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Christmas is Right Around the Corner…

Christmas is almost here, and with it will come a plethora of fresh posts from The Adventure Writer’s Blog – ranging from winter photography, to reviews (such as Sherlock Holmes II) and more!

In preparation for Christmas time, I’ve published a play (as well as a 600-word story version) called 400 Years of Silence.

If you’re a fan of Christmas music, the K-LOVE Christian Radio station is giving away three free songs of the season, gotta love freebies.

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The House of Silk is ‘Under Wraps’

The House of Silk (Cover)

Only moments ago I turned the last page on Anthony  Horowitz’s The House of Silk, and I must say he was quite dutiful in his approach to the famous Detective and the original author’s (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) method of portrayal. I originally thought it to be much like A Study in Scarlet, and it most certainly is at the beginning. However, it delves much deeper and takes many more turns than any of Watson’s previously chronicled exploits, entangling many of the characters we’re readily acquainted with (from the original adventures): Lestrade, Moriarty, (of course Watson and Sherlock), The Baker Street Irregulars, previous clients of Holmes, etc. The story in itself is a labyrinth of seemingly unrelated points which culminate to an “AHA! I should’ve seen that!” moment when Sherlock provides his unveiling of the case (or rather, cases in this case [the joys of wordplay!]).

The House of Silk is made up of two wholly intertwined cases: The Man in the Flat Cap and The House of Silk (I have added such information to Wikipedia at this point) – the first is quite like Sherlock’s other cases, yet still incredibly fresh. The latter is quite ambiguous at first, as one would desire and most certainly expect of a good mystery, and at its end, most revolting by the nature of the crime that was committed, reminding us this is a novel designated for mature audiences and reminds one of certain events that have occurred in our world and my country as of late.

Anthony Horowitz delivers and follows through with all the expectations I would set forth for a Sherlock Holme’s novel, and makes a suitable addition to the canon as such. I likely will, after the story has had time to ‘sink in,’ write a detailed review of the stories up’s and down’s (most up’s in terms of literary execution and mastery), as well as further delve into its plot, moral content, and corresponding suitabilities.

Christian & Family Perspective

The House of Silk is not suitable, nor is it meant to be, for children under 14-17 years of age in my personal opinion and in light of the content. Mature themes are discussed, not explicitly, nor in a highly depraved manner, but rather according to the nature of the crimes involved in both cases. Drugs are also prevalent in this novel, as they have been in many of Doyle’s, and make frequent mention of Holmes’ syringe of liquid cocaine which sits upon his mantle.

Steady Progress on The House of Silk

I am making steady progress in my reading of the House of Silk, and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed! Horowitz has effectively utilized a vast majority of Doyle’s signature tools (characters, resources of language, plot/case outline, etc.) and thus produced a very nostalgic and thoroughly suspenseful novel. As I read, I am making notes of various plot points to include on Wikipedia and my review of the story here, below is what I have contrived thus far (my Wikipedia version is slightly altered):

The House of Silk begins with a brief, personal recounting of events by Watson, much like the Study in Scarlet by the original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The reader is informed of the particulars regarding the first meeting of Watson and Holmes, including the circumstances of the Afghan War which were inexplicably tied therein. In this we have the prologue, and once the first chapter begins, we are hot on the case. At the start of the first chapter, it is discovered that due to certain unknown circumstances other than the departure of Watson’s wife, Mary (Morston, in The Sign of Four), Watson has returned to board with Holmes, the latter being quite pleased with the reunion, after having little correspondance due to the family life of Watson. Holmes’ proceeds to unravel these unknown circumstances forthwith, deducing that Watson’s wife has left, accompanied with their child [Richard Forrester] (who is sick with influenza) to seek care from Mrs. Cecil Forrester (another prominent figure in the Sign of Four, and the boy’s governess). Shortly thereafter, with an example of Holmes’ ‘deductive powers’ made, the client of the The Flat Cap case is introduced. He is a man by the name of Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer who has come upon unfortunate circumstances. A year after his return to America, he finds himself being stalked by a man in a flat cap, characteristic of an infamous Irish gang. He proceeds to tell Holmes of the events which first led to his acquaintance with the man – he had come to America after a train robbery and destruction therein had destroyed paintings which were to be sent on request of a wealthy client. The gang responsible were based in Botson, led by two Irish twins, Rourke (muscular and assertive) and Keelan (pale, frail, and possible mastermind) O’Donaghue wearing distinct flat caps (thus the name of the gang), and had destroyed the paintings by way of setting charges to one of the train cars containing numerous English pound notes. Mr. Carstairs, with the full financial backing of his wealthy client, proceed to hire a private detective by the name of Bill McParland. The detective soon locates the hideout of the gang and their discovery results in a fierce firefight in which all but one of the gang perishes. As the sole survivor, Keelan O’Donaghue allegedly enacts his revenge by tracking down Carstairs more than a year after the instant, watches his every movement, and supposedly robs of his household a pearl necklace and a few pound notes.

Adventure Writer's Blog: House of Silk Summary (Prologue, Ch. 1 - 2.5)
Fun Fact:  In Chapter one there is some mention of Dupin, a character 
developed by the late Edgar Allen Poe,  and his ability to make astounding
deductions based on visible emotions reflected through the physical medium. 
Holmes demonstrates this by uncovering Watson's anxiety and the source 
thereof.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [Official Trailer]

The new Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows trailer is here!

Already in the trailer there may be some points of concern for Christians. We immediately see a common element from the first movie – demonic powers – fortune telling. Will it be a hoax again this time? Or proposed as the “real deal?” Full preliminary review coming soon.

Be sure to read our review on the first film, Sherlock Holmes (2010)!

Top 3 Posts

Congratulations on completing month four of the challenge! Since January, you guys have collectively published almost 150,000 posts!

To celebrate being thirty three percent done with Post a Day/Post a Week, share your top three favorite posts that you’ve published since starting the challenge.

Erica Johnson

  1. Gaming in the Third Dimension [3DS Series Finale]
  2. OBJECTION!: Ace Attorney Series Review

    And there you have it! AW’s top 10 list in no particular order!

DP: Top 10 Faves Not Done In Over a Year

Today’s DailyPost topic? List ten of your favorite things to do that you haven’t done in over a year.

Here’s mine (in no particular order):
1. Finished reading a book for recreational purposes / read Christopher Paolini novels (Read plenty of books for educational purposes however)
2. Finished writing a novel
3. Finished a TV series
4. Finished a Movie series
5. Finished reading the “Complete Sherlock Holmes” book
6. Watched a Louie Giglio sermon
7. Sat down and tuned my art skills
8. Read an art book
9. Constructed a Lego Masterpiece
10. Read C.S. Lewis novels
11. Read Francis Chan novels

Back-to-Back

This month, all sorts of things seem back-to-back – and the Adventure Writer Blog may be likewise in the next few days. Tomorrow (delayed till’ Monday), expect to see two Weekly Photo Challenge responses, then shortly afterwards, the review for Anthony Horowitz’s latest novel – Scorpia Rising.

Towards late March & early April, we should start to see the Nintendo 3DS Review Series at last come to fruition.

As always, thanks for reading the Adventure Writer’s Blog.

Films to Look Forward To: Up & Coming (Part III: Nov. 2011 – Mar. 2012)

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace villag...

Image via Wikipedia

For the previous entry in this post-series, simply visit: Films to Look Forward To: Up & Coming (Part II: Jun. 2011 – Oct)

  1. Puss in Boots, in theaters, pronounces an evident summary in and of itself with its title alone – if you’ve watched Shrek of course. For all the details, simply visit my Shrek Forever After movie review, and scroll to the bottom of the post.
  2. Happy Feet II, who could forget Happy Feet – the beloved family movie which followed the life of Mumbo, the only penguin who could not sing. Featuring the voice talents of Elijah Wood & Robin Williams, it was truly a spectacular Warner Bro’s production for both children and adults alike. This time around in Happy Feet II, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt join the voice cast, and one can only imagine how the plot will develop. Coming to theaters November 18th, 2011 – family-movie lovers can’t miss it [1]!
  3. Set to be released December 16th, 2011 is a movie featuring everybody’s favorite chipmunks –Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked. I myself was somewhat entertained by the series, though I have my doubts about how well a third installment will turn out. It seems to be more of a kid’s movie, than an overall family movie, though still something to check out when the time comes around [2]!
  4. Sherlock Holmes 2 (December 16, 2011 [3]), with Robert Downey Junior reprising his role as the famous Holmes, promises much. Featuring the dynamic personalities of such characters as Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry), the intellectual twin of
    Sherlock Holmes

    Image via Wikipedia

    Holmes (and his brother by blood),  and Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), the paradoxical entity of Sherlock, using his vast faculty for crime. Its very title seems to add an amount of intrigue to the movie, being Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – and what better than the official introduction of Moriarty.

  5. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace made for joyous Sci-Fi fans in its first showing back in May 1999. On January 10th, 2012 – the movie strikes back with a never before seen 3-D version [4].
  6. What does Dr. Seuss, Zac Efron, and Taylor Swift have in common? They’re all a part (in one way or another) of the March 2nd, 2012 film -Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax [5]!
  7. If you’ve followed the action of Suzanne Collin’s, the Hunger Games trilogy, you’ll certainly want to see the movie. Premiering March 23rd, 2012 – you don’t want to miss it. The Hunger Games, by Lionsgate Entertainment, is sure to be a pleasure to watch for the first time on the big screen – or any screen other than that of the literary mind. If you haven’t read the series, or have fallen behind, be sure to get all the details from my review: Mockingjay: The Hunger Games Trilogy [6]!

DP: If you could bring one fictional character to life for a day…

Cover of Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887, f...

Image via Wikipedia

If you could bring one fictional character to life for a day, who would you choose?

Quite like one of the prompts I came up with a while ago – and it’s quite a fun topic to answer!

Jason Bourne would be an interesting character to bring to life, though a bit difficult to fit into our society – what with his compulsive need to engage in scenes of intense action.

Or better yet, Sherlock Holmes, with his acute deductive reasoning – and inclination towards the complex, he would be the perfect man to bring into the 21st Century, and a help to the police force, to be sure. Although this subject has been explored by many unofficial Sherlock Holmes authors and scriptwriters, it will be officially explored in a novel by Anthony Horowitz quite soon – one I’m certainly looking forward to!

Upcoming Events

Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Upcoming Adventure Writer Blog Events

This week, look forward to the reviews for some of December 2010’s latest films. One provides comedy relief – while the other seems to try a bit too much…

Post-A-Day March will introduce the brand-new Nintendo 3DS (check out my preliminary review)  and our lengthy, in-depth series thereof. Hopefully along with Scorpia Rising, the latest novel by Anthony Horowitz (which may go into April)!

Post-A-Day May through December will introduce back-to-back movies, such as Sherlock Holmes II and Transformers III.

Thanks for keeping up with the Adventure Writer Blog!

Cordially,

Adventure Writer