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Rebel Fire

by Andrew Lane
Series: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #2
343 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by LLizzieG

Clean, fast paced book with quite a bit of violent (but not graphic) content.

Plot

An adventure begins when Sherlock Holmes' American teacher, Amyus Crowe, receives word that John Wilkes Booth is in England. Although reported dead soon after Lincoln's assassination, Booth is apparently alive. Very much alive and more than a little insane, as Sherlock discovers when an information gathering venture goes terribly wrong.

Something big is afoot - a political intrigue that could affect nations. The problem becomes personal for Sherlock when the conspirators kidnap his friend, Matty. Determined to rescue Matty, Sherlock finds himself in America fighting for his life and that of his friends.

Morality

Moral questions play an important part in the second half of the book. After accidentally causing the death of a man trying to kill him, Sherlock ponders the moral implications of his deed. Despite the moral feel of the story, Sherlock's conclusions are vague at best.

Spiritual Content

Amyus Crowe presents the option of a Christian worldview to Sherlock on several occasions. For example, he says, "Either the cactus is evidence of a Designer who made things differently for different environments, or it's evidence that there's some force that pushes livin' organisms to best survive in whatever place they find themselves, as Mr. Charles Darwin contends." However, probably in keeping with Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock rejects the idea that there is a God who issues commands like, "Thou shalt not kill."

Violence

This book contains quite a lot of violence. While none of it is graphic or gratuitous, some of it is bizarre in nature and may disturb younger children. Three men die, at least one is shot, several attempts are made to kill Sherlock, Virginia almost has her hand bitten off by a cougar, etc.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Sherlock's brother and Amyus Crowe discuss different countries' preferred alcoholic beverages. At least one of them drinks some alcohol. There is no drunkenness.

Sexual Content

Sherlock is attracted to Crowe's daughter, Virginia. He treats her respectfully. In one scene he contemplates kissing her to prevent a "bad guy" from seeing his face, but he decides against this plan of action.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A mentally insane John Wilkes Booth tells Sherlock to "go to Hell."

Conclusion

I enjoyed this fast-paced book. However, if you're looking for a typical Sherlock Holmes mystery, you may be disappointed. Sherlock is still gathering the knowledge he will later use to solve mysteries, and this book is much better classified as an adventure. I appreciated the clean content. The high action level would make it a good read for both teen girls and guys.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

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