Saturday, 8 February 2014

Review || Sapphire Blue (The Ruby Red #2) by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue (The Ruby Red #2) by Kerstin Gier ★★☆☆☆
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 read the first book in this trilogy Ruby Red shortly before I started blogging--so you can see my review here.

I'd heard people on Booktube raving about this series and the hardcovers are so pretty and I love me some time travel. What do I have to lose, right?

Wrong. Ugh. This series continues to be aggravating. But the books themselves are so easy to plow through that it never ventures into DNF territory. Plus, with only one left now, I might as well just finish it.

I'm working on being more discerning with my ratings and trying to follow the Goodreads guidelines. So 2 stars is "it was okay" according to this new system I'm trying out. Sapphire Blue is probably the definition of just okay. There's nothing special about the writing, the plot has its moments but the characters make me a little crazy.

Let's separate out the good and the bad, shall we?

The time travelling in this book is actually handled surprisingly well. I really love the concept of circular time travel and it's neat to see some of those threads coming together in non-chronological order. It's actually fairly smart at times, so color me impressed. That, and the period history is fun. There's a major party in the 18th century that Gwen and Gideon attend that was probably some of the most entertaining writing in the whole book. It was just a fun chapter.

The side characters are also endearing to me. Gwen's family, her best friend Lesley, even her ghostly buddies James and Xemerius. Heck, even the brief cameos by Gideon's little brother make me interested about him. It's so incredibly frustrating because I absolutely cannot stand Gwen and Gideon. Like at all.

Let's tear apart Gideon first. He plays this hot-and-cold game with Gwen throughout both books. They go from making out to him being super vile to her. And the worst part is that it's played off as attractive. Gwen pulls a lot of "woe is me" nonsense in this book about being so in love with Gideon. He is downright terrible to her. That is not romantic.

Gwen is especially whiny and flighty and just a bigger mess than normal in this book too. I really do not particularly care for her at all and barely tolerate her as a vehicle for this story. She behaves like a child and not even remotely like the 16 year old she is.

There's also some really gross casual sexism stuff happening. Granted, some of the historical stuff can be hand-waved away by the nature of the period. And for the most part, that stuff is at least played off as being gross. Which is fair, I'll give the book points for that. But the problem is, the modern day stuff is just as sexist. Despite the fact that it's established that the time travelling gene is male in the de Villiers and female in the Montroses the big huge super secret order controlling things is run exclusively by men. And is mentioned as intentionally being that way and staying that way despite the fact that the book takes place in 2011. And no one has a problem with that? Nope. Not okay.

Anyway, again, just okay. I'll finish it because I might as well--and because I actually am interested in the side characters (Lucy and Paul too). But I wouldn't recommend it truthfully.