Sherlock Holmes is excited to have his brother Mycroft home for a visit. But when Mycroft pulls Sherlock’s tutor Amyus Crowe aside for a private conversation. Sherlock discovers that Mycroft’s visit wasn’t just to see him. News has come that presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth may be not be dead, but hiding out nearby in England. Despite warnings from both his brother and Crowe, Sherlock decides to investigate. His latest adventure takes him on a wild ride across the ocean to America where Sherlock uncovers a massive conspiracy.
Fourteen-year-old Sherlock still has a lot to learn. But he’s brave and extremely resourceful. Once again, his adventurous spirit gets Sherlock and his friends in all sorts of trouble. With plenty of danger, suspense, and intrigue – this fast-paced thrill ride is less of a whodunit mystery like Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and more of an Indiana Jones-style adventure. I listened to the audio version of the story (thanks to Macmillan Audio), and noticed there was quite a bit more gruesome violence than most young reader novels. I doubt it would be as cringe-worthy just reading a novel, but when narrated by the talented Dan Weyman the action is much more engrossing. Once again, Weyman does an excellent job of capturing the diverse characters and their accents. Though, his female American accent is still a bit muddled. Sherlock Holmes fans will get a kick out of this creative new series with eccentric characters, exciting exploits, and a bit of history blended for an extremely enjoyable story.
A mysterious ship has appeared in a new anomaly that appears to be the Enterprise NCC-1701, but touts the name “Timeship Two” and is apparently equipped with a device for time travel. The Department of Temporal Investigations has sent Agents Lucsly and Dulmur to study the ship and James T. Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise NCC-1701, who has had numerous time travel experiences over the years.
It’s important to have read Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, as it introduces the DTI agents in more detail. This Department of Temporal Investigations novel seems to focus more on stories from the Original series and barely touches on character development. This certainly isn’t an action-packed adventure that most Star Trek novels seem to be. Instead, the story slowly unfolds as the agents investigate the Enterprise’s timeline, experiences with time travel, and a secret kept hidden leading back to the foundation of the DTI. The novel dragged at times, as the dialog was a bit tedious and repetitive. The reader wasn’t experiencing the stories, but being told about various accounts as a history lesson or in a debate on temporal ethics. Though, once the story focused on the Enterprise and the actual reason behind “Timeship Two”, it began to get more enjoyable. I really enjoyed the last half of the book, as the pacing sped up and the plot began to advance. If you’re really interested in time travel and alternative realities in Star Trek, this series is quite interesting. I’m hoping the next in the series focuses a bit more on the characters and plot as Watching the Clock did.
Tom and Hester have been living aboard the airship they confiscated. But danger soon follows after they pick up a passenger in a hurry to leave the area. When they come under fire, they seek refuge in Anchorage, a city that barely survived a devastating plague. Anchorage heads for America, a dead land rumored to be green again. But they have unknown stowaways on board, as well as several people who want to stop Tom, Hester and their passenger at any cost.
Predator’s Gold is the second book in the Predator Cities quartet. Hester once again shows her darker side in some of the decisions she makes in response to jealousy. Tom is still a good natured young man, who gets caught in a love triangle. And the relationship between Tom and Hester is certainly put to the test. Technology isn’t so much the focus in this story, as character development and relationships. This installment in the fantastic steampunk series is another fast-paced adventure with plenty of suspense, drama, and intrigue. I can’t get enough of Philip Reeve’s stories.
— Predator’s Gold will be redistributed by Scholastic Press on June 1, 2012.