For this week’s SBPT post, Katie & Ashley from Lost In Pages and I did guest reviews on each other’s blogs. You can check out my review of The Poppy War by RF Kuang over on their blog!
Alluding to both the Sherlock Holmes canon and the Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos, this Hugo Award-winning short story will delight fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft, and of course, Neil Gaiman.
A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble. But with its subtle allusions and surprise ending, this mystery hints that the real fun in solving this case lies in imagining all the details that Gaiman doesn’t reveal, and challenges listeners to be detectives themselves.
I want to start by saying that I know nothing when it comes to Lovecraft. I’m aware that there’s a green, octopus-looking creature called the “Cthulhu” that lives in the ocean, and that’s literally the extent of my knowledge. I’ve always been intrigued by his stories, but I’ve never read any of them.
Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand, I know quite a lot about. Without having read any of the actual books, I know a good deal because of adaptations I’ve seen — Benedict Cumberbatch and the BBC adaptation will always be my favorite!
So with a minimum amount of background knowledge, I went into this graphic novel hoping for the best because it’s Neil Gaiman, and Neil Gaiman can do no wrong. I didn’t know that the plot line was going to follow A Study in Scarlet so accurately, so that was a nice surprise. For some, I can see why that would be a negative, but for me, I liked the fact that I knew the base story because sometimes the Lovecraft references were over my head. I’m sure there are a bunch that I’ve missed or didn’t recognize. That being said, I did like the Lovecraftian influences. They made the story unique!
To avoid spoilers, I won’t say much about the ending minus the fact that it threw me for a curveball, for sure. It makes a lot of sense after the fact, but I definitely enjoyed that twist of sorts. Another thing I enjoyed was the art style, it matched the writing style very well. I hope this graphic novel will become a series because I’d love to see more in this interesting world.