Monday, February 2, 2015

The Ruby Airship by Sharon Gosling

The Basics:
The Ruby Airship by Sharon Gosling
Switch Press
Book Two in the Diamond Thief series
YA, Steampunk
Published February 1, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

The first book in the series, The Diamond Thief, was a pleasant though not perfect surprise and I wanted to give this YA steampunk series a second shot.


In this action-packed sequel to The Diamond Thief, trapeze-artist Remy has left the circus and her life as a jewel thief behind, but doubts that young detective Thaddeus Rec will ever truly trust her. Torn between her new life and her old, her mind is made up when Yannick, a fellow circus-performer from Remy's past, arrives in London. Remy decides it's time to go with him to France, and rejoin her best friend Claudette and the circus. But Thaddeus is sure that Yannick is up to no good. He's determined to track them down and win Remy back, even if he has to embark on a perilous journey by airship to do so.
My thoughts:

The Ruby Airship has a lot of really great elements that come together into an an entertaining, action-packed steampunk adventure.

The Diamond Thief really surprised me with its escalation, particularly in the last third of the book. I was more prepared for The Ruby Airship, which is good because this book isn't bound by being set in a single city as The Diamond tthief was. Instead, we have a story that soars across the English and especially French countryside.

There is some parallel with the first book - all the most dangerous, secret things are hidden in tunnels underground. More significantly, I felt that the pacing and the way the story builds towards the ending is similar - so if you liked the way that The Diamond Thief read, you'll probably enjoy this one! The story really builds towards the end, when the pacing is very quick with increasing amounts of action towards the end.

I loved the ruby airship itself. It's a fantastic steampunk invention and I love how J and Thaddeus interact with it. I think that I most enjoyed their sections of the story as they're pretty entertaining together with their mix of daring and caution. Remy's portions of the story were a bit frustrating because she was so stubborn and blind, but I think she also provides a lot of the emotional foundation for the story so.... Her sections were important, just not my favourites.

The romance was pretty soft, and I might have been irked by this if the book didn't underline just how young Thaddeus and Remy are. I was actually shocked when Thaddeus' age is mentioned mid-way through the book. I did find some of the behaviour - particularly Remy taking off with Yannick at the beginning of the book - to be rather juvenile. Age-appropriate, as it turns out!

There's a female character introduced mid-way through The Ruby Airship who felt really unnecessary as a foil for J. I think her potential was much greater, so that was a bit of a disappointment - though again, the youth of everyone involved reins things in quite a bit.

Bottom line:

The Ruby Airship is ultimately a fairly satisfying steampunk romp from England through France. It takes a bit to get rolling, but once the story gets moving, it snowballs into a pretty darn entertaining tale. The Ruby Airship ends on a high note, implying more adventures that I certainly look forward to reading.

4 stars
For fans of steampunk, YA

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of The Ruby Airship:

Amy Read Bookworm

Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup

Once Upon a Dream Books

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