High Jewellery. Spring Flowers Sale. Weekly Exclusive Sale. Our Archive. Jewelry Insurance. Jewelry Buyer. Services Consignment. Sell My Jewelry. Layaway Plan. Published July 1, It was a little anticlimactic. Another thirty pages to build it up into something I cared about a little more, and this might have got bumped up another star.
I like sixteen year olds who know how to clean a pistol and also to negotiate contracts.
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I like pirates and Victorian-melodrama-shadowy-villainous-foreigners. This book did not knock me for six. View all 4 comments. Truth be told, I expected something more, but it was nonetheless a truly enjoyable read. Actual rating 3. This is the first instalment in the Sally Lockhart quartet, which is a Victorian-era series following amateur sleuth, Sally Lockhart, as she attempts to solve the mysteries of London's dark underbelly, as well as those muddying her own past. I really enjoyed putting my observation skills to the test, along with protagonist Sally, and getting an introduction to the other memorable characters that joined in with her detecting.
This novel provided a pretty vast cast, but al Actual rating 3. This novel provided a pretty vast cast, but all had their own distinct parts to play in solving the mystery that entwines all their lives, and so none felt surplus to the narrative. I also enjoyed this insight to Victorian society and how Sally disallowed herself to become a passive spectator to her fate.
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I did find, however, that some of the scenes felt a little melodramatic in their construction. Cliched characters and a simplicity of statement made this feel aimed at the younger end of YA and, as an older reader, this made it hard to fully resonate with this novel, in its entirety. This was certainly fun, with a sprinkling of suspense, but I found it a little sentimental, on times, which hindered me from fully adoring this novel.
View 2 comments. Sally Lockhart is an orphan during the s in London. She begins to discover the truth about her father, while being menaced by some very creepy characters. I enjoyed this far more than the Golden Compass books, as the narrative wasn't marred by the high whine of Pullman's anti-Narnia axe being ground.
The narrative voice dips into condescension here and there, but that actually fits period literature for younger readers, and the atmosphere of London's darker reaches was vivid and evocative. It Sally Lockhart is an orphan during the s in London. It was a fun three hour read, but didn't leave me with the desire to search out more, though if they come my way I will. View all 14 comments. Aug 25, Peter rated it really liked it Shelves: london , young-adult , victorians , read I'm a big fan of 'His Dark Materials' and 'Ruby in the Smoke' is set in a similar Victorian world, but without the steampunk or magical elements.
It's a murder mystery where teenage orphan Sally Lockhart searches for her father's killer and tries to discover his connection to the Ruby of the title and the significance of his last warning to her - 'Beware the seven blessings. The writing is not quite as sophisticated as 'His Dark Materials', but is still I'm a big fan of 'His Dark Materials' and 'Ruby in the Smoke' is set in a similar Victorian world, but without the steampunk or magical elements.
The writing is not quite as sophisticated as 'His Dark Materials', but is still really good and captures the Victorian turn of phrase very well. Occasionally there were a few last minute liberties written into the story to make things work - suddenly discovering Frederick is an expert climber is one that springs to mind and there was another one that was to do with the ruby. The villain Mrs Holland is a great character, but unlike Mrs Coulter, I didn't quite buy the web of influence and power she seemed to have accrued.
There were also lots of good London locations and secondary characters. I will definitely read the next one in the series. Okay this was one of those titles I wasn't quite sure what I was going to get - and I must admit I was quite surprised and rather pleased. First of all lets get something out of the way - this is NOT His Dark Materials, this is a purely historical story set in and around London in the s.
That said what you have here is a historical thriller set in the sprawling city of London which would not be out of place in the pages of a Dickensian story or a tale from Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes they represe Okay this was one of those titles I wasn't quite sure what I was going to get - and I must admit I was quite surprised and rather pleased. Yes they represent different eras, its more how they present the city as a character all of its own.
Which even with no dialogue still commands a presence in any scene it is in - read the descriptions of the locations Sally and her companions find themselves in you will see what I mean. But what the story - well that as usual would give spoilers something I will not do, however the story does travel at a pace and although it is presented for a certain reading group I would not dismiss it something Pullman has campaigned against was labelling books for specific reading ages or genders. There is a depth and maturity to it that gives the story a realistic feel without either being condescending or naive.
We cover the gamete of Opium trade and use, murder, extortion and class prejudices, it is a very mature story. Now I will admit that this is the first of a series books so I assume that we will see these characters again and see how they develop. Along with Sally Lockhart you have a number of supporting characters of whom vary in depth and back story - it would be good to see how these people grow and mature throughout the series. So if you enjoy a fast paced historical mystery this book is a good place to start. Philip Pullman is a gifted writer and although he does not need anyone to sign his praises this book certainly stands testament to that.
Jul 25, J. Keely rated it it was ok Shelves: mystery , novel , uk-and-ireland , reviewed. I always find myself frustrated when authors can't seem to think of anything bad for their characters to overcome, and so they have to create some unbelievably vindictive and amoral villain just so there is some central conflict. The main character gets along with everyone and always finds satisfying solutions to any momentary setback. The only problems such super-protagonists can't solve are those which they don't yet know the details of, so Pullman gives us a faux-mystery to keep the character I always find myself frustrated when authors can't seem to think of anything bad for their characters to overcome, and so they have to create some unbelievably vindictive and amoral villain just so there is some central conflict.
The only problems such super-protagonists can't solve are those which they don't yet know the details of, so Pullman gives us a faux-mystery to keep the character in the dark, but requires too many leaps for the reader to be able to puzzle things out. Then, he has one of the secondary characters wrap the entire thing up offstage near the climax. This was especially bothersome because he just threw out all of the lead-up i. Pullman's writing was just as raw as his plotting, and you could see him struggling to use figurative language.
In the end, he never finds a solid voice, and most of his characters end up as rather predictable placeholders. It wasn't a bad book, and it had its moments, here and there, but it lifted its plot from the seminal mystery story, The Moonstone , and in all other regards seemed to be aping Kipling and Conrad. Not that those are bad sources from which to take inspiration, but Pullman isn't doing anything new here, nor does he demonstrate the florid voice and sense of character which made those authors stand out.
He tries to overcome this by giving us of little details about Victorian London, but most of them are just bits of geography, and one never gets a sense of the amazing, alien place evoked by Mayhew's London Poor. I first stumbled on this as an audiobook, and decided to reread because I needed a book written by an author named "Philip" for a challenge. It was just as much fun as I remembered.
Very different from Pullman's other, more famous series, this one is really a piece of Victorian pulp fiction. I will definitely be tracking down the sequels.
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I liked this book, yet, not as much as I expected. I was eager to read this book because I truly enjoyed the Shadow in the North some years ago, believing it was the first in the series and later I discovered there was a previous book. In her first adventure, Sally finds herself in the middle of a quite complicated situation involving murder, deceit, ambition and danger, but she also meets good friends and starts to develop her character and discovers that she is a strong girl who can help others I liked this book, yet, not as much as I expected. In her first adventure, Sally finds herself in the middle of a quite complicated situation involving murder, deceit, ambition and danger, but she also meets good friends and starts to develop her character and discovers that she is a strong girl who can help others and overcome the situation.
I read this book really fast, has a very good pacing and Pullman keeps the suspense for the whole novel. I didn't like this as much as I expected because, though the the plot is quite interesting, and becomes more intricate and complicated as you turn the pages, towards the end, the motives are unclear and everything happens so fast I failed to grasp what was happening.
On the other hand, the characters are not as well developed as in other Lockhart's novels. Concerning this, I have to accept that my perception of character development might be biased by the fact that I was familiar to a later version of the characters. Taking this into account, it was for me pretty interesting to meet the characters I already loved from a new perspective.
View 1 comment. I was supposed to review this after we'd read the entire series, but since I'm buddy reading it with boyfriend, I might go gray before we finish the series :D I suppose you could say I liked this book alright, but it doesn't hold a candle to The Big Series By The Genius That Is Pullman you know which one I mean.
The characters are written nicely, it reads fast and the intrigue is truly great. If I read this when I was a teen, I would have probably gobbled it up! But when you read something like I was supposed to review this after we'd read the entire series, but since I'm buddy reading it with boyfriend, I might go gray before we finish the series :D I suppose you could say I liked this book alright, but it doesn't hold a candle to The Big Series By The Genius That Is Pullman you know which one I mean.
But when you read something like this after you've read Pullman's Greatest Masterpiece, it's just hard to think of it too highly. So basically, read it, but read it before you read His Dark Materials xD otherwise, it's a great book! View all 8 comments. I started this book with great expectation having heard so much about Pullman and his His Dark Materials books. Besides it is set in Victorian London and I love those stories.
Have you ever heard the phrase The Seven Blessings? That question causes a man to die of shock, and propels Sally Lockhart into a desperate adventure that will expose the deepest secrets of the corrupt and murderous opium trade. Sally is sixteen when the story begins, orphaned and alone. She's had an unconventional educatio I started this book with great expectation having heard so much about Pullman and his His Dark Materials books.
She's had an unconventional education: 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 father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally soon finds herself in terrible danger too - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke. I found he has a great way to describe characters and setting, I could almost see Sally and the Garlands and Mrs Holland going about the streets of London.
However I think there were some problems with the plot. It's supposedly a mystery however I never felt a suspense thrill, it mentions opium dens and shady characters but only in some few selected scenes did I feel that dark atmosphere. Sally never really interested me much, she is supposedly the sleuth that is going to discover everything but I felt that we get as much information from the villains if not more than from Sally. She was more worried in trying to remember the past and to know why her father was killed than actually looking for the lost ruby or helping save Adelaide when that was needed.
I could never really warm up to her. On the other hand I really liked Jim and Rosa and would really like to know what happened to Adelaide. The bad guys are really bad, namely the infamous Mrs Holland but it seems she manages to hurt everybody except Sally, who is supposedly the real target!
Isn't that odd? Besides the story is slowly revealed, at times too slowly and then in the last chapters everything is solved with a nicely thought twist to explain everything and every character involved. It seems to me that the idea behind the story was a good one I keep thinking of Emilio Salgari's stories because of the indian bad guys and the famous cursed jewel but somehow the final result is not as good as it should be. Jun 27, Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , fiction , women-s. I loved its imagination and brilliant, vivid scenery.
Oct 23, Angie rated it really liked it Shelves: ya , good-uns , nostalgireads , mystery , girls-who-do-things. Dalton bookstore in San Antonio, Texas. I liked the cover with the young girl in the cape holding something mysterious in a white handkerchief for a slightly creepy old woman to inspect. But, in the end, this was yet another example of a book I bought for the opening lines alone. On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October, , a hansom cab drew up outside the offices of Lockhart and Selby, Shipping Agents, in the financial heart of London, and a young girl got out and paid the driver.
She was a person of sixteen or so--alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mourning, with a black bonnet under which she tucked back a straying twist of blond hair that the wind had teased loose. She had unusually dark brown eyes for one so fair. Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man. Yeah, there was sort of no way my year-old self wasn't going to make a beeline to the cash register with that one. All I knew was that it was set in Victorian London, it was a mystery, and it clearly featured a girl I wanted to get to know better.
I had no idea it was the first in a trilogy, or how involved I would become in the incredibly intricate plot that stretches out over all three books. Sally Lockhart is so very far from your average year-old. Even your average year-old in 19th century London. Her father has recently been murdered and she is intent on uncovering the identity of his killer and bringing the villain to justice. As such, she comes to his offices in London to meet with his partner and find out if he knows anything about Mr.
Lockhart's demise or the phrase, "Beware the seven blessings," which she came across in a fragment of a letter sent to her from Singapore. Shortly after her arrival she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur.
Along the way she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young scarecrow of an errand boy named Jim Taylor and an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland. She will have need of her friends before the game is played out and she races against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.
I snatched up the first book when it came out because I was already a huge Pullman fan because of the Sally Lockhart books. And I enjoyed The Golden Compass just fine. But I got halfway through The Subtle Knife and the whole thing just I'm still not exactly sure what happened except that I kept wishing the entire time I was reading about Sally instead.
But in my experience few people have read this set of excellent mysteries. They are dark, dire, and grim, to be sure. But they are also absolutely delightful. And bite-your-nails-to-the-quick intense. Sally herself is such a strong character--a perfect blend of independence, diffidence, integrity, and intelligence. Following her growth and development over the course of the trilogy is an absolutely moving experience.
Each book matures in both subject matter and length. Her romantic nature is also on full display when she spends most of the game flirting with Sapphire to the point it affects the Crystal Gems' chances of winning. It is only when Steven talks to her that she focuses on the game and pushes Sapphire to do the same. She calmly pleads with a distraught Sapphire to talk about it, although she is left weeping after Sapphire warps away.
She also showed enough forethought to write Sapphire a letter before leaving. Approximately 5, years ago, Ruby lived on Homeworld as a common foot soldier. Homeworld was attempting to create a new colony on Earth , which was overseen by Blue Diamond. She was part of the diplomatic team sent to stop Rose's Rebellion on Earth, as one of the three Rubies assigned to guard Sapphire, an aristocratic Gem with prophetic vision, adamant for destroying the uprising in its crib. When the rebels attacked, the three Rubies fought back, attempting to fulfill their jobs, only for two of them to be poofed by Rose Quartz and Pearl before turning to Sapphire.
Before her imminent poofing, Sapphire thanked Ruby for her service, at which point Ruby realized Sapphire had already predicted this and that she knew her physical form would be destroyed. Unable to accept that she had failed in her mission of protecting her, Ruby tackled Sapphire to defend her from Pearl and caused them to accidentally form Garnet, changing the prophecy foretold by Sapphire.
They immediately de-fused and were surrounded by an angry crowd. Furious that Ruby interfered with the outcome of the battle and participating in an unsanctioned fusion with a member of her court , Blue Diamond ordered that she be shattered. However, Sapphire grabbed Ruby and jumped out of the Cloud Arena towards the Earth below, landing them softly with her levitation. Ruby was distraught that she was unable to protect Sapphire. When it began to rain, she carried Sapphire to a cave for shelter, where she saw Sapphire's single eye for the first time.
The two talked about their experience and feelings being fused as Garnet. Ruby and Sapphire grew closer and eventually decided to fuse again. Garnet was found by Pearl and Rose shortly after forming.
Ruby Meanings and Uses
Upon being met with acceptance and not revulsion, she began to bombard Rose with questions about the events and circumstances that allowed her to become Garnet, as well as her own feelings about existing as a fusion. Rose told her to "never question this", and said that she was already the answer to all her questions—love. This would be the beginning of Ruby's existence as part of Garnet for the next few millennia, fighting the Gem Homeworld with the Crystal Gems to protect Earth.
Steven lets Ruby out of her cell and she immediately begins to look for Sapphire. Ruby only wants to find Sapphire and does not care about any other Gems on the ship like Lapis Lazuli. She listens to Sapphire's singing and heads in her direction. After Steven frees her, Ruby and Sapphire reunite in the center of the ship.
They make sure they are both okay before fusing once more into Garnet. Ruby and Sapphire converse while they are Garnet after they see the Cluster Gems. Garnet almost unfuses, but Ruby and Sapphire find peace once again. Ruby becomes enraged and Sapphire tries to calm her down.
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Ruby believes that Pearl tricking Garnet into forming Sardonyx is an unforgivable act, while Sapphire is more open to Pearl redeeming herself. Ruby storms out of the hotel room and paces outside to vent her frustration. Ruby's rage manifests in giving off intense heat her rage burns the carpet and makes the pool temperature rise until it eventually evaporates, in contrast to Sapphires "freezing".
Sapphire says that she will cool down eventually, causing Ruby to summon her gauntlet and smash the table onto its side. Steven leaves the diner, upset, and Ruby and Sapphire follow him out to see what is wrong. After realizing the effect of their conflict has on Steven, they make up and re-fuse into Garnet. A Ruby squadron arrives at the Barn, leading Garnet to unfuse so Ruby can get them to leave.
The KI Ruby Series
Ruby nervously sneaks over and blends in with the other Rubies. She gets information by asking what the plan is. After finding out they are looking for the leader of the Earth mission, whom Ruby believes is Peridot, she tells the others that she will search the Barn. Ruby returns to the others, who are hiding in the barn, very anxiously.
Sapphire calms her down and helps her out by suggesting she go back and telling the other Rubies that the Barn is a human home. Steven goes with Ruby to prove that the Barn is nothing but a human facility. Ruby tries to get them to leave once more, but Doc orders the Rubies to double check the Barn. Steven compromises by saying the Rubies can search the barn if they beat the "humans" in a game of baseball. During the game, Ruby pretends to be an unskilled player so the Rubies can lose, and she also flirts with Sapphire, causing the latter to lose focus.
At the end of the game, Ruby encourages Sapphire until she finally hits the ball and wins the game for the Humans. When Garnet is teaching Stevonnie how to stay fused under stress, Ruby is shown to get frustrated, but then have Sapphire comfort her, teaching Steven and Connie that they have to work together to stay together. Fourteen years ago, Garnet de-fuses to show Steven, who she believes is a kind of fusion, how to unfuse, but Ruby and Sapphire re-fuse once baby Steven begins to cry due to missing Garnet.
Ruby goes along with Sapphire's plan to disguise themselves in order to enter Pink Diamond's Zoo undetected. Ruby pretends to be Sapphire's personal Ruby and is the one that holds Steven's hands behind his back when the Gems pretend he is an offering for the zoo. Ruby claims that she left the gravity engine on the Roaming Eye so that the Gems have time to try and open up the zoo door without being noticed. When Holly Blue Agate leaves the area after talking about how great Blue Diamond is, Ruby becomes outraged because Blue Diamond rejected fusion, which is essentially her and Sapphire's love.
When trying to open the zoo door, Ruby screams wildly, runs on the door itself which leaves burn marks and scratches the door. Ruby continues traveling with Sapphire and Pearl after Steven is placed into the Zoo. Sapphire, furious at Ruby for not knowing, leaves in a fit of rage. Upon returning, Steven, Pearl, and Sapphire learn that Ruby had decided to run away and had left a note for Sapphire. Steven and Amethyst travel around Beach City in search of Ruby. They pass out missing flyers all around the city and soon find out that Ruby is with Greg on Brooding Hill.
Amethyst shapeshifts into a horse so Ruby may ride her across the plains as she experiences her newfound independence. After everyone is asleep, Steven explains to Ruby that he saw how much fun she had, and apologizes to her for insisting she fuse with Sapphire. Ruby then replies that she was having fun, but deeply misses Sapphire and wishes she was there with them.
The episode later ends with Ruby proposing to Sapphire, wanting their relationship to be different, instead of being together purely by choice alone. Ruby and Sapphire organize their wedding, practicing where and how it's going to be carried out, inviting many of the citizens of Beach City and the Gems. Sapphire mentions that she would like to have been able to invite old members of the Crystal Gems, who are now either shattered or corrupted and bubbled.
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