Lock and Key #1: The Initiation
Written by Ridley Pearson
384 pages Ages 8—12
“James Moriarty is well known as one of the greatest criminal masterminds. But before he became the scheming, remorseless villain he is now, he was just my older brother James.
“James and I grew up like Boston’s Charles River and the cobblestone sidewalks that run beside it—separate but inseparable. But that was before Father forced us to enroll at Baskerville Academy. Here, James first met his roommate, the insufferable Sherlock Holmes. From the very beginning, the two were at each other’s throats, but as much as they frustrated one another, an incident at school forced the two together.
“It started with a missing heirloom Bible and ended with the first glimpse of the evil James Moriarty we know today. Every time I take stock of how much my brother has changed since, I can’t help fault both Baskerville and the evil that lies within its hallowed halls and Sherlock, who, I believe, only pushed my brother to commit the crimes he did.
“It all began with a simple note and ended with an initiation.” [INSIDE JACKET]
Lock and Key is the new trilogy about the criminal mastermind James Moriarty and the determined, deductive detective-to-be Sherlock Holmes beginning with their years at Baskerville Academy, an elite high school—now including middle school—in Boston, circa the twenty-first century. These are modern day kids dealing with a demanding academy and something bubbling just below the academy’s surface. Something uncommon and morose.
Narrated by James sister, Moria, the story begins at the Moriarty home, where mother is missing and father is distant and overprotective. Father insists James attend the Baskerville Academy, like himself and his father before him. Moria will also attend so as not to separate the two “tight-as-thieves” siblings. Being the first-born son, James is in a precarious position, one in which his father is presently working to change—and will cause much upset if he is successful. He fears for his and his children’s lives.
The Initiation is a fast-paced, action-filled story. Sherlock Holmes meets James Moriarty with an instant clash. Holmes meets Moriarty’s sister Moria. She has a crush on Holmes and he on her. When the family bible goes missing from the school chapel, James receives secret clues he believes will take him to the bible. Clues lead James—and the reader—in two different directions, both of which could be correct or could be misleading. The mysteries stack up quickly, as do the false starts, and the mysterious characters. Moria is an excellent narrator. Readers will be just as confused as to who can be trusted as James, Sherlock, and Moria are confused.
One wonders: What lurks within the shadows of the school campus? Keeping up with it all of this action is easy. Readers will enjoy the tense relationship between youngsters Sherlock and James, and between Sherlock and Moria. Pearson delivers a believable beginning to Sherlock Holmes and his archenemy James Moriarty, keeping true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories.
Any kid who likes Sherlock Holmes, mysteries, or fictional history will enjoy Lock and Key: The Initiation. This middle grade novel will keep readers turning the pages and wondering. Baskerville Academy will shape the three main characters in ways that will surprise every reader. This well-written trilogy will keep readers wondering and worrying—and loving every word causing those feelings. Book #2 due next August, 2017
LOCK AND KEY: THE INITIATION. Text copyright © 2016 by Ridley Pearson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Harper, New York, NY.
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Reprinted with permission from LOCK AND KEY: THE INITIATION © 2016 by Ridley Pearson, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Lock and Key: The Initiation
Written by Ridley Pearson