outlandish and fantastical elements are permissible. This one features a sort of proto superhero figure targeting neer do wells in London. The plot is compelling, the voices are authentic, and the dialogue feels like it stems from Conan Doyle's pen. I enjoyed every moment of it. If you are not a complete purist when it comes to Sherlock tales there is a lot to enjoy here. I can't wait to read more in the series. Five stars from me.
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on 24 May 2017
Quite a good story and one which provides an interesting comparison of the imaginary technologies of Holmes age and now.
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on 13 September 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this and it's time I bought another one for the collection.
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on 6 December 2014
Fabulous! I read this in 2 sittings. Excellently paced with fantastic characters particularly the villain of the piece.
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on 12 February 2017
Abdolutely loved this amazing adventure. What an exciting tale that involves the twists and turns that only Holmes and Watson can survive. Brilliantly written x
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on 6 April 2018
Really enjoyed this book. I think Arthur Conan Doyle would have too. Recommend for SH fans everywhere. Downloading the next one now.
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