Sapphire Blue was just as quick of a read as Ruby Red was. Reading it so soon after Ruby Red was both good and bad, mostly good, since I remembered who everyone was and what they were doing. It was bad because then the various reminders and explanation at the beginning of this book seemed repetitive However, I don’t think they would have if I’d had a normal amount of time between the two books. And Gier is very good at exposition–I’m aware that it’s exposition, but it’s always woven into the story well, as research by Lesley, explanation by Gwyneth, etc.
I continued to like Gwyneth. I’m sure she’s not the most mature 16 year old ever, but she’s a good friend and sister, and a maturing daughter. She handles the situation she’s been thrust into, and her developing relationship with Gideon, in all its drama, as well as could be expected. I’m just glad that, a few glasses of punch aside, she is pretty smart and quick on the uptake, able to associate information like Aunt Maddy’s prophecies with applicable events.
Gideon is not likable in this book. I feel that there’s an explanation forthcoming of why he’s been so moody and inconsistent and perhaps even misleading. But it had better be a good one, because he was a bit of a brat pretty much the whole book this time.
Charlotte got a little more face time in this book, unfortunately. She was as obnoxious as ever, maybe worse. She’s so unpleasant it feels unrealistic or overdone. Surely she must have some redeeming quality, even with a mother like hers and her bitterness towards Gwyneth–people are rarely fully good or bad. I’m curious if her continued presence in the story means she’ll have some redeeming experience in the last book, but I’m not hopeful.
Lesley was her irrepressible self. And the introduction of Raphael is interesting, or at least it could turn out that way. He didn’t do a lot in this book, yet. Unlike Xemerius, who is a very fun and interesting addition to the cast, and a useful ally for Gwyneth. He also has some laugh out loud lines.
My biggest frustration with the book was with the actual subject matter. Time travel by its definition starts getting confusing when you get into it in any detail, and so having characters visit their own ancestors, see themselves, experience historical events, etc is a tricky thing to write about. Gier has handled it well so far, with minimal confusion for me, but there were definitely parts where I felt like I was about to get a headache trying to follow the sequence or conversation and disentangle the verb tenses.
The ending is a bit of a cliff hanger, and leaves me eagerly awaiting the release of (the translation of) Emerald Green. I’m sure it will be just as enjoyable of a read as the first two, and will hopefully explain a lot of burning questions. And I’m sure the cover will be as absolutely beautiful as the last two have been.