Jan 3, 2013

#TheList, No. 904: The Ruby in the Smoke

First off, Happy New Year!! (or Happy No Year if you're a Friends fan).

Now, The Ruby in the Smoke, by Phillip Pullman.  I enjoyed it well enough, but I'm fuzzy on the details of the plot.  Allow me to paint a picture of my experience reading this novel.

I was flying to Virginia and had to make a connecting flight in Newark.  After my first flight out of Boston was delayed three times, I was actually delighted to be in the worst place in the US.  But then my connecting flight was delayed and delayed and delayed and finally canceled.

I feel ya.
Long story short, I spent 17 hours in the Newark airport, going almost 35 hours without sleep.  I read three books and listened to two iPods until they died (yes, I carry a backup iPod sometimes...).  But then someone incredibly awesome drove from VA to NJ and saved me and the rest of vacation was relaxing.

But The Ruby in the Smoke was the last book I read as I approached 30 hours of no sleep.  While I read this book, a seagull flew over my head.  I was inside the terminal.  Later, a pigeon stopped by.  Then a sparrow. Obviously, I was distracted as I read this novel.

From what I recall, in this mystery adventure, Ms. Sally Lockhart's father had died and she receives a somewhat cryptic message that leads her to find out secrets of her father's life.  During this adventure, she displays ridiculous amounts of business savvy, love for her pistol, and a sense of incredible calmness.  I think she's also 12.

But I liked it for some obvious reasons.  The lead is a young girl who knows how to take care of herself.  There's a mystery at hand.  The novel is historical fiction.  There's some humor, a little violence, and a pretty good ending (if I am remembering correctly).  With all of the novels for children and teens being released with strong female leads (or female leads in the case of Twilight), this a good book to fall back upon if those newer books are unavailable or already read.  Plus, the kids might find the author familiar if they enjoyed The Golden Compass series.

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