Wednesday, 17 April 2013

First review: Ruby Red and Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Okay, I won't do that many series reviews, but since this series is what I most recently read, I'll review it! :D

The third book, Emerald Green, is out this year in October!

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Ruby Red:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Sapphire Blue:

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.


I found this book on a review site, so I already had a high expectation of the book. It was originally in German, so the translation is a little bare. 

But the plot, from the beginning, engaged me, with things constantly happening. From the time he book kicks off, the plot is always moving. It's not too much action, though. Gwen and Gideon are hilarious together and their romance is confusing in a good way. Just how it should be. And they don't fall in love too easily, too, so it's not like don't have any personal trials either. But Gwen as a character is pretty well developed, with quirks in her personality that make her completely real. The action is also well described--the swordfighting scenes are brilliant. All the little moments like dressing up also add to the fun of reading these books. The mystery keeps getting deeper and hints are always being dropped about what the real problems are, behind all the secretive cult traditions. 

On to the bad stuff. The plot, while engaging and fun, seems to touch only very lightly on topics that I think could be better explored. Gwyneth is also always a bit too believing. A lot of the time I found her reactions to certain events a bit ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that a girl raised in a family of time-travellers would seriously be so trusting when going back in time. Also she doesn't seem concerned about timelines and stuff--that isn't explained to either the readers or to Gwyneth. I could say a lot more, but I won't be spoilery. 

Grade: B+. It was great but I had some problems with it. 

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