Title: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Genre: YA Sci Fi Adventure
Publication Date: May 4th, 2015
Published By: Lazy Day Publishing
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong?
Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.
Review: I'm always looking for a fun sci-fi adventure, so I was pretty excited when I learned that Ruth Silver had rewritten and expanded her short story, The Adventurer, and turned it into a full-length novel. Most of the bones of the original short story are still there - the characters, and the background, and the main conflict - but there's so much more that's new and exciting that I was still on the edge of my seat for most of this book!
I really enjoyed that this book is told from two perspectives - Madeline's and Weston's. It was interesting to see things happening through both of their eyes, and to see what was going on in other parts of the world. I think it's fun to know more than the characters, and the dual perspectives usually means that, at some point, the reader has more information than at least some of the characters. It's fun to see everything come together, and to see how the characters will all react.
The science behind everything, although not hugely important and not really explained very much, was actually pretty fun too. And even though it seems like something that wouldn't happen in our world, I think it's entirely possible that what Stem Tech Institute is doing is something that could happen either now or in the near future. There are references to things that have happened, and I think it's plausible that a company would want to replicate those experiments and hide them from the public eye.
There's a little bit of romance, but I think it's handled well. Madeline hasn't ever really had any friends, much less a boyfriend or a romantic interest, but there are hints dropped here and there that maybe she and Weston will have something more than just a friendship. For the majority of the book, they're just really good friends, which is a nice breath of fresh air from the romances that seem to abound in most YA books. I liked that they could just be friends, but still have possible feelings that aren't really acted upon. I think Madeline might be a little too trusting given her circumstances, but it didn't really make me dislike her and it didn't detract from the story being told, so it wasn't terrible.
My favorite part about this book, above the characters and the plot, was the double meaning that the title took on. Of course, it could refer to the heist Madeline takes on in the very beginning that starts this whole mess. But as the story progresses, "Stolen Art" becomes so much more than just a painting. I think this was a really fun read, with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Any fan of sci-fi adventures should pick up Stolen Art! I'd give it a 3/5.