The Initiation

384p. (Lock and Key: Bk. 1). HarperCollins. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062399014.
Gr 5–7—Baskerville Academy is the locale where teenagers James Moriarty, his younger sister Moira, and Sherlock Holmes meet as new students. Immediately, something untoward happens. The irreplaceable Moriarty Bible, which belonged to the original Moriarty ancestor, goes missing. The entire student body is under suspicion, but only James receives curious red envelopes containing cryptic messages as to the Bible's whereabouts. His roommate Sherlock offers to assist him, as does Moira, but James refuses all help because he finds Sherlock arrogant, and now that he is in school, he distances himself from Moira as well. Instead, James prefers to align himself with some unsavory upperclassmen. When James and Moira's father dies, Moira asks Sherlock to do some sleuthing, because his death was not accidental. This new role for Sherlock pleases his restless spirit. On campus, there is a secret society that includes the headmaster and James's late father. The members of this clandestine organization, called The Fellowship of Scowerers, want James to join. The initiation involves tattooing James's underarm with the symbol of a tree and key as well as warning him that to reveal anything about this society could lead to his death. Pearson perfectly captures Holmes's deductive methods. He humanizes Holmes's prickly personality by creating an innocent, blossoming romance with Moira. Likewise, Moriarty's persona becomes darker and more devious as he transforms into a malevolent force.
VERDICT The first installment in an exciting new series that's ideal for fans of Pearson and those looking for a more modern take on Sherlock Holmes's mysteries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.




Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.