Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
So, first things first: stop reading this review and go read Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone. Seriously, I really appreciate you stopping by. I am so grateful for my readers. And I love that you’re reading my words right now. But my words aren’t what you should be reading. Now, G.S. Denning’s words? The author of Warlock Holmes?
Now, his I can support and get on board with, considering all of the effects that linger after finishing said book this morning. Things like:
- My dimples still hurt from grinning so much.
- Sore diaphragm from withheld laughter that would have given away the fact that I was reading when I definitely shouldn’t have
- My thoughts are still being narrated by the esteemed voice of English gentlemen Dr. John Watson
- A heart pining for May 2017 so I can read The Battle of Baskerville Hall, if only to experience all of these things again tenfold
So yes, I think that confession alone makes the case of whose words you should be reading right now, if comparing this review and Warlock Holmes.
*peeks around the corner*
What, you’re still reading this? Why aren’t you questioning Watson’s decisions and grinning like a fool already? Fine, but since you stuck around, I’ll reward you by telling you exactly I loved this book.
Publisher: Titan Books | Release Date: May 2016 | Pages: 336
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: Author
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.
Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.
An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.
Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- A few things, I must admit. One, there is no bigger idiot in this tale than the writer whose words you are reading right now. I read the back cover, which revealed Vladislav Lestrade was a nihilist vampire (how bloody brilliant) and Torg Grogsson as a house-proud orge. I knew the book was called Warlock Holmes. I was aware that supernatural twists helped bring fresh life to a classic tale. Yet it wasn’t until I was a good third-way into the novel that I realized Warlock wasn’t simply his name, but also his title, representing what he was. I had just assumed it was a good name because it rhymed with Sherlock, not that it had any deeper meaning. I know. Watson is shaking his head in disappointment, while Warlock is probably smiling while inside, is trying to come up with how I am associated with demons. Lots of demons.
- Not only did I have a nice humbling moment laughing at my own idiocy, but I also laughed through most of this book. I loved how the characters–whom I couldn’t stop picturing as the cast from BBC’s Sherlock–were given new life, quirks and characteristics (picturing Rupert Graves as a vampire was absolutely giggle worthy). I loved the fourth wall breaking on Watson’s part. I loved that I was rewarded with my familiarity regarding Sherlock Holmes yet this retelling/mash-up was brilliantly unique and enjoyable in its own right. I loved the moment when I understood what the title meant. I loved that it had pictures, which were awesome and such a pleasant surprise. I loved the unintentional (at least, I can only assume it was unintentional) video game references I drew as I was reading (I couldn’t not read Torg’s lines unless they mimicked the voice of the trolls from Witcher: The Wild Hunt and of course dealing with a client whose last name was Trevelyan make me think of Dragon Age). And the ENDING. Holy shit.
Please give me book two sooner than planned, Mr. Denning. I beg of you.
If you’re still here, thank you for reading yet another lengthy review. I hope you’re inspired to pick up Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone and read it.
If you’re not here and took my earlier advice to skip this review all together. And instead moved right along to reading. Then I hope while others have been reading this, you have reached the part regarding the earwax. I mean, seriously, earwax? How did he…you know what, nevermind, I don’t want to know. I’m just impressed.