Bless Netgalley’s buttons, persistence paid off and I finally got approved. If only it hadn’t taken me so long to get this review written … par for the course, lately.
The story is well set up, with an economy and elegance that should make lesser series writers weep. It is not long after Pirate King. Holmes doesn’t know where Russell is. Russell doesn’t know where Russell is, nor whom for the matter of that. The skills she has worked to acquire startle her as she discovers them – the slightly sarcastic explanation her hurting brain supplies to take all of them into account is thieving circus performer. But because of her skills, she is able to adapt to her situation and launch an investigation based on the things in her pockets.
Amnesia, while a much-maligned plot device, is only a cliché because it’s overused because it’s so gosh darned much fun to read, and I imagine to write about. To pare down a character to her most basic elements, and to send her into a story armed only with her wits and the skills she discovers she has – it’s a little like hitting a reset button in a game, retaining all the muscle memory and intelligence, but being left to wonder why exactly you have these abilities. It was fun to watch Mary try not only to deduce where she was and why as well as who, but to explain to herself why she knew how to pick a pocket and a lock. And her reunion with Holmes was everything that it should be.
It’s a suspenseful read, a wonderful return to the sort of adventure Holmes and Russell shared in the beginning. Great fun.
(Wouldn’t Holmes’s origami go against the Islam strictures against graven images? “You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them.” Oh dear. Ah well.)
- Garment of Shadows, by Laurie R. King (moviesandmangoes.wordpress.com)