By Sharon Gosling
Available now from Switch Press (Capstone)
THE DIAMOND THIEF is a British import and one of the first books from Switch Press, a new YA imprint from Capstone. It switches between the points of view of Rémy Brunel, a trapeze artist and thief, and Thaddeus Rec, a policeman. Both of them are after a diamond - Rémy to steal it and Thaddeus to recover it.
I loved the premise of THE DIAMOND THIEF and was very fond of the characters, although I think the whole book could've been from Rémy's point of view. My favorite character was probably J, a younger urchin who befriends both protagonists. But I thought that the book was a little lacking. It is historical fiction with a bit of steampunk and of fantasy, with no real limits on what was possible in the world. There was magic and impossibly advanced science with little explanation of how either worked.
Going back to the characters, I love the idea of two basically good people working at cross purposes with each other. Thaddeus is almost impossibly good, a truly honest cop who will sacrifice himself to save others. Rémy is a bit more complicated. She steals to survive and understands that there are shades of grey in the world, but at the same time she, too, will sacrifice herself to save others. She understands that there are more important things in the world than her individual happiness.
I don't know. I liked these characters so much, yet there world lacked a snap to pull me in. I felt like the plot was a pretty basic progression from point A to point B, and the romance a touch tepid. I liked Rémy and Thaddeus individually, but they were pretty quickly passionately in love with each other for little reason. It's hard for me to remember the specifics of THE DIAMOND THIEF already, because there weren't many memorable details (aside from J).
I think THE DIAMOND THIEF will appeal to younger YA readers who like circuses, thieves, and curses. Older YA readers who think that sounds interesting would do well to look into PANTOMIME by Laura Lam.