The Ruby in the Smoke

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Ruby in the Smoke
(A Sally Lockhart Mystery)
by Philip Pullman

Sally is a teenage girl living in Victorian England when her father dies unexpectedly. A mysterious letter leads her to believe he was murdered and she begins to search for the truth.

This mystery has a very Dickensian feel to it. Orphaned girl, villains after her, paths crossing with interesting people from all walks of life; add 300 pages and it might have been mistaken for a female version of Oliver Twist.

Sally herself is pretty fantastic. She smart, logical and has a wonderful mind for business. She also refuses to shy away from danger or to get caught up in the petty deceptions of others. When faced with the prospect of living with an awful, controlling woman or heading out into the unknown, she doesn’t hesitant to walk out the door.

I don’t know if I’ll continue to read the rest of the books in the series. I enjoyed the first one, but it provides closure and I’m not dying to continue. I do wish I’d read the series when I was younger. I probably would have loved them.


Sandy Nawrot said...

It does sound a bit predictable, but in a comfortable way. When we are younger, we don't care so much about that.

Jillian said...

I really like Philip Pullman's writing, so I might give this one a try and I'll see if I would like to continue on with the rest of the series as well :)

B said...

I haven't read any Phillip Pullman. Whenever I think of him I think of His Dark Materials.

What would be a good Pullman to start with?

Tasha said...

I liked Sally, too, but I was content to stop after reading this first book.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - Isn't that interesting? Predictable is such a good ting when you're young.

Jillian - Look forward to seeing what you think!

Brenna - I'd start with The Golden Compass. That was my first Pullman. I read it back in 2004, before I was reviewing books, but I thought it was fascinating.

Charley - I felt like everything was quite wrapped up in the end. Strange for an author to do that with the first book in a series.

Jeanne said...

I did like the other Sally books, but they'd be fine to save for when you're sick in bed or something.

Allie said...

I read these when I was in middle school, and I absolutely loved them. I haven't read them since, but now I want to pull them out and give them another try. :)

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

Just finished listening to it in audiobook (need to post about it). I don't feel as enthusiastics about it as you for. It was a complete "3", not too bad, but nothing extraordianry to declare either.

Lucy has something of a Mary Sue, don't you think?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne/Allie - Maybe I will have to finish the series. I'll just wait until I want something a bit comforting and predictable.

Alexandra - I'm not sure what a Mary Sue is. Is that something from the book?