Today I’m excited to share the most unique Sherlock Holmes retelling I’ve run into yet! And just a fun story! (Also the lastest in E. B. Dawson Continues To Make a Sci-Fi Reader Out of Deborah O’Carroll news… XD)
Title: Watson and Holmes
Author: E. B. Dawson
Sci-fi / Cyberpunk / Retelling • YA • 2020 • 249 pages (paperback)
Read February 18, 2022 • 5 stars • Fave character: Sharlotte Holmes • Listened to the Audible version
Imagine a Sherlock Holmes retelling. Now imagine it’s set . . . in space . . . on the city planet of Linden (instead of London). Then picture that there are several alien cultures (I loved them all and how distinctive they were!). And Holmes and Watson are young women. I know! I adore the original Holmes stories, so I was worried some of this would bug me, but it all worked perfectly and was SO much fun!
Dr. Jenny Watson (who has a past) and Sharlotte Holmes (who is brilliant) are such great characters and I really enjoyed following both of them through this cyberpunk setting and delightful story. It’s just great sci-fi! I rarely read this genre, but every time I pick up an E.B. Dawson science fiction story, I know it’s going to blow me out of the water, and this one did, in the best way. I love E.B. Dawson’s writing and worlds SO much. Although, for some reason, I don’t think I expected this one to be so FUN, but it was and I loved that!
I love how there are mysteries and sci-fi plots of Shifters and a sinister organization called Moriarty (and the suspense at the end—aaahh!), but that it’s also filled with adventure and friend moments like apartment squabbles and going for noodles together—and oh, yes, Terrence the potted-plant robot was hilarious. XD It’s a perfect mix of cozy fun, character moments, and mystery/suspense.
The plot kept me guessing the whole way, so it’s very much its own story, but I also loved all the nods to the original Holmes stories. Lestrade can’t stand Sharlotte, which is always hilarious. XD Mrs. Hudson’s an anxious but gentle alien lady who’s slightly eccentric (but not nearly as much as Sharlotte). And there are great moments like this note Sharlotte sends Jenny: “221 B Baker Street, Doyle District. 900 square feet. You’ll have to sign the lease because my credit is rubbish. Landlady keeps giving me the shifty eye. I don’t think she really believes you’re a doctor. Come as soon as you can?-Holmes”
I loved getting to know both Jenny and Sharlotte. Their dialogue is zippy and the absolute best—I kept laughing or wanting to quote it. (I would quote the ENTIRE FIRST FOUR PAGES OF CHAPTER FOUR here to make a point if I could because that was one of the BEST conversations and entirely typical of Sharlotte especially. XD) They make a fun pair, especially with their banter, and they’re just fabulous as best friends—even when Sharlotte does stuff that gets on Jenny’s nerves, in the best Holmes-vs.-Watson way. XD They remind me of the originals in some ways, but I’ve also never met characters quite like these, and it’s the best.
In short, this is an unexpected and completely delightful book, filled with memorable characters, suspenseful moments, lots of humor, a unique sci-fi setting, and references to one of the greatest detective series of all time. What is not to love? I highly recommend checking this one out! (The audiobook is also fabulous!)
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