On with the review of Sharon Gosling's The Ruby Airship now...
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review (thanks Fox!)
Publisher: Curious Fox
Author: Sharon Gosling
Reviewed by: Amy Bookworm
Recommended For: Anyone who likes discovering new cultures & their people in an almost roadtrip kind of setting*... its a historical though & steampunk so its on a Ruby Airship so... that's a really general statement.
*almost as a substitute for worldbuilding from scratch, there is still worldbuilding & a fab sense of imagery)
I don’t quite know what The Ruby Airship was missing but it just didn’t intrigue me like Diamond Thief did. It definitely suffers a little bit from Sequel Syndrome, I was feeling like it did exist just as a bridge for future books as really, which is even more evident at the end where you realize there’s many things left hanging.
It didn’t feel as mysterious, I suppose is part of it. If Remy doesn’t know something, we find out because of Thaddeus. If Thaddeus doesn’t know something we find out because of J. If J doesn’t know something... You get the idea.
Thaddeus & Remy’s interactions started to lose their believability, since when would a guy think it was nice/affectionate for a girl to call him ‘little policeman’. It just sounds so rude and I started to really think Thaddeus was too good for Remy, not because of their lifestyles, or past lives, but because Remy clearly is somewhat up herself. Remy has also gone from being basically a heroine to a... damsel, I suppose. Before it seemed like a bit of love/hate, just a joke really, but now they’re supposed to be in love and they’re acting like classmates having a laugh?
They say she has a strong mind etc., but isn’t it a contradiction to, as an example, allow her to be hypnotized? Plus, the hypnosis always seemed too coincidental, too fast & as though there was no aid. It was more like supernatural mind control, so strange...
She really does run off with Yannick just to spite Thaddeus! It gets a bit tiring watching Remy and Thaddeus running circles around each other chapter upon chapter...
There’s tense moments, and juicy parts, but this really wasn’t what I was expecting after The Diamond Thief. I got one thing I asked for: they certainly took risks... But, in a way, these aspects would have been risks ordinarily and had more consequences, whereas the characters got off too lightly. It just didn’t ring entirely true. This can be a great thing, and luckily this isn’t a Dystopia so it isn’t necessary for characters to die or otherwise undergo horrible experiences.
Diamond Thief seemed more accessible for older teens and appealed more, whereas The Ruby Airship seems more younger child friendly. I’m sure there are children who enjoyed it and maybe 4 or 5 years ago, I’d have really loved it. It just grates me when I can see over ideal plot twists in an otherwise magical world with intriguing situations & interesting characters. It wrecks all the rest- the good bits are worth reading for. I just wish it had lived up to the expectations I’d had, after Gosling’s stunning historical debut, the first in this series.
There is one big bonus to this sequel, which really has been more fulfilling than The Diamond Thief, and it’s the fact that yes- Remy ran off for Yannick, an old friend not to be trusted- but when we return to the French backdrop and she meets the more trustworthy of the circus crew there’s such relief. Obviously drama still ensues, but the secondary characters just give this book a delightful air. Claudette is fabulous and daughter Amielie so sweet, Augustus is refreshing and all the new acts and returning ones, there’s so many you can’t keep track but it’s great.
Unfortunately, there’s parts which cause me to be torn. Loved? Hated? I did both, but overall 3 stars.
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