Series: Precious Stone Trilogy #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 30th, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
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.
All throughout this book I thought it was so much fun and qualitatively great. Then halfway through the epilogue I thought, “Wait… what did happen here?” I was reading at such a high speed, desperate to have more more more that it almost didn’t occur to me that this book suffers from a massive case of middle book syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it a lot. But there is also a sense of disappointment.
The problem here with the middle book syndrome is that, while things certainly did happen in this book and there were still time traveling adventures to the 18th century (and the 1950’s), the questions raised by the mystery and the prophecies set up in the first book all frustratingly go unanswered. In fact, the only few answers we did get in this book were actually so obvious it would have been weird if you hadn’t worked it out for yourself yet. And sure, events transpire which will eventually lead the main characters to the answers, but that’s all left for the next, and final, book. So in terms of plot progression, this is a bit of a let down.
But so what did happen in this book? Gwen still struggles with figuring out who she can trust, and there is a much heavier focus on the romance. And you know what? For once, I didn’t mind it one bit. I love Gideon and Gwen. I don’t know why. Because for all intents and purposes, elements of their romance would annoy me in other couples: Gideon’s hot-cold attitude, Gwen’s tendency to think about him just a bit too much, a quick jump to saying I love you… But I didn’t mind any of it! Maybe it was just more well developed than other cases. Or maybe their chemistry just wipes clean any problems I would have with it. But I really liked how their romance coincided brilliantly with the rest of the story, and their trust issues with each other. The trust issues were well represented and made the romance much more compelling.
I just have to say that I love the characters. Not only is Gwen kick-ass awesome with her sassy attitude, and Gideon super hot and dreamy, but the secondary characters are great as well. Lesley, Gwen’s best friend, is the perfect side-kick. I love how close they are and how they can truly rely on each other. No bitchy best friend here – that has me cheering. And this book also introduced the awesome Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who only Gwen can see. He’s hilarious and I love how he works together with Gwen, feeding her information when she’s at her wit’s end.
So while this lacked in plot progression, it was a great, fun read. It’s compulsively readable, light, and fun. The characters are great, and the dialogue is awesome. Time traveling remains awesome. I can also note that where the first book, Ruby Red, read a bit clunky due to translation issues, I didn’t pick up on any of those here, so there’s a marked improvement on that count as well.
Summing Up:I’m seriously in love with this series, even though I’ll happily admit it’s not the best. It has quite a few issues. I just can’t quite articulate why it’s so precious to me. I dunno. But with the awesome heroine, Gwen, amazing hottie, Gideon, their addictive romance, and the adventures through the 18th century? I’ll keep on reading. It seriously pains me that the English translation of the last installment won’t come out until October. I want it. Now.
GIF it to me straight!
It was a fun adventure but not nearly enough.