Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #38: Emerald Green

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #38: Emerald GreenEmerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #3
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on October 8, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Paranormal, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

This stunning conclusion picks 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.

Recommended by: Debby (Snuggly Oranges)

Woo! I finished a complete series in a week. Gooo me! Now that I’m done, I can assure you that the Ruby Red Trilogy doesn’t read so much like a trilogy as a single novel that has been spread out across three books. In fact, I think it very easily could have been condensed into one somewhat long novel, rather than a trilogy. Normally, such an expansion would be hugely frustrating, but the individual volumes are all highly entertaining, even if the bulk of the actual plot occurs in the final volume, Emerald Green.

Though the plot did make some steps forward in the two prior books, the bulk of it happens here. Finally, the villains are revealed and the complexities of the time travel as well. Beforehand, the focus really fell on the romance, with some time-traveling craziness as a humorous backdrop, but now everything really comes together. Gier manages to get through this imbalance in world building rather well, with this novel not feeling tedious or info-dumpy, even though there’s a lot of information that needs to be conveyed. However, I will say that Emerald Green did take a good deal more time to read, though that isn’t a bad thing.

So far, I’ve talked a lot about romance in my reviews for Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, and my opinion on that really hasn’t changed, so I want to talk about some subjects I’ve left mostly on the side until now: the rest of the cast. The Ruby Red Trilogy has a really amazing cast, among whom Gideon and Gwyneth really aren’t my favorites.

Perhaps my favorite character is Gwen’s grandfather, Lucas. She meets him at various points in his life, and he’s just such a wonderfully sweet man. Also, through him, we get to see a different side of Lady Arista, Gwen’s grandmother. I loved that this little detail was added into the novel, because Arista had been pretty well demonized, alongside Charlotte and Glenda. I’m glad to know that Arista and Lucas really are happy, and that perhaps the reason Arista’s so touchy now is that she’s without her love.

Then there’s Lesley, Gwen’s best friend. I do wish I’d gotten to see a bit more of her, and of how her story played out, but, that aside, I love her. Lesley’s a total nerd and the most devoted friend. Unlike much YA, there’s no rivalry between the two at all, and, though the book’s the Gwen show, she clearly cares about Lesley just as much. For example, Gwen will even interrupt a make out session with Gideon to take a call from Lesley; she will ignore a call from her bestie for no one! Also, if you remember that the plot of the series takes place over a fortnight or less, the fact that we don’t learn much about Lesley’s life seems less selfishness on Gwen’s part and more the fact that Gwen had a crazy couple of weeks. Anyway, Lesley believes Gwen on everything, and gamely Google searches, finding out plenty of important information. The two trust each other implicitly and it’s so sweet.

The last two characters I want to highlight bring in so many laughs and are basically the best: Xemerius and Aunt Maddy. Xemerius is a little demon who joined Gwen in book two, since she can see him just like she can see ghosts. No one had seen and heard him in ages, so he followed her and wouldn’t leave. At first he was a bit annoying, but he’s downright hilarious, offering taunts and insults to the people who can’t see him constantly. Also, he loves to read romance novels over Aunt Maddy’s shoulder. The cuteness! Aunt Maddy’s kooky and maybe a little senile, but I love her and how game she is for adventure.

Like the first two, Emerald Green is incredibly fun to read, however I found myself stumbling up against the logic more than in the prior two novels as the world building really amped up. The time travel, which beforehand seemed straightforward—anything that happened in the past had already happened, so nothing changed—is revealed to be a hodge-podge where things can be changed, but apprently without massive, far-reaching consequences. View Spoiler » Making changes like the hidden spoiler would result in a huge unknown impact on the future, but Gwen gets away with it scot-free. I think not.

Similarly, the resolution of the plot with the villain was both confusing and cheesy. In Emerald Green, the reader learns who the bad guy is and how he’s been operating. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I do not understand View Spoiler ». On top of that, the resolution of the romantic plot really drives home the instalove to an upsetting degree. View Spoiler ». One of the characters made a great point that there’s no need to get everything done RIGHT NOW, since they can time travel back at any point without it making a big difference. The romance would have been so much stronger if the events had not been crammed into such a brief time span, especially when there was so little need for that.

For all of my ranting, Emerald Green still merited a 3.5 from me for the sheer joy of the read and the delightful humor, despite the drawback of the confusing world building and overly-accelerated pacing.

Favorite Quote:

“Maybe that was what he still had to tell you yesterday evening. I mean in films we always get so annoyed with those artificial misunderstandings that are meant to heighten suspense before the happy ending, although a few words could clear them up for good.”
“Exactly! That’s where you always shout at the screen, Just tell him, you silly cow!

Up Next:

Nantucket Blue

Next week on Sadie Hawkins Sunday, I’ll be reviewing Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland, which was recommended to me by Kim! I’m so excited that someone recommended this one, because I’ve been wanting to read it since the reviews came out. Thanks for the suggestion, Kim!

Want to tell me what to read? Fill out the following form!

8 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #38: Emerald Green”

  1. Alessandra says:

    Yes. The insta-love factor really is a bit too much, especially since we’re talking “forever and ever”.

    Gotta love Xemerius!

    One of my favourite moments in the series was when Gwen discusses contraception with her young grandfather. Lol.
    Alessandra recently posted…Book review: Dark Justice by Brandilyn CollinsMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I’d been doing better with it than most because the book is so obviously not taking itself seriously, but that really crossed the line.

      He’s so funny! His narration of events was priceless!

      Oh man, that was great. Poor Lucas.

  2. Meg says:

    I’m glad you liked the trilogy. I tried Ruby Red but it didn’t work for me so I don’t plan on continuing. I like my time travel to be a little more complex then this series portrayed.

    I do kind of wish that I’d stuck it out to meet a member of Gwen’s family that wasn’t portrayed as awful. Plus Xemerius and Aunt Maddy sound fun. Maybe I’ll give Sapphire Blue a shot one day. I don’t know.

    • Christina Franke says:

      You know, you’re probably better off having stopped, as I ended up having some issues with the time travel. It didn’t offset how fun the books are, but I’m willing to accept some things in a fluff read, and I really needed something light, since I’m fighting reader burnout right now.

      Anyway, Xemerius and Maddy are great. It’s pretty much just Charlotte and her mom who are portrayed as awful, and, with Charlotte, Gwen’s even sympathetic toward her in the end, though I would have liked to see MORE than that.

  3. Celine says:

    Hmm, this sounds like the most exciting ( because most of the plot is in this book) and the most disappointing one of the three, if that makes sense.

    I’m sad the instant love wasn’t redeemed in the end (or was it?), because that means I’ll have a much harder time liking this if I ever start the series. The novels sound like a whole lot of fun, but I really dislike ‘true love’ that’s instant.

    I do really like how Gwen wouldn’t miss a call from her BFF ANY time! The best friends in YA nowadays are usually more frenemies: with the plain, introvert MC and the slutty, sexy best friend who’s going to turn evil somewhere along the way. Barf.

    The time travel stuff you mentioned, with it suddenly being a lot vaguer and suddenly you CAN change the past but nothing major… Weird. If you set a rule in the first two novels, why would you suddenly say “haha, just joking, it IS possible!’? That makes no sense to me. Be consequent, please.
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  4. Nori says:

    So, surprise, surprise: I liked this one a lot more than you. Though, I totally agree that things seemed rushed (particularly at the end), and I guess I didn’t realize till the end of this book that all three books took place pretty much in a matter of 2 weeks. In my head, it took much longer -and the romance was better. That kind of commitment in such a short time though made me go, “Huh?”

    And the time travel in the last book also made me go, “huh?” I literally ended up re-reading passages to make sure it wasn’t just me being needlessly confused for no reason.

    I think what made this book was the humor, the friendships, and the characters. Oh, and the family.
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  5. Elizabeth says:

    This gives me hope for the series! I enjoyed the first book, but hated the second (I absolutely LOATHE Gideon! So more world building and less romance is GREAT in my opinion), and with not much in sight for plot and world building I was starting to despair! The side characters were definitely the highlight of the series for me (Lesley! They seriously have the best friendship EVER!) and I’m quite pleased that Xemerius moves out of annoying territory and into funny because he was pretty touch and go for me. Ahhh I can’t wait to read this book now!
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  6. Molli says:

    I downloaded the first one some time ago for my Nook thinking I’d get to it immediately. I mean, YA time travel! Sadly, I still haven’t read it. It’s really cool that you truly enjoyed reading this series, Christina! And YAY for a YA friendship that IS NOT all about rivalry or making the MC look all special and amazing. That makes my heart happy. So glad you pointed that out, because it, and what you said about some of the other characters really makes me want to read this one.
    Molli recently posted…Tunes for Pages – #1: If You Find Me by Emily MurdochMy Profile

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