Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Goodreads review: Sally is sixteen and uncommonly pretty. Her knowledge of English literature, French, history, art and music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol.

When her dear father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally is left to fend for herself, an orphan and alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Though she doesn't know it, Sally is already in terrible danger. Soon the mystery and the danger will deepen - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke...

My Review: Let me get it off my chest right now. I love this book. I love the writing style, I love Philip Pullman and I love the plot. Right from the beginning, this book captures you and takes you into the world of Sally Lockhart in Victorian London. Her dead father, her new friends, and that scary old lady add to the richness of text and depth of setting.

Whenever Jim talks, I smile on the inside. Ok, you got me. And out. Most of the time when I read books set in a different time and place, there's something amiss. Like, the characters in 16th century England don't say 'like'. At least, I don't think they do. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. I'm a huge fan of Philip Pullman and his writing. He always manages to capture emotions in such an artistic and poetic way, it makes me pause and reread his writing. There's also an abundance of rich text in the story as well, so even though it's a children's book, the vocabulary doesn't feel that way.

Do yourself a favor and read this book now. I know it's older and not on one of the Reading Challenges, but please go get it. Philip Pullman is a wonderful writer, and his writing shows just how wonderful reading a good book can be. 5/5

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