Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mind Games by Heather W Petty

Mind Games by Heather W Petty
Release Date -  December 6, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**Spoilers for Lock and Mori**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Sherlock Holmes and Miss James “Mori” Moriarty may have closed their first case, but the mystery is far from over in the thrilling sequel to Lock & Mori, perfect for fans of Maureen Johnson and Sherlock.

You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars…and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing Mori, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her. 
Retelling Sherlock Holmes is nothing new. It seems there is always a new adaptation or twist in the works. A teenage Sherlock may have been the initial hook, but this series charms far surpass that particular character. It boasts a finely crafted doomed romance, an unforgettable Mori, and some impressive plotting to create something fun, fresh and attention grabbing.

Heather Petty's Mori is the stand out of this entire series. You may pick it up for Sherlock, but will be pleasantly surprised by Mori. She's imperfect, and that is what makes her so fascinating. You can see the antagonist she'll become for Lock. You can see the damage being done to her, and all the broken pieces being made within her as a result. You see the path she is heading down, and you want to prevent it even as you want to see what she'll become. She's already formidable, capable, and steadfast. Her love for her brothers is the beacon guiding her and what she clings to with admirable stubbornness. She balances Lock and his quirks while still being given her own agency and story. She's not there to simply advance his.

Mori, in this sequel, is still dealing with the fallout of her father being  arrested for murder. The ramifications of the events of the first novel are felt strongly through every single page of this story. Every character's actions are a direct result of choices made in the first novel and that ensures not only to make the story feel cohesive, but shows the meticulous planning that went into this story. There is one longer arc that will thread through the entire series, even if it appears we're solving self contained mysteries. 

The romance in this is the stuff of shipping dreams. Part of the allure is that you know this is going to be soul crushing. You know this relationship could never work even as you lie to yourself that it could. The glimpses of what if, the moments of happiness, the potential it holds, all make it all the more agonizing because the author makes it so easy to fall into the idea of hope. You want them to work out so badly that it burns. The calming influence each has on the other is endearing, and their bond really shines in this sequel. Mori's point of view adds a little more poignancy to the heartbreak as you can see the cracks that will eventually break them. It's compelling, and would be an incredible dynamic for a television show. 

The mystery, just like in the first novel, is well crafted. It is logical and once you have all the puzzles pieces it makes perfect sense. It may sound strange but the mystery is really secondary to the characters and the stories that are being told through them. The mystery at the heart of both books are used to further the characters, and the plot. It all works in tandem to create a really entertaining reading experience. The mystery isn't the hook, the characters are,  and that makes this resonate all the more.

The only missing link is Lock's Watson. He's presence is a looming thing. I think it is because you associate Holmes with Watson and not having Watson be a more prominent presence feels strange. He is briefly teased, and I hope for much more of him in the future installments of this story. 

Heather Petty crafts her Sherlock with a fun mystery, wonderful character development, and a Moriarty that is witty and complex. Fans of the source material will delight in this fresh take while non fans will fall under its spell for many other reasons. I cannot wait to read the next chapter in Lock and Mori's doomed love story, Heather Petty has made it impossible not to want to.

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