Title: The Ruby in the Smoke
Author: Philip Pullman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 224
The Ruby in the Smoke is the first book in Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series, and it’s a cracker. Set in Victorian London, it follows the story of sixteen-year-old Sally as she tries to fend for herself after the death of her father, but when she realises that the circumstances are suspicious and she starts to investigate, she finds out that things go a little deeper.
I won’t go too far into the story line, because it’s complex and beautiful and should be appreciated in its full glory, but I will say that there’s a whole host of incredible characters for you to meet and fall in love with, on both the good side and the bad. Sally herself is Pullman’s second strongest protagonist in my view, although she is up against Lyra from the His Dark Materials trilogy.
If you’ve never read any of Pullman’s work before then you should start with Northern Lights, but this comes in a close second. Plus, it’s the start of a series, and it’s a series that you’re going to enjoy. Go out and grab it, then read it and let me know what you think. Especially if you like steampunk stuff!