This thriller, by the author of The Ruby in the Smoke, evokes its 19th century setting and at the same time remains remarkably contemporary in the originality of its plot and larger-than-life characters. An unabridged reading of Philip Pullman's nerve-shattering thriller.
©2009 Phillip Pullman; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I strongly advise you to read Book 1, The ruby in the smoke, first. This sequel will not disappoint you; it's a different story, but just as good. Sally, Jim and Fred are 6 years older, and their relationships and character development are intriguing. Some new characters are also fascinating. As for the story, it's brilliantly written with not a dull moment. Don't be fooled by Audible's blurb; Anton Lesser reads this book too. He could make a shopping list sound interesting, but this is no shopping list.
A dark and very fast-paced thriller, this book will have the listener gripped from start to finish. Capturing the feel of Victorian London, and the harsh atmosphere of it's underworld. Narrated in fine style by Anton Lesser.
"A really good book"
This is the 2nd in the series, the first book is called 'The Ruby in the Smoke' is not on audible at the moment. The narrator is really good and the characters engaging, over all a really enjoyable book.
"it could have been so much more."
Anton who narrated this book made it come alive. Fantastic performance. The story was ok, but I felt the ending had so much more to offer. The way the"baddie" explained that he really was a great humanitarian. it could have gone a lot further so one felt "yes, he does have a point". after all, the atom bomb stopped a lot of wars, didn't it?
"fantastic narration of a fantastic novel"
I love all of Philip Pullman's novels. Great narration by Anton Lesser. I am starting The Tiger in the Well now.
"Another great mystery by Pullman."
I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of this story. It made me laugh and cry. Definitely worth listening to and an excellent sequel to The Ruby in the Smoke.
"brilliant for adults"
I bought this for my children to listen to in the car, but thy went onto their own electronic gadgets so I listened via my headphonesfor the next few days I was worse than my beloved teenagers, on my headphones, listening around the house and garden, looking for extra washing to put out so I could spend the time with Sally, Jim and Fred
Aimed at a slightly older ya audience than the preceding story in this series I think. Still good though.
"Well written and performed"
Met expectations, I remember reading this years ago and half recalled it, but the reality exceeded my recollections in a way that the dark materials series didn't. I remember them as being much better than I found them on re-reading
Narrator was very good, all voices distinctive. Winds me up with some narrators when they mispronounce the simplest words, not a problem with this guy.
"Lovely detective story"
The story was nice but that acting made it hard for me to emerge myself in the story.
"A Steampunk mystery with a tragic edge"
I had previously listened to the Ruby in the Smoke and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was pleased to find that the story of the characters continued in The Shadow in the North. This book takes place a couple of years after the first, and Sally has set herself up as an independent financial advisor. A customer visiting to complain about some bad advice leads her to start investigating a crooked firm and its shadowy owner alongside her friends from the previous story. They are drawn into a dark web of intrigue involving an ageing medium, a stage magician, a government minister who has fallen on hard times, a deformed seamstress and a lot of danger. The story never falters and the pace never lets up - I was gripped to the end.
The end of story when Sally takes her revenge on Axel Bellman is very dramatic - I didn't expect it to be quite so explosive, but it fit in well with the steampunk theme.
A tender moment between Sally and Fred, when she finally realises how much he means to her. You sympathise with him from the start of the novel as it is clear that he has been in love with her since he first saw her walking along the seafront and hid her in his photographer's tent in the first novel. She treats him rather badly in The Shadow in the North, though her reasons are somewhat understandable as she desperately wants to retain her independence at a time when married women effectively became the property of their husband. However it is also obvious that the bohemian Fred would never have tried to control Sally in that way, so the reader is rooting for him throughout.
This book made me weep real tears of sadness - I'm not going to say why as it is such as shocking moment and really changes the motivations of the characters after the event - you need to be suffering from the impact in the same way to truly empathise with their actions afterwards.
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