Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3)
by Kerstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell)
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: October 8th, 2013
Format: Kindle E-Book
Wrapping up our reviews, Rosi and I present for your viewing pleasure the third book in the Ruby Red series, Emerald Green, which wraps up the plot with full-throttle amusement. However, this isn’t the end of our series week–check back on Friday for a joint discussion about the series.
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.
This book, once again, lived up to my established expectations for Kerstin Geir: it was fun, clever, witty, and fast-paced with a delightful heroine who I have grown to love even more since the first book. The book opens with Gwen once again at odds with Gideon, dreading attending a ball with the creepy-as-hell Count Saint-Germain, and in the dark to most of the goings of the secret society that is based around her inherited time travel capabilities.
My main complaint is that the ending felt abrupt. It didn’t elaborate on the long term ramifications of the revelations made during the book and I would have found it interesting if even a little time had gone into explaining how said revelations would affect Gwen’s life. Also, I felt that Gideon’s choice to join Gwen the way he did felt rather hasty, even if it did save his life. That sounds really convoluted when you try to avoid spoilers.
The insta-love was also strong throughout the book, with Gwen’s feelings changing multiple times throughout a single day in respect to Gideon. I found it interesting that she didn’t get whiplash, both from her fluctuating feelings as well as Gideon’s. However, after spending so much time in Geir’s world, I feel I have a better understanding of the book’s concept as a whole. It is a work that refuses to take itself seriously, but at the same time, it approaches tropes in YA in a way that says “bring it.” It embraces its insta-love full on, fully aware of its absurdity, but making a statement at the same time that if it must be done then it will be done in the best way possible. The book takes the drama to the point of absurdity and then circles back around and pokes fun at itself.
I again loved the characters that I loved before, except I gained some love for Mr. Bernard who I was perhaps a little neutral about previously, and I again disliked the characters I had always found annoying. The villain of the story turned out to be slightly surprising, producing a twist that I did not expect from a character we’ve known since book one. The final book was also longer than the previous two, a fact that I always appreciate in series that I enjoy. You can never have too much of a good final volume where all is revealed and everything is resolved. This is a must read if you liked the first two books, and the entire series is one that shouldn’t be missed. This is especially so because, despite any of its tropes, the Ruby Red trilogy springs from a unique and original idea.
Here is what I will say about this book: it was a rousing ending to (I’m going to use this word again) a romp of a series. It delivers everything promised in the first two books, and in spades: strange magic, sinister forces, love, friendship, and quite a lot more.
I really enjoyed Gwyneth’s interactions with the people around her. I found Lesley to be delightful, and the game of ‘let’s-hide-the-secret-box-from-the-other-people’ to be quite fun. Basically, despite having a real gem of a cousin/aunt, the rest of Gwyneth’s family is absolutely incredible…I really loved her great-aunt in particular. This book also took the time to solidify a lot of secondary characters who had just kind of been floating around. For instance, Mr. Bernard turns out to be amazing. That kind of character development, even happening a bit late in the game, is always grand.
I’m a bit torn on the Instalove, though. Like, YES, Gideon has been waffling for two whole books (basically a week) about whether he’s insanely in love with you or not. And then you guys finally figure things out and it’s perfect, yes? Only there are so, so many problems with finding your true love at sixteen…the most obvious being that every love looks like true love at sixteen. That being said, it’s easy to get suckered into the romance. I personally liked Lesley’s romance much more–she has got a much more practical head on her shoulders.
The thing that most bugs me is that somewhere in the middle of this book, when Gier is tying up all the loose ends, I slowly begin to be aware of all of the plot holes there are. For instance, try as I might, I can’t find the section where they give the big baddie what he really wants, even though it HAS to be in there. Things get a little sloppy towards the end, too, where you’re just like ‘wait, what’s happening? and which time period are we in? And who is he, again? And what is that about Gwyneth’s family?’
But here is where I have to agree with Emily. There are YA books that are full-throttle teen drama, and this is not it. This book has a wry humor that makes you wonder if Gier is laughing a little bit at some of the absurdity that YA tends to bring, poking fun at tropes just the teensiest bit, or saying ‘OK, full-throttle it is’. I tend to appreciate these sorts of YA books much more than the ones that take themselves seriously. And this book is a gem of a YA read, holding everything that you want to have in a humorous time-traveling schoolgirl instalove drama.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.