Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Review: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

The Ruby in the Smoke is a mysterious object that haunts the life of Sally Lockhart.  When her father dies on the sea and Sally gets a mysterious note from him, she finds herself drawn into a frightening web of mysteries, lies, and the deadly opium trade.  Her life is suddenly in danger and she must team up with some new friends in order to find out the truth of her father's death before it is too late.

The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery

Things I Liked: 
I was so happy to discover this not-so-new series - it was simply a spanking good mystery!  I'm not normally a fan of mystery books, for no good reason, but I found myself really sucked into this one and not having any idea where it would go.  It was intricately fabulous and also quite humorous - just a fun book all around.

Things I Didn't Like:
I felt like the characters were not all that well-developed.  The book relied almost entirely on its setting and the plot, which worked quite well, but left the characters a little wanting for me.

Reminded me a little of the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

s-factor: !
a few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
some fighting

Overall rating: ****

Anybody else simply not read a certain type of book, but not for any obvious reasons?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really enjoyed Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty, so it sounds like I would like this one as well :)

  2. They character development gets much stronger with books 2 and 3, IMO. Hope it holds true for you as well. I liked each one more.

  3. Bookshelf Monstrosity, they aren't too similar in plot, but the Victorian feel was pretty close.

    Angie, I'm looking forward to reading the next ones!

  4. Melissa, I pretty much agree with your review, 100 per cent, although maybe I'm a little tougher and would go 3 stars instead of 4, although agreeing that it's still an enjoyable read.

  5. Andie, I'm hoping the next ftwo will be more enjoyable - did you read them?

  6. I didn't know that these existed! I enjoyed Pullman when I was younger, so I'll have to add these to my list.

  7. Aelysium, hopefully you'll still enjoy his books!

  8. Melissa@1lbr--I did read all of them and thought they were all pretty much of a muchness, enjoyable enough reads but not quite cooked in the characterization department. I think my favorite of his is The Golden Compass. I also liked The Subtle Knife but found The Amber Spyglass very disappointing.

  9. I read the Golden Compass, but didn't really want to read the rest of the series. Maybe I'll try again...


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