Written on: 05/12/2011
I think that the book was absolutely amazing. If people do not like it, or do not understand it, that does not mean that it is not an excellent book. In my opinion, the language was very easy and simple, and the plot was fairly easy to understand. I only got confused with that last bit regarding Hendrik Van Eeden, but after some thought that was all perfectly cleared up. People who do not like the Victorian setting, or who find this type of language difficult, or who do not enjoy such books full stop, should not read it, because they will unneccesarily complain about it.
A think that the characters were all described perfectly. I understood each and every one of them. The plot was very interesting with surprising twists that shocked me, and made perfect sense once a little thought was put into it.
When I was twelve, I hated the book because I was too much of an ignorant twit to understand it. Now I'm fourteen and I read it in a day and loved it! I think both halves of the book are excellent, and I don't think people should complain about the lack of action, because, in my opinion, there was plenty of perfectly-described action.
Many people do not seem to understand the significance of the Ruby. It is very simple: wealth. Wealth leads to power. Any power-hungry or exceedingly poor person would crave it. Anyone who did not have enough money for, let's say opium, would kill for that Ruby. It is very natural that Mrs Holland should want it. (Especially with her insane way of thinking.)
My favourite character was Jim, because he was brave and clever and rude and funny.
Anyone who liked The Ruby in the Smoke should definitely read the Shadow in the North.
Another thing that annoys me is that people are always comparing the Sally Lockhart series to His Dark Materials. Yes, His Dark Materials was amazing and perfect and everything brilliant, but Sally Lockhart books have NOTHING to do with His Dark Materials. It is a different story, with different characters, with different plots, and a different setting. The two stories should be separated: one is fantasy, the other leans more towards mystery. Do not compare the two with one another. That is just like comparing Twilight with Harry Potter. Twilight is a paranormal teenage romance. Harry Potter is a fantasy adventure for children. The two have NOTHING to do with each other; one person may like Twilight more, the other person Harry Potter. Where did this emnity come from anyway? It makes no sense. Anyway, a bit off track there... The point is, two separate stories with nothing in common should not be judged. The only common denominator His Dark Materials and Sally Lockhart share are the author. That does not mean that the stories will be similar, so stop being disappointed when you find that they are not!
In conclusion, people who do not like the Victorian setting,are not fans of mystery, or do not enjoy or do not have the ability to use their brains, should not read this book, because they will give it a bad image which it DOES NOT DESERVE. It was a perfectly decent book and many readers have enjoyed it immensely (including myself).