Book Review: “The Pickpocket” by Celine Jeanjean

Title: The Pickpocket (Viper and the Urchin prequel)
Author: Celine Jeanjean
Genre: Steampunk
Date Read: 26/09/2016 – 29/09/2016
Rating: ★★★


This is a fairly short review, as the book itself is also very short. As the cover says, this is the origin story for Rory, the central character in Celine Jeanjean’s Viper and the Urchin series.

Rory is seven  or eight years old and begging for scraps of food when she meets Daria, a teenager who teaches her to pick pockets. To Rory, Daria seems perfect, but she soon discovers not all is as it seems with Daria, and what she discovers will set her course for the next several years of her life.

Once again, the world-building of Damsport is fantastic. Jeanjean puts a lot of time into little details such as the bazaar, and the rooftop where Rory hides the money she saves up, and sleeps.

I wanted to give little Rory so many hugs. She just seemed so small and pathetic, and the way she changed for the better when Daria comes into her life made me smile so much. Daria was a great character, too; she was all bravado and heroics at first, and it was easy to see why Rory latched onto her, but her issues and scars were constructed really well and I felt so sad for her by the end.

While this story could probably stand alone without having read The Bloodless Assassin and The Black Orchid, I would probably recommend reading those first, as there are little nods to characters and aspects of Rory’s life in those books throughout this one. And really, if you haven’t already read those two books, why not? They’re awesome!


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