Book Review

Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

the last of augustRating: 3/5 owl hoots

Published: February 14 2017

Number of pages: 316

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

Genre: mystery, contemporary

Audience: young adult

Get it at: Chapters Indigo

Shelve it at: Goodreads

Summary:

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are spending their winter vacation in Europe to get away for the semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets as the mood in the Holmes Sussex estate is intense. On top of that, Watson and Holmes might be more then just friends, but Charlotte’s past remains a wall between them.

Charlotte’s uncle Leander suddenly goes missing disturbing the peace, and with clues that he was involved in a case dealing with an art heist in Europe, Charlotte and Jamie are off again. This time to Berlin where they meet August Moriarty (presumed dead by most people), and his entire family accused for ripping off famous paintings for years. But as they follow the underground art scene in Berlin and the art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson realize this case is bigger than they can handle and much more complicated.

My Review:

The problem with 3 star books is that my overall reaction to them is…meh. I didn’t love the story and I also didn’t hate it but because they don’t leave a memorable experience I end up forgetting them, and I really hate it when that happens.

Before I talk about this sequel, I like to remind folks that I really enjoyed the first book. It showed me this series had potential to be amazing; a gender swap of the great detective Holmes with her British American friend Watson, a match made together to solve a murder mystery in a prestigious school. The characters were different, the mystery was full of suspense, the romance was settle and not insta love. Once Holmes and Watson decide to team up and go on the case to solving the murder of a student, the plot escalated and after finishing it got me enthusiastic for the sequel next year.

A year later, the sequel comes out and I was really excited to get into this, but it didn’t turn out well as I thought it would be. The problem with this story is that the mystery wasn’t interesting enough to keep me drawn in. I like reading mysteries with suspense and thrilling moments to get me excited while following the trail of clues with the characters to see whodunit in the end. But this story was lacking that, and I eventually got bored with it. On the positive note we meet the rest of Charlotte Holme’s family and August Moriarty, the descendent to James Moriarty. We’re introduced to the rest of both families and their backgrounds that it became fascinating to understand how each generation of Holme’s and Moriarty’s became enemies.

Another problem I had was there was absolutely no heat between Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes. In the first book, there were some small sparks between the two but Charlotte being a Holmes doesn’t let her emotions show, but you know there is something there between them. Charlotte doesn’t admit her feelings but the way she talks to Jamie, behaves around him is different then how she reacts to other people. As I was beginning to read this sequel, I was hoping to see this chemistry grow between them, but instead there was no heat, just some scenes were we have the two sharing a gentle but brief moment together. We catch them in bed a few times but not having sex, only keeping each other company while still respecting their space. It was awkward seeing them together this way because with a romance I expect to see more chemistry, more heat. Instead Jamie and Charlotte’s romance fell flatter like the plot itself, and that really disappointed me.

The reason I gave this an extra star is because we get to meet the Holmes and Moriarty families. Due to the history behind Sherlock and Professor James, the animosity has passed down in their families, but this is not your good versus bad story as we have a few members from each side trying to make some good, and end a family war that has lasted for generations. What complicates things for Jamie though is that he finds himself in the middle of it and has to make a decision: either be dragged into this crazy family war or back away and save himself. It’s this internal conflict in Jamie’s character that makes him so interesting to follow as he tries to understand more about Charlotte’s family while trying to save himself and rescue her from self destruction.

There were quite a few times when I had to put this book down before I had the interest to continue where I left off. It was nice to see Charlotte and Jamie again but I was still disappointed on how this story turned out overall. I might pick up the last book next year as I still have some hope for the series, and there is still room for growth and potential for these characters so who knows…

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