CaroB's Reviews > The Smoke Thief

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 24, 2011

really liked it
Recommended to CaroB by: Lisa Kay
Read from September 21 to 23, 2011

Once in while there'll come a book that I enjoyed reading so much, I know I will re-read in the future. Sometimes, when that book is part of a series, I’ll want to read the next story ASAP, so that I can revisit some of the characters and immerse myself in the world of the story once again. This has been the case with The Smoke Thief by Shana Abé.

I have never read about shape-shifting dragons before and had viewed this book as yet another paranormal romance (PNR), only substituting vampires for dragons. Having been in a bit of a PNR rut recently, I would probably have let this book languish on my TBR shelf for another few months but for a friend here on Goodreads suggesting a buddy-read. (Thanks hun!)

The writing style brings a more fantasy than PNR feel to the story, with the prose being exceptionally well written. The descriptions enhanced the story, rather than distracting me from it, and a few times I would find myself clearly able to visualise a fall of eyelashes against a cheek, the way a certain puff of smoke trailed in the air, or the look of clouds above a city. The prologue, though long, introduced us to the legend and history of the drákon species, and how they’ve adapted to the encroachment of humans.

The two main characters, Kit and Rue, enchanted me. Both strong, both stubborn, their attraction is real even as their goals are completely different. I enjoyed the power-struggle between them, the dialogue was punchy and witty, and the pace never lagged. I trusted in Rue’s strength of purpose and self, and I was charmed by Kit’s outbursts of emotion. I loved their imperfections, ultimately feeling that they balanced and complemented each other, perfectly.

The world-building was fantastic to me, and the author has a gift of implying rather than telling, trusting the reader to work out what is happening. I liked that it made me think; it fired up my creativity, even where there were moments I had to re-read a page or two for clarification. So often these days we read a book that is simple and entertaining, without truly engaging our imagination. I understand that may not be for everyone, and I feel someone who wants a simple read would not enjoy this. I had read some truly atrocious reviews of this book before reading the book itself, and was surprised at how misinterpreted it, and the protagonists, seems to be. I admired the way the author has set up an Alpha female in 18th Century London, without the political-correctness by-play that usually seems to accompany these anomalies in historical settings.

For me, this book is a firm 4 and a ½ stars. What stopped it being the full 5 stars was the annoying way the nicknames and full names were constantly interchanged (distracting!) and there were a few loose ends: the reason Rue was a thief was never truly explained, the hopes of changing Darkfrith for the better, of educating the other drákon was offered at the end, almost abruptly, and I would have liked that explored a bit further so I could feel there truly would be a Happily-Ever-After.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Smoke Thief.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

36.0% "“At the end of the fortnight, sir, with or without the runner or the diamond, Rue Hawthorne will be returning to Darkfrith, as my bride.” Langford’s fingers made a short, hard tattoo against the arm of the chair; he slanted his look to Nick. “Feel free to write that down.”"

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Lisa Kay You and Sans should do this as a "buddy read" so the three of us can do the next one. **hee hee**

CaroB I'd be good with that :-) I'll suggest and see if she's interested after this one.

Lisa Kay Did you two talk? She put it in her September challenge.

Lisa Kay CaroB wrote: "I liked that it made me think; it fired up my creativity..."

Love your review, CaroB! Very insightful. Yes, this book is not for everyone; however, it worked for me!

back to top