19 December 2012

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

Gwen's life has been a roller coaster ride since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve.  When not 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.

It's not easy when a secret society, a dangerous Count, and her own time-traveling partner, Gideon, are determined to keep her from the truth.  Especially since Gwen can't decide whether Gideon really believes she's a traitor to the Circle or might actually be on her side -- and creeping into her heart.

I was in a bit of a bind when I started Sapphire Blue.  In the nine months since finishing the first book, Ruby Red, I had nearly forgotten what was going on.  With only a slight memory of how the first book ended, I plunged back into Gwen's story of heinous extended family members, impossible boys, and mind-boggling time traveling excursions.  Thanks to Kerstin Gier's carefully built in reminders of how the characters got to where they were, I was able to settle back into the world with minimal hardship, and fully ready to enjoy a good story.

Sapphire Blue was a good continuation from the first book: an awesome main character armed with her signature humor, an exciting plot, and exquisite writing style.  It was all business as usual.  Until you're forced into a fancy corset and sensible shoes to visit a possibly evil count who, upon your last meeting, tried to strangle you.  Points to Gwen, the feisty main character, for not flaking.  Much.  I love her slightly self-deprecating humor, even though I wish she would stand up for herself when some of her family members start railing on her.  Her narrative was fun and easy to understand.

The only thing I couldn't really understand was the plot.  Time traveling makes my head hurt, which is why I generally steer clear of all the time traveling adventures.  I couldn't really see a connection between most of the events.  Something was decided and I was left thinking, "Why?"  Because I was enjoying the narrative so much, I just went along with it.  Though I came out of the other side with a question mark still hovering over my head.

If there's one thing Kerstin Gier does extremely well, though, it's dialogue.  It seems to be her main mode for setting the tone of a character.  Why bother with copious descriptions when a single line of speech could tell you just as much, if not more?  Gier really brings characters to life and presents them in a dynamic way that give them a 3D effect.  I loved the two main characters, Gwen and Gideon, as well as Gwen's best friend, Lesley, and her demon ghost friend, Xemerius.  Peppered with such lovable characters, I could really settle into the story.

Behind dialogue, the world is absolutely amazing.  It's a world with a defined set of rules and interlaced with details to make it pop off the page.  It also reminds me why time travel doesn't appeal to me.  (Really, it's all rather confusing and complicated, isn't it?)  Throw on top all the British slang, and I feel as if the whole thing could be real.  (As if I needed more reasons to want to go to England.)

Thus far, the Ruby Red trilogy has been an enticing read that continues to thrill.  With the way Sapphire Blue left off on such a cliffhanger, I'm dying for the third and final book!

"Young people, this is a church!  No kissing allowed here!"
"I think Lesley really does look a bit like a golden retriever," Xemerius had said, and when I looked at him reproachfully he was quick to add, "I like dogs, you know I do!  Such clever animals!"
Book Info

  • pages - hardcover, 368
  • published - October 2012
  • publisher - Henry Holt and Co.
  • genre - paranormal romance
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Ruby Red trilogy
    • Ruby Red
    • Sapphire Blue
    • Emerald Green