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Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

There's one thing I've learned when reading a YA series with a less than stellar start. Sometimes there are books where the sequel completely turns around your perception of the book from ordinary to something enjoyable and with great potential, just like this one.


Title: Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Published by: Henry Holt
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

Sapphire Blue picks up where Ruby Red left off, shedding light on the events that transpired when Gideon and Gwen encountered Lucy and Paul when they weren't supposed to be there. Now they are nowhere close to completing the Circle of Twelve and suspicions are now arising as to who may be tipping off the time travelers' every move. People think it was Gwen, even Gideon, and now in between getting the hang of time traveling and proving that she's not a traitor, Gwen also has to figure out just what it is the people around her aren't telling her when the Circle is completed. But nothing's easy, and Gwen might have the power to go back in time, but can she figure things out before its too late?

Where Ruby Red felt like a very long prologue for the whole story, Sapphire Blue picked up the slack and moved the story forward in a good pace. Gwen was as funny as ever, and was still plagued by the same insecurities and uncertainties she had when she first discovered she was the Ruby. Only this time, Gwen was determined to figure things out on her own. I still can't help but laugh at the way Gwen thinks, and even though I want to hug her at times for being called out as being unworthy of her powers, she grits her teeth and do what she can. I do think she's capable given the chance to prove herself. And unlike in Ruby Red, Gwen is gradually getting better at being hilariously rebellious and slowly becoming capable herself. It's quite amusing to see Gwen trying to get the hang of being a time traveler and analyzing just what her relationship with Gideon is.

Gideon is probably the most frustrating character in this book. The boy shifts mood faster than you can blink and sometimes it just drives me crazy. One moment he was all over Gwen, the next he was interrogating her like everything that was happening was her fault. I felt so bad for Gwen, and I keep on trying to figure out what goes on in his mind most of the time, which felt so unusual since I was so used to trying to guess what the female lead is thinking, but Gideon takes time to figure out. Still, even though he's excruciating and can be quite a pain in the neck at times, Gideon is your classic bad boy and it's his biggest charm, aside from being strong and capable, which makes everyone swoon over him almost instantaneously.

Things seem to be developing not just for both Gideon and Gwen but for other characters in this book as well. Lesley, Gwen's trusted best friend, seems to be getting a story arc of her own with the introduction of Gideon's younger brother, Raphael. I loved Lesley for being smart and just a good best friend to Gwen and if there's anyone who deserves a story of her own, it's Lesley. What made this book such a fun read was the addition of Xemerius, the ghost gargoyle who is quite useful as a spy. I laugh every single time he asks Gwen for a pet and while he was trying to make sense of the time period he was in. He's like that little voice inside your head telling you things, may they be good or bad. It's still unclear how he fits in the story, but his ability to walk through walls might be handy to move the story further forward.

What ultimately made me love this book though, despite the still slow development of the story, albeit faster than it is in Ruby Red, is that many other things were happening at once that keeps the reader entertained. There are still more questions than answers in this book but certain things are explained better and there's finally hope that everything will make sense soon. The author is dropping hints on what might be in store for the next book. The question is, where does Gwen fit in all of it? Why is the Ruby so important and what is this Raven's power that everyone keeps on talking about? What happens when the Circle is completed? Why is Paul and Lucy so hell bent on preventing the Circle's completion?

Such a cliffhanger of an ending! I feel like Sapphire Blue built up all the tension and anticipation to prepare the readers for quite an ending in the third installment. Sapphire Blue is the deciding factor that made me love this trilogy. It just has "more" of everything. More development, more romance, more angst, more fun and laughter, more clues and more of the Count's secrets unraveling. Even though you still keep on guessing just what might happen next, the story flow is so much better and smoother and you just find yourself reading page after page, wanting to find out just what is still in store for Gwen and Gideon as they traverse time and space.

Sapphire Blue just made me love time traveling books! Definitely entertaining with a fun mix of characters that makes a reader frustrated, happy and a little satisfied with the way the story goes. I just hope everything gets wrapped up nicely in the last book! There are so many things to look forward to and I am so excited to find out how it all ends!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
I would have given this a five if only Gideon didn't frustrate me so much. Also, with the way questions keep on piling up instead of getting concrete answers, the readers might be a little more frustrated because the story just withholds a lot of the key truths that will make us understand just where the story is really heading. Xemerius is a good addition to the story though, and I am so glad I was able to take a break from Gideon and Gwen with Raphael and Lesley. I want more of their story!
.5
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
One of my favorites!

2 comments:

  1. I have yet to read the series, but I love the covers and I'm excited to start reading the first book. I'm glad you like them!

    -Danna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should definitely give it a try, Danna!

      Delete

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