I thought that the Charlotte Holmes series was only so supposed to be a trilogy. In fact, it was in my year-end review of Series I said good bye too last year. So talk about a surprise to find out that there was a fourth book. It’s always a little unnerving when an author decides to extend their series beyond the original plans because sometimes the story just isn’t there to support it. I felt that A Case for Jamie ended things pretty well. Lucien Moriarty was caught and Jamie and Charlotte were able to have a reconciliation. They didn’t know where their relationship was going to go but they knew that they were going to have some kind of relationship. I thought it was good way to end it. This book really wasn’t necessary but also not unwanted or unwarranted. Charlotte and Jamie are in Oxford for summer courses and while they are there they pick up a case. The year before, the drama department had a series of unfortunate accidents that ended with a student disappearing. The stakes are not as high this time, since the mystery has nothing to do with them but it still works. Charlotte is healing from the all the trauma of the past couple of years and from her family. Living with her Uncle Leander has really been good for her. It also, as well as this case, has given her time to figure out what she wants to do with her life and who she is. It also gives her time to truly work out her feelings for Jaime. I missed Jamie’s narration but it was fascinating to be on Charlotte’s head a little more. Getting a first hand account of not just how she deduces but also how she is processing her own trauma. I think we expect people to get over the trauma quickly and move on but it’s not the simple. We don’t change over night and that is what this novel illustrates. It’s a little bittersweet but also very healthy. I’m glad we had this final chapter. It may not have been as exciting as the previous books, it did give us the true closure we needed.
So I thought this series was a Trilogy so color me surprised to find out there was another book. I’m so happy because I really enjoyed Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson.
As we take a look back at 2018 we started some really great series but we also sadly had to say goodbye to others. It’s always a bittersweet reading the final book. On the one hand you finally get to know how it ends but on the other hand sometimes you are not ready to let go quite yet. So let’s raise a glass to the books that have entertained us over the last couple of years and who knows, maybe our favorite authors will one day return to your fave characters.
- Falling Kingdom Series by Morgan Rhodes – This epic “Game of Thrones” YA series finally came to a close after it’s 6 books. Alliances were built and destroyed, Gods sent packing and love conquers all. It was quite a ride.
- Front Lines Series (Soldier Girls) by Michael Grant – Rio, Frangie, and Rainey fight until the end of the World War Two. After three books of following our girls through battle, we finally see them through the end and what they did with their lives afterward.
- Carve the Mark Duology by Veronica Roth – Some of the story building was problematic but it was an original idea that was was engrossing. I do feel that there is enough story left over that Veronica could return this world, she could.
- Charlotte Holmes Trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro – There have been many different takes on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This time around the Holmes and Watson families have a long history as does the Holmes family and the Moriarty family and a century worth of feuds come to end with Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson in the center. Truly an enjoyable series for any Holmes or mystery fans.
- Talon Series by Julie Kagawa – Ember, Riley,Garrett and the soldiers of St. George have no choice to team up if they are going to save the world from Talon After 5 books it’s been a wild ride
- Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard – This may have been one of my favorite YA series since The Hunger Games ended. It had a little bit of everything. Super Powers, class warfare, racism and political philosophy. I’m sad that it’s over because it was pretty great but I do look forward to what Victoria does next.
- Warcross Series by Marie Lu – Virtual reality game is about to take dow the world unless Emika can stop it. Really it’s not that farfetched and that’s part of it’s brilliance. Emika is one of the coolest YA heroine.
- The Tiger’s Saga by Colleen Houck – This one was kind of disappointment. This maybe an example of knowing when to stop. Even though it was always planned on being a quintet, the fourth book was released almost 4 years ago and the story had pretty much been wrapped up. Tiger’s Dream while a wrap up of Kishan’s arc but was a really long rehash of the last four books. It didn’t add anything to the story and sort of made me upset with Kishan.
- Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor – These two books were beautiful and heartbreaking. Everyone is living with some sort of a trauma and doing what they can to survive. We finally see the true depths of what the people of Weep had to live through and it’s horrifying. You really can’t blame any of them for their anger but despite all the hurt there is a real hopefulness to it.
- Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas – Seven books and several twists and turns later we finally see how Aelin’s story ends and it’s epic. There have been so many stories and characters it was almost hard to believe that Sarah was able to tie it all together in a satisfying ending. It was heartbreaking and hopeful and one wild ride.
**Some Minor Spoilers**
I’m actually sorry that this was only a trilogy as there are so many Sherlock Holmes canon that she could have played with but it was a satisfying ending. The Case for Jamie takes place a year after the ending of The Last of August. Both Jamie and Charlotte are still reeling from the events of the last book and the death of August Moriarty. Jamie is back at school doing his best to get his grades up to get into a college. He has a new girlfriend and is still playing rugby but really he’s just going through the motions. He misses Charlotte but can’t bring himself to forgive her for what she did. Charlotte for her part is doing what she does best. Investigate. She’s trying to figure out what Lucien’s next move is as she knows that they haven’t seen the last of him. She’s doing her best not to fall back into her destructive behaviors and missing Jamie too. Strange things start to happen to Jamie at school. He’s already a little paranoid from his experience in the last year and starts to lash out and everyone around him. It’s clear that he’s struggling with PTSD. As things start to spiral out of control, it becomes clear that even though he and Charlotte are no longer together, someone out there wants to get the band back together. We go back and forth between Jamie and Charlotte’s point of views as we piece together what’s going on. As the reader who has the benefit of knowing both sides making it much easier to come to the conclusion faster than our heroes but it was so well constructed it didn’t take away from the mystery. I felt actually quite proud of myself that I was able to piece it together before the formidable Charlotte Holmes. *pats self on back* I really liked both of these characters. They were both relatable in through own ways. Jamie being the clueless boy who just want’s to fit in and have friends and Charlotte the overachiever who is consistently looking for approval. They’ve spent the last three books trying to accept themselves for who they are and not who people perceived them to be. At the end they are still working on that as it’s not something that happens overnight but they have truly learned their lessons. I also liked that after everything that happened they didn’t just immediately get back together. While reconciliation is on the horizon, they both realized there were things about themselves that were not good for each other and took time work on themselves and get to know each anew. It’s a good lesson for us to learn. Mystery fans out there, I encourage you pick this series up. I think you will love it.
So I’m reading Inferno on my iPad but I forgot to charge it last night and I needed a book to read on my commute. So I guess I’m reading two books now.
What books can you not wait to read in 2018? I have lots of course but here are 10 that I really Really can’t wait to read next year.
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. (May 15, 2018) The final book in her Red Queen Series. Will Mare and the Scarlet Guard be able take down the Silvers. Will Maven get overthrown? Will Cal stop being a dumbass?
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. (March 6, 2018) This sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Zelie comes from a long line of maji but the new crown prince wants to banish magic from the kingdom. Zelie has one chance to save magic and her people.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018) It’s been 4 years since the end of the Shatter Me trilogy ended or so we thought. Restore Me is going to pick up at the end of Ignite Me. Juliette is the Supreme Commander and Warner is on her side but now that she has the world at her finger tips, what’s next?
- Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. (May 22, 2018) It’s been two years since A Torch Against the Night came out and I’ve been eagerly waiting this one. Laia, Elias and Helene are all in perilously situation. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. (January 16, 2018) I’ll admit I was hoping it would be the next book in the Shades of London series but I’m just so glad that Maureen has a book coming out. I do love a good mystery and good ghost story too.
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. (January 2, 2018) So happy that Holly is back with a new series about fairies because no one does fairies like Holly Black.
- A Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro. (March 6, 2018) The final book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy can’t come soon enough. In true Holmes form, Charlotte has really sabotage herself and Watson can’t forgive her. They try to move on with their lives but someone wants them back together and well I want them back together too.
- Dread Nation by Justine Ireland. (April 3, 2018) The American Civil War is interrupted when the Dead of the battlefields come back to life. Jane is in combat school to learn how to take down the dead and with this comes opportunity but Jane wants more. Soon she is wrapped up in a conspiracies and plots that the dead are the least of her worries.
- Untitled Sequel to Renegades by Marissa Meyer. (November 6, 2018) Renegades was such a great book and can’t wait to read what’s next. Nova has successfully infiltrated the Renegades and her old friends are no longer around to blow her cover. Will she betray her new friends or cement herself as a villain.
- The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. (April 10, 2018) Carve the Mark may have been problematic but it was still good. I’m curious how things will turn out for Cyra and Akos. Will they be able to escape their destinies or are they running right into them?
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. (No set date) I’m not sure this is coming out in 2018 but I really hope so. Strange the Dreamer was so beautiful I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what happened at the end.
- Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas. (September 4, 2018) The final book in the Throne of Glass series and it’s been quite a ride for Aelin and friends. Who knows how it will all end. Well I guess Sarah J. Maas does but for everyone else it’s anyone’s guess.
- Untitled (WarCross #2) by Marie Lu. (No set date) Another one I’m not sure if it’s coming out in 2018 but I’m pretty sure. I was riveted by the first book and I’m looking forward to meeting the “hacker” and all the potential he is inevitably going to cause.
- Heart of Venom by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (2018) It also doesn’t have a set date besides 2018. It’s either the first in the Shadows of Fire series or #9 in the Chronicles of Nick series. However you want to look at it, it’s a switch in tone and focus for Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. With a duel narrators of the Cyprian Malachai (Nick’s Son) and the Ambrose Malachai (Nick Himself) we find out if Nick truly does embrace his destiny or if the sacrifices he made at the end of Intensity was enough to forge his own path.
- Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes. (February 6, 2018) The final book in the closest YA book to Game of Thrones with it’s epic scope, world building and body count was originally scheduled to come out this month but was pushed back. I’m sure the extra two months will be worth the wait.
- Aru Shah and the End of Times by Roshani Chokshi. (April 3, 2018) The first book to be published under Rick Riordan’s new imprint highlighting stories from authors and characters from around the world. Aru Shah takes on Hindu legends to save her mother and classmates.
- Untitled by Maureen Johnson. (No set date) The Shadow Cabinet, the last book released in the Shades of London series had me on the edge of my feet and it’s been so long since it came out. I’m not sure that the next book is coming out in 2018 but Maureen has mentioned on twitter that she has two books coming out in 2018 so it’s a safe bet. *crosses fingers*
- Untitled by Kendare Blake. (September 4, 2018) I didn’t know that the Three Dark Crowns was originally planned to be a duology. I’m glad that Kendare Blake and her publisher decided to extend it because there are so many things about this world and these character left to be explored.
- Untitled by Traci Chee (2018) The final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold Series. Sefia and Archer continue to fight what is written and defeat their destiny while also staying ahead of their enemies.
- The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (May 1, 2018) I’m interested in this one since this in the first book that Sally Green has published since she ended her Half Bad trilogy two years ago. Half Lost left me broken and in tears. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that again but I can’t wait to see what Sally does next.
Let’s be honest. Sherlock Holmes is a dick. I haven’t read any of the books but every character based on the novels, whether it’s Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr. or Hugh Laurie they are all Grade A assholes. Charlotte Holmes is no different. And you know what, it’s kind of wonderful. Now don’t get me wrong. Charlotte may be a genius but she’s not a role model either. Too often, female characters in book, movie and TV shows have to be likable and often one dimensional. This includes when they are the main character. Male protagonists don’t have this problem. They can be a dick and still be the hero. Charlotte is cold and calculated. She doesn’t adhere to social norms and doesn’t try to fit in. She is also a recovering drug addict teenage girl that is less then a year removed from being sexually assaulted. In other words, she complicated and complex as her great great great great literary grandfather and that’s just fine. Like Sherlock Holmes, Charlotte is humanized by her Watson. Jamie keeps her from completely losing her humanity but he’s also her weakness as she is his. Jamie frequently asks why he continues to stay friends and be in love with Charlotte when she often ignores him, insults him and is constantly puts himself in danger but every time he has a chance to leave he can’t. Instead, he puts himself in the line of fire to try to protect each other. In their own way Jamie and Charlotte try to protect each other only to hurt each other even more. It’s complicated and complex. They are a powder keg ready to blow. Charlotte still dealing with the trauma of her rape and Jamie is respectful of that but he can’t deny his own feelings and wants. There is this thread of tension because you know they both want more from each other but unable to give it. There is always frustration and relief but also realism in it. One does not just get over something like that and one does not turn off ones feelings each other. Both Charlotte and Jamie are allowed to show all their faults. They are allowed to be unlikable. They complicated and complex and it’s wonderful.
The games afoot!
A Study in Charlotte was a very fun read. It’s new take on the Sherlock Holmes stories. This time it’s the descendants of Holmes and John Watson. In this world, the famed detective and his assistant were real. Watson chronicled Holmes’ cases and well fictionalized them. The Holmes family continue to solve crimes and being eccentric, while the Watsons continue to be normal. Here we catch up with the latest generation of Holmes’ and Watson’s when Jaime Watson starts at a new boarding school. Jaime meets Charlotte Holmes, the girl who is full of mystery as anything else. (For some reason I thought Jaime was a girl and I was a little disappointed to find out that he isn’t but I got over it.) There are little sprinklings of the originally stories throughout the novels and the nastiest parts of the stories like Holmes’ drug use. Charlotte is just as impossible as the original Holmes or Benedict Cumberbatch’s. Shortly after Holmes and Watson meet a fellow student is murder in a way that is reminiscent of Holmes’ stories. Of course, they are the prime suspects. They have to work together to clear their names. They story goes through many twists and turns that will keep you guessing all through the story. You don’t have to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes to love this book. You just have to enjoy a good mystery with interesting characters and you’ll be set.
In preparation of the upcoming season of Sherlock, I’m going to read a new adaptation on the Sherlock Holmes Stories.