Coral Thief Reviews – Highlights


A powerful offering from an immensely talented writer…Vividly atmospheric, propulsive, and intricately plotted, this is a surefire page turner with literary heft and wide appeal.’
Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘Stott again skillfully combines an intriguing love story, complex scientific concepts, and a beautifully realized historical setting…Riveting on all fronts, from its suspenseful plot to its elegant presentation of evolutionary theory.’
Booklist, starred review

‘Stott once again juxtaposes science with a tale of love, mystery and intrigue, setting this volatile mix against a backdrop of critical events in post-Revolutionary France… Skillfully embeds early 19th-century culture, history, and attitudes into a story that flows like the Seine and floods the senses.’
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘Beautiful and oddly haunting… The Coral Thief is quite wonderful. Part love story, part mystery, part steampunk-tinged discovery of the scientific… It is a novel of ideas. One finds it difficult to think of higher praise.’
January Magazine

‘An engrossing and cerebral thriller.’
People, 4 stars.

‘Drenched in color, taste, texture, fragrance of the period, this is fabulous literary fiction grounded in historical fact.’
Sacramento Book Review

A historical scientific romance-thriller? Stott has quite possibly invented the genre, and in [The Coral Thief], she elegantly walks that unlikely tightrope, unspooling a tale of intrigue among thieves and anatomists in post-Napoleonic Paris… a vivid mix of love story and pre-Darwin evolutionary debate, unfurled at the edges of a Les Miserables-style underworld. Science may not seem sexy, but Stott comes close to making it so.’
Entertainment Weekly, grade: A-

‘Full of larger-than-life characters and situations that allegorize the vast political and intellectual shifts of the time…. Great fun… vividly imagined’ ?Austin Statesman, Texas??‘Stott’s writing is visual and eloquent. She brings the intellectual excitement of the era alive. Beautifully written.’
Portsmouth Herald, Maine

With consummate skill and compassion, Stott plunges Daniel the innocent into a serpentine plot that involves spies, philosophers, revolutionaries and scientists. Treasure may be at the heart of Stott’s mystery, but fossils and corals are equally precious in this hybrid novel of action and ideas. Like Daniel, the reader emerges from The Coral Thief having had an adventure and an education.
Washington Post

‘The Coral Thief is a delightful and gripping historical tale…. a beauty packed with scientific nuggets and superlative intrigue.’
The Bookseller, UK – January Choice.

‘Full of twists and turns. The period detail is good, and there is an authentic whiff of post-Napoleonic Paris, evidence of how thoroughly Stott has done her research’
The Scotsman

‘Superbly told.. intriguing and involving’
Choice Magazine

‘Science and life seamlessly intertwine in a wholly natural way as the characters pursue both personal fulfilment and an understanding of the bigger picture’ ?The Independent??
‘tightly written and engaging,’
Daily Mail

‘This is an intellectual thriller, a book of penetrating humanity and a vivid evocation of Paris in the wake of Bonaparte’s defeat’
Kate Williams Financial Times

‘This riveting, fascinating novel bears comparison with the likes of Perez-Reverte and Iain Pears.’
Waterstones Books Quarterly

‘Original and evocative, this is a mesmerising thriller that deftly waves together history and science’
Daily Telegraph

‘A well-told tale of 1800s Paris, you’ll want to read it in one go.’
Woman magazine

‘a fun and convincing read that taught me more about Napoleonic France than school history lessons ever did’
Myslexia magazine

‘An enjoyable, atmospheric and carefully researched yarn’
New Scientist

‘Rebecca Stott’s low-temperature, sepia-tinted dramatization of a crucial moment in the history of ideas is set in a Paris that is brought to vivid life’
David Coward in the Times Literary Supplement

‘She evokes the spirit of a very dangerous Paris marvellously well.. a stylish read’
Virginia Blackburn in The Daily Express

A clever historical novel
Dallas Morning News

‘An enthralling exploration of revolutionary science in post-revolutionary Paris’,
Clare Clark, The Guardian

‘An inventive and versatile writer.. Rebecca Stott has created an intricate, suspenseful burglary caper that combines mystery, romance and cloak-and-dagger intrigue’
Richard Milner in Science magazine. 

‘Combines theories of evolution with the intrigue of an old-fashioned thriller…Clever and thought-provoking.’
London Metro. 

‘An utterly gripping, fascinating read.’
Sugar magazine.

‘Original and evocative, this thriller set in 19th-century Paris deftly weaves together history and science.’
Daily Telegraph

‘Keenly researched, lovingly decorated, brimming with ideas but never short on character or charm’
Boyd Tonkin in The Independent 

‘This book, like the coral that Daniel was originally carrying, is a rare and fascinating specimen.’

‘It makes for an entertaining narrative as Lucienne’s band of well-spoken rogues duck and dive to avoid Jagot, the head of police.’

‘An original and enthralling read.’ Big Issue in the North

‘A riveting read’ Sunday Business Post, Ireland

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