Publisher: EDGE Publishing
When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a universal translator, she is co-opted into traveling as a translator to Malem. This is the last place in the universe that Kia wants to be—it’s the planet where her father caught the terrible illness that killed him—but it’s also where he got the magnificent diamond that only she knows about. Kia is convinced he stole it, as it is illegal for any off-worlder to possess a Malemese diamond.
Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks - Kia unravels the secret of the mysterious gem and learns what she must do to set things right: return the diamond to its original owner.
But how will she find out who that is when no one can know that she, an off-worlder, has a Malemese diamond? Can she trust the new friends she’s made on Malem, especially handsome but mysterious 17-year-old Jumal, to help her? And will she solve the puzzle in time to save Agatha, the last person she would have expected to become her closest friend?
Kia is quirky, with an ironic sense of humor, and a loner. Her sidekick, Agatha, is hopeless in languages and naive to the point of idiocy in Kia's opinion, but possesses the wisdom and compassion Kia needs.
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for detail. I've been following her work with interest and delight since
2003. In a world where young-adult fiction is booming, The Occasional
Diamond Thief propels McLachlan to the front of the pack." -- Robert J.
Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of FlashForward
"The story is full of humor, danger, fun, and adventure. This is Science
Fiction anyone would love." -- J. Jones, VINE VOICE
"Flawless--The Occasional Diamond Thief was one of those rare stories
where I found myself hanging onto every word. McLachlan delivers a
fast-paced, unpredictable story with perfectly-executed twists.
Descriptions were succinct and epigrammatic with no room for boredom. It
felt so real, it was almost like being in the theater with a surprise
treat at the end. Much like the theater, once the credits have started to
roll and the crowd starts to thin, there was a snippet at the end that you
do not want to miss." -- BittenbyBooks.com
"Loved it! I haven't read a heroine I loved this much since Katniss
Everdeen. McLachlan's Kia is smart, tough and hilarious, and pairing her
with serene, forgiving Agatha left me laughing long after I finished the
story. The settings were vivid, the plot raced along, and the themes kept
me turning pages. McLachlan combines her love of science fiction, ethics
and good, old-fashioned storytelling in The Occasional Diamond Thief, and
the results couldn't be better. I loved every page." -- Amanda Darling,
"J. A. McLachlan is a remarkable creator of worlds, a remarkable creator
of character, a master of suspense. In short, a remarkable storyteller.
You don’t have to be a young adult to love this book." -- Sheryl Loeffler,
Writer, A Land in the Storytelling Sea
story collection, CONNECTIONS, and two College textbooks on Professional
Ethics. But speculative fiction is her first love, a genre she has been
reading all her life, and The Occasional Diamond Thief is her second in
that genre, a young adult science fiction novel, published by EDGE Science
Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. After over a decade as a college teacher,
she is happy to work from home as a full-time author now.
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