I got this ARC from Netgalley and this is my honest review of it.
Remy Brunel is a trapeze artist but she also has a secret profession wich is not considered exactly respectable namely that of jewel thief,wich she steals on order from her master Gustave.
Thaddeus Rec is our other viewpoint character a young detective at Scotland Yard and his next assignment is also her next target- the Darya Noor a splendid diamondwich is currenlty exhibitied at the Tower.
During her reconnaise of the exhibit there is a chaotic event when diamond briefly vanishes but Thaddeus retrieves but lose it again when but Remy manages to swipe it from him and bring it back to the leader of the Circus Gustave only to be told that its a fake and to realize she was duped.
Thaddeus ends up accused to have been in on the heist by his superiors and taken away to a cell. He is lucklu rescued by his friend the Professor and manages to meet up with Remy again. The professor convinces them that they need to work together to recover the real Darya Noor from the man he believe have it. They grudgingly accept.
Reading this gave me the same feeling as when I was reading Y.S Lee "The Agency" it might be set in the Victorian era but its mainly superficial with the barest requisites. Its essentially a wallpaper historical.
He seemed only to just have noticed her change of clothes
"What not smart enough for you"
He looked away "Just surprised youd chose to wear that thing.I thought most women hated them"
She grinned glancing down at her corset. "Well" she said "I am not most women Besides I think it suits me "
Thaddeus dropped back into his chair "I never said it didnt" he muttered almost too low for her to hear
I just felt very disinterested in the story it doesnt slowly unveil itself by Thaddeus and Remy investigating,they just fall into situations and then have the whole explained to them. The writing and actions of the characters feels childish and predictable
Here is what I learnt about Remy,shes french,shes a trapeze artist/jewel thief but these are only superficial qualities. I never felt like I got to know her personality or what her motivations were.
Also I think I lost it a little bit when its declared that Remy is considered the best jewel thief in all of Europe. She is 15 years old. Are you trying to sell me the idea that a 15 year old managed to build up a reputation like that,so when did she start? Age 10? 12?
And then when Remy first encounters Thaddeus she thinks of him as a boy (its stated hes 2 years older than her) but later he is described as a young man. But from what we comes to know of his character those two years doesnt add much to make him more mature than Remy. I felt like these two had been shoehorned into roles that would have been more believable if they were in their 20s.
Things just come so conveniently to them. For some reason a street urchin knows about secret tunnels under a lords house.The professor has a big trunk of womens clothing when Remy needs something to wear. That sort of thing.
Then the author introduces a curse into the story a curse that will keep from Remy holding on to love. So not only is the burgeoning romance very forced the author tries to add drama to it to make it an impossible love.
But honestly I never felt this connection between Remy and Thaddeus it just came on too fast from not trusting each other to her embracing him.
The steampunk element in the setting is not prevalent throughout the storys setting much if you dont count the Professors inventions and in the plans of the villain.
And he has a villainous laugh and a predictable plan.
I struggled to finish this.