Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).
Review: Last month, I read A Study in Charlotte, the first in this series, and I rather enjoyed it. To be fair, I haven’t read any Sherlock Holmes stories (gasp!), nor have I sunk deep into anything Sherlockian (movies, fanfic, tv, etc.), so my connection to that story took a little longer to build. And, as is often the case in a first in series, a lot of the book is about getting to know the characters, background stories, etc., followed by plot, which was really secondary for me. The pace was slower, but it was a good read.
All that said, with the foundation set in A Study in Charlotte, we could jump right into the thick of it with this second installment in the trilogy. The plot was much more complex, the mood and tone much darker, and the overall story was more intense. In fact, the plot was so complicated that at times I had a difficult time keeping track. There is certainly no way I would have guessed the conclusion.
Also, my feelings about Charlotte are more muddled than ever. Initially, I felt she was just eccentric, a child of a rather strange and difficult upbringing who had recently suffered a tragedy that isn’t easy to overcome, particularly for someone who shields themselves from any real emotion or human connection. However, this book puts her in a different light, and at the end, I was fighting a strong compulsion to dislike her entirely. My distaste for her was compounded by my increasing like of Jamie, who is really a decent boy caught up in a dangerous adventure, all because he can’t let her go. I imagine this is exactly how I’m supposed to feel at the end of this book. A perfect lead in to the next and final book. Here’s hoping it’s out sooner rather than later. I’m desperate to iron out my feelings about Charlotte and to see if the Holmes family can find a way to break from the past of their ancestors.
If you’ve read A Study in Charlotte, even if you felt a little unsure of it, you must read The Last of August. It’s so, so much better and I’m certain once you read it, you’ll have no choice but to finish the series when the final installment comes out.