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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous steampunk mystery adventure for 9+
Amazing contraptions, an intriguing mystery, Victorian London, the circus, a hint of romance between a detective and a cat burglar - this book combines so many elements brilliantly. The result is a riproaring adventure that will appeal to a wide range of readers in (and above) the target age range. I've already had to bat my 14 yr old away!

Remy is a circus...
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. B. S. Kemp

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Diamond Thief (Diamond Thief 1) Sharon Gosling
The Diamond Thief follows the exploits of Remy Brunel and her attempts to regain a highly valuable diamond (hence the book title). This involves her attempting to steal said diamond from the Tower of London, taking on the might of the London police force, and eventually having to battle with an evil genius underneath the streets of London.

I did enjoy this...
Published 5 months ago by Sarah


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous steampunk mystery adventure for 9+, 16 Feb 2013
By 
Mrs. B. S. Kemp "Beth Kemp" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Amazing contraptions, an intriguing mystery, Victorian London, the circus, a hint of romance between a detective and a cat burglar - this book combines so many elements brilliantly. The result is a riproaring adventure that will appeal to a wide range of readers in (and above) the target age range. I've already had to bat my 14 yr old away!

Remy is a circus performer. She is a skilled acrobat, working on the trapeze and also as a jewel thief. Fiercely independent, she seems to be an orphan, but does have close relationships with some of the other circus workers. I love her pride in her work and her stubbornness, as well as her admirable loyalty to her beloved Claudette and Amelie. She is clearly beholden to the circus owner, Gustave, who sends her on a mission to steal a precious diamond on display in the Tower of London - and here the adventure begins.

Thaddeus is a young detective. Clearly from a lower class background, he is not always taken seriously as a detective due to this and his age. Nonetheless, he is a very serious young man with a strong sense of morality and a desire to do the right thing. As the blurb tells us, he finds himself implicated in the theft of the diamond and sets out to find Remy and clear his name. The speed with which his colleagues turn against him and believe him to have broken the law is shocking and ensures that our sympathies lie with him.

Sharon Gosling skilfully plays with our sympathies, making sure that we cannot possibly 'take sides' between Remy and Thaddeus. We see the best aspects of both of them, and (at least for the first half of the book) understand each far better than the other can. Characterisation is definitely a strength of this book. There isn't space here to delineate each of the fascinating supporting roles here, but trust me, you'll also love the Professor, and young J and the noble Desai.

Another strength is the setting. We get to see a range of Victorian London which is relatively unusual - often books are confined to a particular social milieu - as we follow Remy to the showing of the diamonds in the Tower, as well as getting views of London's poorer aspects. The circus and the creepy below-London network are also sharply drawn and younger readers will have no problem keeping up with the scene changes due to the detailed (but not excessive) description.

And finally, the plot is strong too - pacey but not confusing for the target audience; twisty enough to reward reading; and satisfying in the end.

Overall, I'd absolutely recommend this. With its dual protagonists, its blend of mystery, adventure and character development, it's definitely a book that will be enjoyed by readers of either gender and fans of many genres.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and original adventure, 8 Aug 2013
By 
N. Gratton "Writer & Photographer" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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I was interested to read on the author's website that the original idea for Remy was for the character to live in a far future, science fiction London. I'm glad Sharon Gosling made the decision to place her as a teenager in Victorian London, where Remy's character is perhaps the strongest element of the book.

Remy, a sixteen year-old circus acrobat, moonlights as a jewel thief at the demands of the ringmaster. She finds herself involved in a steampunk adventure, working alongside a young policeman Thaddeus. They both face death as they race to save London.

I read this quickly - the pacing is lively and the writing clear and engaging. However, I did find the characters other than Remy a little flat and didn't care so much for them. That doesn't take away from this being a fun adventure, well worth reading, and I'll look forward to Sharon Gosling's future work.

I also like books where I learn something - and after reading this I read up on, and was fascinated by, the history of London's 'Lost rivers' such as the Black Ditch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indiana Jones style adventure!, 19 Feb 2013
Originally posted on Serendipity Reviews.
I was lucky enough to get my hands a copy of The Diamond Thief, which is the first publication from Curious Fox. I remember the story originally coming out in an online chapter format through Fiction Express and I missed the opportunity to read it then. I`m so glad I waited for the final publication through Curious Fox who eagerly picked it up.
From the first few paragraphs you are instantly transported to the circus, set in a dirty Victorian London. Remy literally flies into the scene, stealing the hearts of the audience and instantly grabbing the reader's attention. One member of the audience is quite entranced by her, however it does appear that Remy isn't what she seems.
As the book progresses you see her regularly coming up against Thaddeus Rec, the complete opposite of Remy. By night she is a jewel thief, while he pounds the streets as a very honest policeman. He is determined to capture her for a crime, not once ever thinking that she would capture a part of him.
The characters are enigmatic and some are slightly bigger than life. The Professor has glimpses of Doc from the Back To the Future films. Desai reminded me of The Indian In The Cupboard. Remy, is a gutsy girl who thinks nothing of risking her life to get what she wants. Only Thaddeus is going out of his way to stop her putting herself at risk.
The book quickly embarks on an Indiana Jones style adventure as the thrown together group rush to find the diamond and stop the evil, loathsome Lord Abernathy, a master of disguise.
I loved the version of Victorian London created by the author. The thrill of running with the characters in the tunnels underground and discovering the inventions lurking to be discovered put me in the mind of Jules Verne. It had a steam punk feel to it, but I wouldn't say it necessarily fitted into that category.
This is a very promising start for Sharon Gosling, a book filled with wonder and adventure, thrilling and exciting, with a delicate love story blossoming at the heart of the story. I really enjoyed it and read it in two sittings. Well done Curious Fox and Sharon Gosling for bursting onto the publishing scene with such a magnificent debut!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read, 30 Aug 2013
By 
Gogol (England) - See all my reviews
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An entertaining read supposedly aimed at young adults but still a decent enough read for adults too. If you do like the Sherlock Holmes type story this will be very entertaining for you as the author does a very good job in bringing that era back to life for the reader.

An entertaining and recommended book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Diamond Thief (Diamond Thief 1) Sharon Gosling, 17 Mar 2014
By 
Sarah "Shelbycat" (Llanelli) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Diamond Thief follows the exploits of Remy Brunel and her attempts to regain a highly valuable diamond (hence the book title). This involves her attempting to steal said diamond from the Tower of London, taking on the might of the London police force, and eventually having to battle with an evil genius underneath the streets of London.

I did enjoy this book, but not as much as i was hoping to. I felt that it lacked something but i'm not 100% sure what that thing was. I didn't seem to like any of the characters very much, although some of the side characters like J i found intriguing. The story was interesting but even though there were moments of peril i wasn't all that scared for the survival of the characters. I enjoyed the descriptions of London, and the various areas Remy and the other characters found themselves in. I was also intrigued by the use of the underground sewers and rivers that run under London, but somehow it wasn't interesting enough.

I think overall i felt that this book was too simple in its structure and writing style. I realise it's meant for younger readers but there are some excellent books in a similar style that somehow manage to be both simple and fantastic at the same time. Maybe the next book in the series will be a bit better, although this book doesn't really end in much of a cliff-hanger so it would be perfectly fine if this was the only book in this series (if that makes sense).
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4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining steampunk/Victorian YA novel..., 1 Aug 2013
By 
S. P. Moses (Epsom, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is an engaging steampunk/Victorian novel aimed at Young Adults. It is solid and entertaining, without being in any way spectacular.

While the story is engaging and reasonably well-paced, there's a romance between two characters that I didn't believe in. I couldn't see why they felt the way they said they did. And I realise this is a pet peeve, but I find characters who 'incline' their heads really annoying. In general though, the characters are good company.

After a strong start the action felt rushed. I would have liked to see more of the antagonist's plan come to fruition. It seemed as if we were on the verge of something big and exciting, only to miss out on the action due to budgetary reasons - which shouldn't be an issue in fiction. I also found the motives of the antagonist rather unimaginative.

While this is a good read, it doesn't have the sheer vigour and creativeness of Etiquette and Espionage: Number 1 in series (Finishing School) which is aimed at a similar market.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for young and old alike.., 22 July 2013
By 
Petra "I love to read" "book addict!!!" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling is this author's first book aimed for the young reader market and after reading this I am sure it will not be the last. The author clearly knows what young people like to read and fully understands what makes a book appealing for this young age.
I have left my young years a long time but even I was brought into the life of the main character the trapeze artist and part time criminal Remy Brunel. As she goes about her job of thrilling her audience she has a sideline of jewel thieving but you have to read this very excellent book to find out why.
The main reason I loved this book so much was the author certainly knows how to thrill her young audience and she knows they have to know everything about everything. As you get to know Remy and her very interesting friends who are so well described there is no way you will not connect with your young reader or even the older reader will still enjoy this thrilling book.
I would recommend this book to all young readers who like a story which will not only entertain you but you might even enjoy a brief history tour of old London town when Queen Victoria ruled the Commonwealth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk hits the children's market!, 3 July 2013
By 
S. A. Broadhurst "SBroadhurst" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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When I read the synopsis for this book, I was immediately interested in the story and looked forward to a story of a crime spree around Victorian London, all carried out by a young circus acrobat. However, what I have read is much more than that - the theft of a jewel is just the beginning of the story, what follows is much cleverer.

The book is very in keeping with the new trend of Steam Punk, and I think basing the story in Victorian London sets the perfect scene for The Diamond Thief to be set. The story begins as a jewel heist - with Remy trying to steal a valuable diamond but soon develops into a lot more than that. The following story would be at home in an Indiana Jones film with the inventions in line with those created by Doc in Back to the Future.

Although the book did not turn out to be what I expected, I was pleasantly surprised, and although when halfway through the book didn't think it was my thing, I actually really enjoyed it. It is something different for confident child readers to enjoy. It captures the readers imagination, and holds it to the very end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sparky Heroine, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Diamond Thief (Kindle Edition)
Lively and engaging, with a sparky heroine and a powerful narrative drive. I look forward to more from Sharon Gosling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Diamond Thief (Kindle Edition)
Good book for children and those adults that are still a kid at heart. First read this book on Fiction Express and is still good when read again.
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