Friday, January 31, 2014

Emerald Green, Kerstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell)

Emerald Green (Precious Stone Trilogy, #3)The end of the sword was pointing straight at my heart, and my murderer's eyes were like black holes threatening to swallow everything that came too close to them. I knew I couldn't get away. With difficulty, I stumbled a few steps back.

"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 perhaps a bit dense, but I nevertheless found it a satisfying sequel, despite its many predictable twists and turns. As one might expect given Gier's style, the book picks up exactly where Sapphire Blue left off, which was quite good for me since I read the books one after the other. Oftentimes, in a series I'll read the first book and then have totally forgotten the events by the time the sequel releases; I was happy to have planned it differently with this series. 

There are more paradoxes, and of course more time travel. And finally many of the deep, dark secrets that Gwen's been dying to understand are brought to light, partly by her friend Lesley, partly by visiting her grandfather in the past, and partly of course by the infuriating Gideon, who Gwen believes has been faking his affection. Of course, that's not the case; it's the sinister Count Saint-Germain who planted the idea in her head, probably deliberately. 

At a certain point, I easily predicted one of the major mysteries; that of why Paul and Lucy oppose the completion of the chronograph. It was transparently obvious; I mean, surely every fantasy novel ever has a similar plot-line. Other parts of the book were unique, though, and there was another huge twist towards the end of the book that I didn't see coming in the slightest.

One criticism I have is that the focus is a bit too much on Gwen and Gideon; she's kind of a not very fun character to read about for much of the book on account of her being brokenhearted and constantly bawling. There are so many other things going on that it seemed a bit much; after all, Gwen has to figure out why no one's telling her anything, what will really happen when the chronograph is closed, and where her alliances lie. 

Because I read them one after the other, the events in the last two books sort of blurred together, but it was good for its continuity, and was an excellent way to finish the series. I didn't love the series, but its signature blend of humor, action, and romance was good enough that I actually read all of the books, which often doesn't happen because I just lose interest. 

I would most certainly recommend this humorous and entertaining German series to lovers of time travel and England, because despite the author's nationality, she and the translator succeed very well in creating a convincing British feel.

447 pages.

Rating: ****

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