Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: A Riddle in Ruby

A Riddle in Ruby (Key to the Catalyst, 1) by Kent Davis, September 22, 2015. 432 pages. Published by Greenwillow Books. Source: publisher.
Ruby Teach, daughter of a smuggler and pirate, has been learning how to swindle and steal and pick the most complex locks for as long as she can remember. But a collision with aristocratic young lord Athen sends her spinning into chaos. Little did she know that her whole life has been spent in hiding from nefarious secret societies and the Royal Navy . . . who are both now on her trail. In this debut middle grade adventure, Kent Davis weaves a rip-roaring tale through an alternate colonial Philadelphia. A world where alchemy—that peculiar mix of magic and science—has fueled the industrial revolution. 
First Sentence:
Never pick a chemystral lock.

Truth be told, I was skeptical about A Riddle in Ruby when I started it. Mainly because it sounded like there was going to be too much going on in the book. I was afraid that the plot would have a lack of focus and that the story would be all over the place. So, I'm guessing y'all want to know how my initial thoughts/fear of this book played out, yes? Alright!

I am happy to report that the plot was not all over the place nor was it disordered. I actually ended up really enjoying how the various aspects of the story came together. But what really made this book impossible to put aside was the world. I liked the combination of alchemy and magic mixed with the rivalry/animosity between the two factions as it made for some interesting reading. I just really liked so much about The Riddle in Ruby, and, I kinda just want everyone to read it.

If I had to pick just one thing about The Riddle in Ruby that makes it worth reading, it would have to be the characters. Over every other aspect of the book it was the characters and their story-lines that really drew me into this book. What I, personally, enjoyed most about them would have to be that they were multidimensional. Ruby and her motley crew were anything but boring. Crazy. Sometimes rude. But overall entertaining to read about.

One of the things I liked best about this book, other than the craziness of the world and plot, would have to be the characters. I thought Kent Davis did an incredible job telling Ruby's story and weaving everything together. When I first started the book I was skeptical as to whether or not he would be able to tie everything together into one cohesive book. Yet, as the plot unfolded and things started to come together I found myself happily devouring a unique read.

Writing-wise, The Riddle in Ruby is pretty solid. Even though I really enjoyed Kent Davis' writing, as well as the overall story, I was somewhat miffed that there were not more answers. While I am perfectly aware that this is the beginning of the series, I would have liked to have ended the book with more concrete knowledge of why so many people were after Ruby and the secrets she supposedly has. Frankly, I don't know who wanted answers more: me or Ruby!!

Final Verdict: The Riddle in Ruby- So many entertaining elements and crazy shenanigans make this a fun read.

The Riddle in Ruby  earns

This book was received in consideration for review. All  thoughts are my own.

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