Wednesday, February 18, 2015
*Book Review* Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Published by: Henry Holt & Co
Released: October 8, 2013 (US)
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along. Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate
There is the mysterious Count Saint-Germain and his plans for Gwen. Time traveling to the past, a chronograph that is necessary for exact coordination of time travel, and prophecies that are unclear and cloudy but revolve around gathering blood of the Twelve time travelers. Lastly, there is Gwen's poor training and understanding of who she really is and what she's expected to do according to said prophecies.
But, let's start out by saying that story could have been a whole lot better. Why you ask? Because as Emerald Green picks up from where Sapphire Blue left off, Gwen is a Moaning Minnie who once again feels sorry for herself. Instead of focusing on finding out what the prophecy really means to her or why the Count has a hard on for her, she's angry, whiny, and jealous of the boy who claims he was told to love her; Gideon.
Once again, it is her best friend Lesley Hay that does most of the heavy lifting. It is Gideon who finally understands that there is so much more than meets the eye, and perhaps, he ought to give Paul and Lucy a chance to explain themselves. It is Gideon who discovers one of the most important secrets of them all after a nearly disastrous meeting with a villain.
It is Lucas, Gwen's grandfather, who offers Gwen pertinent information to help guide her. For her part, Gwen stumbles and bumbles her way into discovering an important secret hidden by her Grandfather. In the end, it's not Gwen who stops the evil Count with her brilliance and mad skills, but a bit of luck and quick reflexes by another character, combined with Gideon, Paul, and Lucy.
As you may be aware from reading my review of Sapphire Blue, I didn't much care for all the angst and crying that Gwen did for a large part of the story. When it continued into Emerald Green, I almost threw my book away and moved onto something else. But, I was told that this book would be better than the previous one. I'm still debating whether that's true or not.
I still say that Lesley is the true bright spot of this series. She's smart, funny, focused, and there is no way that Gwen or Gideon could have done anything without her help. I also loved Xemerius (demon gargoyle) and do believe that along with Lesley, they made this story. I'm grateful that Paul and Lucy got more storyline this time out, and apparently a HEA with a surprise. I'm OK with Gwen's revelation, but I'm not so sure about Gideon's choice.
I don't want to totally demonize Gwen. Had anyone else her age and inexperience found out that they were part of a secret society, I am sure they would have acted out as well. I liked Gwen's ability to see and talk to ghosts and Gargoyles and didn't allow Charlotte to rain down on her parade. I liked that Gwen has a fun relationship with her brother Nick and sister Caroline, even her mother who went above and beyond to try to keep her safe, including keeping a really big secret. Aunt Maddy is a hoot! I love that she tries to help Gwen with her visions. I even liked the mysterious Mr. Bernard, and of course, Grandfather Lucas who was adorable and helpful.
In the end, I do believe that the Precious Stone Trilogy is worth reading. I loved the time travel aspects. I liked that one needs a cool down (elapse) period or they will go crazy, and the fact that one needs a chronograph and a drop of blood to travel to a specific time in the past. I loved the humor, Gwen's sarcasm, Lesley's complete support of her best friend no matter what, and Paul and Lucy who I really would have liked to see more of. I loved that outfits were made for Gwen and Gideon to go back in time with, and also love the covers of each of these books.