Title: “Sapphire Blue (Edelstein Trilogy #2)”
Author: Kerstin Gier
Genre: YA, timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly-stuff, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi
Publication Date: October 30, 2012 (Macmillan – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: 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.
☆: 4/5 – a huge improvement over book one, definitely recommended!
Review: Okay. Wow, was this one was definitely an improvement over book one! No middle book syndrome here, folks. There were some twists I definitely did not see coming (especially that cliffhanger!), and I genuinely enjoyed this book, as well as felt that Gier grew more as an author with “Sapphire Blue”. Even if you might not have liked book one too much, I highly encourage you to give book two a try.
So, in a lot of ways, there’s still a lot that’s the same – Gwen and Gideon are still working for the Guardians, trying to get the first Chronograph back from Paul and Lucy, who stole it in 1992 in book one. So we have a lot of adventures to and from the past, and there’s still a bit of drag in that pacing, but things really start to pick up when the second third of the book starts. The Gwen/Gideon/Charlotte love triangle is really working out here, and I know I don’t usually say this, but I think it was the best path for Gier to take when it comes to the ending of this installment of the trilogy. More on that in a bit.
There’s a lot of paranoia in this book that was only felt as an undercurrent in book one, which I really, really loved. Every time Gwen and Gideon traveled, there was this sense of having to constantly watch your back that wasn’t really there in book one, especially with Gwen’s family members having more visions concerning the chronograph, the Guardians, and the epitaph that talks about what might happen if the circle “closes”. However, a lot of that is just teasing what’s to come in the finale, “Emerald Green”, and I really kind of wanted more than the few sparse scraps that Gier threw the audience here in book two, and that was disappointing. At this point in time within the trilogy, we should be finding more clues out about what might happen if the circle closes, but instead, Gideon and Gwen get distracted with each other, there’s a murder, there’s a possible plot by Lucy and Paul to do even more harm with having the first chronograph in their grasp, and so forth. It gets a little distracting after awhile, and even Gwen herself starts to get annoyed with her lack of information.
What I felt suffered the most, however, was the sensory language and imagery. It felt a lot more robust in book one, and in only the most important scenes to the main arc did we really get the full flavor of traveling back in terms of really using all of the senses to experience that. Whether that’s a problem in the original content (in German) or if it’s a possible issue with translation (in English), I can’t really be sure. That was kind of a let down, and I just hope that everything really pops off of the page in the sensory department in the finale. And based on how this book ended, how there was a real sensory burst (AND A SWORD FIGHT, GUYS), I feel like that’s going to be the case.
Finally, the love triangle – Gideon’s pretty shady in this book, guys, and even though Gwen’s so lovesick thinking about him she still manages to pick up the most obvious red flags about his behavior and deals with it. It really helps contribute to the paranoia factor – that everyone is really out to not just get Gwen and Gideon, but particularly Gwen because she is the Ruby, and the final in the circle. Gier played this off marvelously, and it all really came together in the last fifty pages of the book. If only more YA love triangles were used this way, I might hate them a little less. No, the use here was totally justified, and my mouth was hanging open at the end because it was twist after twist, and I was starting to feel a little emotionally inception’d because of it. Feels within feels, guys.
So, all in all? I’d say this sequel is pretty superior to the first book. Even if you’re not quite sure about continuing the trilogy after the first book, definitely please give this second book a chance. Because it’s pretty awesome. “Sapphire Blue” is out now from Henry Holt/Macmillan in North America, so definitely check it out when you get the chance!