This little gem got lost in a very large physical to-read pile. After a very serious purging and rationalizing what I was realistically going to read from that pile and what needed to go to my local library, I finally managed to get A Riddle in Ruby to the top of the reading list.
Thanksgiving had left behind gratitude for a cleaner house and the company of family in town for the holiday. I wanted to keep the spirit of good nature going through to Christmas on out to the New Year. This meant picking up that middle grade novel that had been buried in my to-read pile for three long years.
A Riddle in Ruby centers around a group of pirates who are actually involved in a deep underground conglomerate with a false name. The leading lady is on her way to becoming a professional lock-pick for her pirate crew when a chemystral powered carriage charges down a collision course.
The action is well placed and dispersed between excellent bouts of character building and some truly humorous dialogue. My main gripe with the story is the alternate fiction of the novel setting in Revolutionary Philadelphia. (All who have read my blog before know I don't like muddying the historical waters with alternate fiction when the story could easily have just been written in a completely make believe world.)
The premise of magical chemistry and the cast of characters are all incredibly entertaining; even the villains are enjoyable to read. Younger grades will need to be strong readers to handle the antiquated terminology that goes along with the Colonial setting, but older readers should appreciate the length of the story along with the swashbuckling action.
Davis makes a story that is uplifting, humorous and clean--while perhaps not entirely wholesome with all the lock-picking and secret societies.
Plus side to finding this ARC three years later is the entire series is now published. Guess that means I don't have to wait to continue along with Aruba Teach.