Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue

Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads): 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.

Okay, so judging purely by the covers shown here, these are exactly the
kind of books I would normally skip over. Call me judgy, but I don't do pretty girl in pretty dress covers. It usually means less than stellar writing and lots of fluff. But there I was, drowning in my flu-induced woe-is-me pity party last month, and I just needed something light and fluffy to read after finishing Code Name Verity. Actually, listen to. I was scrolling through my library's available auidobook collection, and both of these books were available for immediate download. I'd heard several people rave about these books, and I wasn't in the mood for serious reading anyway, so it was perfect.

And here are my thoughts. The writing is not terrible. The main character's voice is actually quite fun. Come to think of it, most of the characters were pretty well developed (not sure about the love interest, I don't understand his motivations yet). And the premise (time travel mystery) is unique enough to be interesting. These books were short, action packed, and designed to keep you hanging in suspense. And even if there is a kind of sort of love triangle, it's not the main romantic tension (hallelujah). So these books are fun, clean, fluffy reads that I found very enjoyable. I will certainly be reading the third one just as soon as it becomes available at my library.

Final notes: Apparently these books were written in German first? Which I found confusing because, first, they were obviously translated very well, and second, the setting is London. Also, I understand the title Ruby Red, but I'm not sure about the other gem titles (maybe I wasn't reading carefully, but Sapphire Blue didn't make a lot of sense to me in the context of the story). My final complaint is that this story really wasn't meant to be a trilogy. These two books are very short, and honestly, it should have been released as one longer novel because it's all just one continuous story anyway. These two books did not really have separate plot curves with climaxes and resolutions. They just ended kind of abruptly right after an action scene, and I think it's stupid it had to be a trilogy. But whatever, sell more books that way, okay.

So, solid three star reads. I recommend to anyone looking for some fun easy reading.

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