Title: The Diamond Thief
Author: Sharon Gosling
Publisher: Capstone Pr Inc. Set to be released Oct 1, 2014.
Pages: 335 (This was a digital ARC so the final, printed copy might have a different page length.)
Genre: Young adult/steampunk
Setting: Victorian London, England
Where did you get it: This was an ARC from Netgalley
Why did you read it: First of all, I love the cover. It appealed to me while I was searching for titles on Netgalley. Then I had to read it so that I could submit feedback on Netgalley's website.
From the publisher: The Diamond Thief is set in Victorian England and follows the exploits of sixteen-year-old circus performer and jewel thief, Remy Brunel. Brought to London from France to steal a famous diamond on behalf of her evil circus master, Remy finds herself pitted against determined young detective, Thaddeus Rec. Together they are drawn into a dastardly plot that will take them into the heart of the city's criminal world…
What did you think? Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I liked all of the main characters: 16 year old Remy Brunel who is an orphan, trapeze artist, and skilled thief. Thaddeus Rec, a policeman for Scotland Yard who is out to turn Remy in. J, loveable scamp and Dickens-esque orphan. I loved the steampunk elements, as I always do, and the suspenseful edge as Remy's adventure progresses through the story. However, I thought parts of the book were rushed and/or underdeveloped. I didn't feel like I completely understood the villain's motivation nor was Remy's background fully explained. Remy's being a circus trapeze artist was emphasized by the author, yet it played a minor role in the book. Additionally, the reader is not fully introduced to Thaddeus or J.
The romance between 16 year old Remy and 20-something Thaddeus (I'm guessing here. The author doesn't give us Thaddeus' age and I just assumed he was in his 20s since he was interested in a 16 year old girl yet he was already working at Scotland Yard.) bugged me a bit. I know this is Victorian England and people married much younger than they do in the present day, but still. Aside from that, I oftentimes had a hard time remembering Remy was only 16. Again, I am aware of the setting, but it felt like Gosling made Remy 16 solely so that she could call this a young adult novel.
So, maybe it sounds like I didn't like this book, but I really did. It was a fun book and for being young adult and steampunk, it was unique and by no means a cookie cutter YA novel. It's impossible not to like Remy, Thaddeus, and J and you root for them to make it out alive and overcome evil. I think this would be a great book for a middle school child. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.