Hello, fellow book-eaters! Welcome to the latest Which Wednesdays, where our topic of the week is Sherlock retellings!
Now, I may have fangirled once, or twice on this blog, and you may have noticed the increase in Sherlock (the BBC show, obviously) gifs around this blog. So, no, this week’s theme isn’t a coincidence. Ahem.
The two books I have chosen this week are Lock and Mori as well as Every Breath. Both books are retellings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle’s story has become one of the most famous stories worldwide, and he unknowingly created a character archetype. “No shit, Sherlock” has become an iconic phrase, and there have been many retellings over the years, whether it be Robert Downey Jr. movie, to Elementary and BBC’s Sherlock
(yes, everything returns to that one point 😉 ). The man that discerns everything with his eyes, forensic sciences and the art of deduction has become an icon. And like many icons, he has been imitated. I have chosen these two stories to compare as they have many similar elements ~ but different executions.
ROUND 1: Synopsis. (From Goodreads)
From what I can read, Lock and Mori is about Sherlock and Moriarty before they became enemies. So… shit went down, and we will find out what? I guess that makes sense, as this is to become a trilogy. Well, I’m all for angst, so I can’t wait to see how things go!
Every Breath seems more like a traditional Sherlock story ~ a mystery, a sidekick… and dare I say it, a slow burn romance.
ROUND 2: Style of Writing
Lock & Mori is written in Mori’s point of view… and this time, Mori is a girl. However… there was something… off… about the writing. Not bad… but not exactly polished, you know? How do I explain… FAN-FICTION-Y.
Sorry just had an epiphany and I’m too lazy to delete the first line. It was like cotton candy: you bite into a nice, sweet cloud, and then the flavour disappears in 2 seconds. It wasn’t necessarily bad… just forgettable. I mean, I did read the book in one sitting, so it wasn’t that big of a turn off. However, the “plot twist” at the end was very predictable (My serial killer detection skills got game). Even the romance felt slightly forced ~ and I never thought I’d say this, but there were slightly too many snogging scenes. Like, ok, where’s the action action? Though, I liked the realistic-ness (auto-correct has informed me that isn’t an actual word) of Mori’s home situation. At the end it was slightly unbelievable, but it was very well done.
Every Breath was in Rachel’s POV and was all about the build-up. Build up of the mystery, the plot, and the characters. The romance was incredibly well done. That slow burn? Everyone sit down and take lessons from Ellie Marney on how it’s done. The mystery was slightly predictable, but that was only nearer to the reveal at the end. I enjoyed the fact that the action did not stop at the unveiling of the murderer ~ shit happened after that! The relationship progressed at a believable pace, and the only word to describe this book’s style of writing is engrossing. I read it in one sitting. And then reread it from the beginning.
WINNER: Every Breath
ROUND 3: Characters
Lock & Mori had interesting characters. Mori was cool. Lock was cooler. Mori’s dad was very scary. They all had potential, but I feel that sometimes they didn’t reach that level. Another thing I noticed about Lock and Mori was that their relationship was more… sexual? Not sexual as in I want a relationship, but a my-life-sucks-and-yours-does-so-let’s-snog relationship. Thankfully, that evolves slightly by the end, so it does improve. Also, the characters do evolve a bit ~ but I was wondering the whole time when they’d become enemies… and it doesn’t happen in this book. So I’m hoping that Book 2 carries even more development.
Every Breath had amazing characters. Admittedly, at the beginning, things were slow, but as bits and pieces of the characters were revealed, I couldn’t get enough. The envelopment of the romance was just right, and the supporting characters, such as Rachel’s brother and father. Rachel herself was very relatable, akin to Dr.Watson on BBC’s version of the show. I enjoyed their banter and situational humor (as some references to the books were mentioned). I didn’t really like James at first, but he grew on me (like a leech).
WINNER: Every Breath
ROUND 4: Setting/World Building
I really enjoyed the setting in Lock & Mori. It felt very dark and thriller-like ~ with weird coincidences and such. I enjoyed the way it was described, and since it was set in London, it felt very “proper”, ya know? I could feel their accents (partly because I can do a very good British accent 😉 )
Every Breath was more out of the blue. It was set in Australia, so at the time, I didn’t know too much (I swear I’ll learn more, Galaxial Word). It wasn’t really a dark thriller ~ just an average city with weird crimes. Although it wasn’t bad at all, it didn’t really help set the atmosphere.
WINNER: Lock & Mori
ROUND 5: Originality/Interest
Lock & Mori… felt like a fanfic. Too obviously inspired by the tension between Sherlock and Moriarty, I wasn’t sure of how I felt. After watching the BBC version of the show, I can only see them as enemies and rivals. So this was original in a way, but it didn’t deliver on the interest it spurred at the beginning.
Every Breath was more traditional in a sense ~ Watson and Holmes if you wish, but it also wasn’t. It took the basics of the story and the characters, and transformed it into something more. The settings and backstories were changed in such a way that it suited the author’s purpose, rather than bend over backwards to fit the story’s traditional arc. It was rather modernized ~ an update of the story, if you will.
WINNER: Every Breath
Final score: 4-2
Lock & Mori: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Every Breath: 4.5 out of 5 stars
WHICH ONE: Every Breath
To be fair, both reads are very entertaining and interesting. The mysteries are generally well done, and it’s Sherlock Holmes. However, when it come to re-reading, Every Breath is the book I’ll be buying.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s topic!
😀 Sarah 😀