Friday, March 18, 2022

Review: Enola Holmes The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco

 It's time for my Joker Read! The second I saw this one, I had to get my hands on a copy. Firstly, this one originates from a French author/artist and has already been published in several languages. It's now just hitting the U.S. with an English version. To say I that this made me even more curious is an understatement. Plus, I might just be a tiny-bit of a Sherlock Holmes fan. 

Anyway, let's see how this one is!

The Graphic Novels, Book One
by Serena Blasco
Simon & Schuster
Middle Grade Mystery / Graphic Novel
192 pages
ages 9 to 12

MAY 22nd!!!

A graphic novel adaptation of the hit books that inspired the Netflix film! Sherlock Holmes’ brilliant, strong-willed younger sister takes center stage in this delightfully drawn graphic novel based on Nancy Springer’s bestselling mystery series.

14-year-old Enola Holmes wakes on her birthday to discover that her mother has disappeared from the family's country manor, leaving only a collection of flowers and a coded message book. With Sherlock and Mycroft determined to ship her off to a boarding school, Enola escapes, displaying a cleverness that even impresses the elder Holmes. But nothing prepares her for what lies ahead…
Book One in the series includes three thrilling mysteries: The Case of the Missing MarquessThe Case of the Left-Handed Lady, and The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets. At the back of the book, readers can explore a portfolio of pages from Enola's secret notebook!



Not only Sherlock Holmes fans will enjoy this twisting mystery with tons of determination and spunk.

On her 14th birthday, Enola Holmes' mother disappears. Not sure what to do, she writes her brothers, the famous Sherlock and Mycroft, but their arrival doesn't help anything. Instead, Mycroft wants to send her off to a boarding school, while Sherlock simply claims that their mother is well, where ever she may be. After discovering some secrets left to her by her mother, Enola decides to run and look for her mother herself. With as much wit as Sherlock and cash her mother tricked out of Mycroft in her pocket, Enola heads to London and investigates right under her brothers' noses.

This is such a fun read! First, the illustrations take a lovely twist from the usual, modern graphic novels and are done in water color. This fits perfectly to the time period and gives the entire book a nice touch. Plus, these illustrations are very well done and draw in with wonderfully done scenes, emotions, and interesting details. I enjoyed reading through this one just for the artwork.

Enola is spunky, determined, and clever. She's easy to relate to as her concern for her mother wins over sympathy right away. The reactions of her brothers is maddening and it's easy to understand why she takes the risks she does. The culture and ideals of the time period come across very well, especially as Enola goes against them. It adds an underlying humor, at times, which keeps it light although there aren't really any funny scenes. And this is great because the cases Enola runs into are, sometimes, pretty heavy and do carry some violence. So, this one might not be for more sensitive readers, although mystery fans are going to enjoy it.

There's never a boring moment, and it's fun to try to figure out how Enola will deal with each situation she faces. Everything is kept pretty realistic, and she wins over with her conclusions and wit. The coded messages will have readers thinking through things themselves. Add the collection of notes, information, and summaries in notebook form between each of the three episodes, and invites the reader into Enola's thought patterns completely. It's an enjoyable read with action, impossible to guess solutions, and a little bit to learn along the way.

And here she is...

Serena Blasco was born in France and studied at the School of Applied Arts in Aix-en-Provence, worked as a graphic designer, and published her first comics work in 2014. She began illustrating the adaptation of Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes novels in 2015.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Smart of them to make a graphic novel of the story. Still hoping they do another NetFlix movie!

Tonja Drecker said...

That would be nice!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have the most recent print book in the series on hold. I didn't know they were in graphic novel form. I'll have to see if I can get it from my library. And I'd love another NetFlix movie too.

Tonja Drecker said...

You'll have to suggest it for order, first, since it doesn't come out until the end of May. I was really surprised how good this one is! Definitely worth a read if you get your hands on it.