Sapphire Blue is written by Kerstin Gier. It was published in 2010 in Germany and then in 2012 by Henry Holt in the US, translated by Anthea Bell. It is the sequel to Ruby Red. Gier’s website can be found here.
“Gwen’s life has been a roller coaster 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.”
What I Liked:
This book is highly amusing. The entire scene where Gwyneth drinks too much punch and Gideon is speechlessly disapproving was great (even though it distracted slightly from the Count), and there were some other bits of amusing dialogue that were fun, too.
Overall, I thought the romance angst was played very well. I mean, Gideon is the obvious “Guy-Who-Pretends-To-Love-A-Girl-And-Then-Really-Does” but his hot/cold nature is interesting.
The time-traveling aspect is very interesting, especially since several things have happened that the characters haven’t actually done yet, so I’m excited to see some “crossing the streams” in the next book (Gwyneth has to presumably help someone knock out Gideon, she still has to keep herself from being discovered behind the curtains, she has to give Lucas the note, etc.).
I’m also very curious to see what the big secret is behind the Circle, and now that there are some prophecies in play, to see the fulfillment of those.
What I Didn’t Like:
Besides Gwyneth and Gideon, none of the characters are very fleshed out at all. Charlotte’s character is the typical Jealous, Spiteful Rival, Lesley is the Spunky Sidekick, and the mysterious Guardians and the Count just seem to be the usual, run-of-the-mill mysterious villains.
The plot developments are so slow. Nothing much really happens in this book. A lot is going to have to happen in the next. Nothing was developed in the case of Paul and Lucy, no developments were made about the secret of the chronograph, Gwyneth still has no idea about anything. The only thing that was developed was the romance, and there were some vague hints thrown around about the Count’s sinister nature, but nothing of much import or necessity. It’s still all just set-up, and all the set-up should have been mostly finished in the first book. It makes me worry that not everything is going to be resolved in the third book, and that the plot is being set aside to forefront the romance.
Recommended Age Range: 14+
Warnings: Swearing, violence.
Genre: Supernatural, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Realistic
“I can do a really good trumpet imitation too,” said the gargoyle. “And a tuba imitation. Do you have a dog?”
“No!” I took a deep breath. I was going to need nerves of iron to cope with this little guy.
“Couldn’t you get one? Or a cat would be better than nothing, but they always look down their noses at you, and it’s not so easy to wind a cat up. A good many birds can see me, too. Do you have a bird?”
“My grandmother can’t stand pets,” I said. I was about to say she probably wouldn’t have much time for invisible pets either, but I swallowed the words again. “Okay, now let’s start over again from the beginning: My name is Gwyneth Shepherd. Nice to meet you.”
“Xemerius,” said the gargoyle, beaming all over his face. “Pleased to meet you too.” He climbed up on the washbasin and looked deep into my eyes. “Really! Very, very pleased! Will you buy me a cat?”
“But that…that’s not magic!” I whispered, shocked.
Lesley sighed. “Not in the sense of hocus-pocus magical rituals, maybe, but it’s a magical ability. The magic of the raven.”
“More of an eccentricity, if you ask me,” I said. “Something that makes people laugh at me—and anyway no one believes I can do it.”
“Gwenny, it’s not eccentric to have extrasensory perception. It’s a gift. You can see ghosts and talk to them.”
“And demons,” Xemerius pointed out.
Sapphire Blue has the same fun and humor as Ruby Red, but unfortunately the fact that nothing much has happened by way of plot development/resolution has me a little worried that the romance is the main object of this series, rather than an interesting, complex plot. The romance is actually pretty well done, and the plot is certainly interesting, but a lot has to happen and considering the slow pace of the first two books, I don’t know if the third book will be able to deliver.
You can buy this book here: Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red)