Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau
Author: Guy Adams
Published by: TITAN Books
One word can describe Guy Adams’ portrayal of Sherlock Holmes: Ambitious. To follow in the footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a damn ballsy move. Now, I’ll start off by saying that this isn’t traditionally the kind of book I would read, so you’ll have to forgive me if it sounds a little negative, not my intention, I assure you, to the contrary, its characters are engaging, and well sculpted.
If I had to put it in terms of modern interpretations of the World’s Greatest Detective (Steady on Batman fans), I’d say the author’s Sherlock would be closer to Robert Downey Jr. than the Benedict Cumberbatch version. He’s incredibly charismatic, yet analytical to the point where he alienates those around him. He’s less realistic than the Cumberbatch interpretation, but that’s not what we look for in an old-fashioned Sherlock story, we want Sherlock to be almost superhuman in his deductive reasoning.
It’s very well written, and I love that Adams has decided to keep the stories from the point of view of Watson. It grounds Holmes somewhat, that we don’t so much read him, but Watson’s interpretation of him. We get to hear about the adventures from the point of view of a highly intelligent, yet normal, person.
My only major issue is the combination of the pseudoscience of Dr. Moreau with Sherlock. In my mind, Sherlock always solved his cases through pure logical deduction, (The Sussex vampire, The Hound of the Baskervilles to name a few), even when a supernatural cause seemed evident, and I don’t know how the addition of Moreau enriches Sherlock’s London. To me, Sherlock always existed in an alternate reality exactly like ours, the only difference being that Sherlock was real.
If I put my own personal feelings aside for a moment though, I’ll have a poke at the actual story. It’s good. Bodies piling up horrifically mutilated, strangely with the marking of animals that couldn’t possibly have done it. And then Moreau’s name creeps up. Drop in a little variation on eco-terrorism, and you’ve got an interesting plot. It flows well, although I don’t entirely see why it warranted the addition of other famous fictional Victorian characters. Kane is very cool, the chase sequences are exciting and the science of Moreau is well executed for the maximum “ewww” factor.