Happy Hannukah! It’s not really our holiday to celebrate otherwise, but we always enjoy celebrating it along with friends. In keeping with the season, here’s an older post of picture books: Hannukah for Wee Ones.
And now, back to me keeping up with my series that had new installments published this fall.
Emerald Green. The Ruby Red Trilogy Book 3. by Kerstin Gier. Translated by Anthea Bell. Henry Holt, 2013
In Sapphire Blue, just before this book starts, our heroine Gwyneth pulled a classic “you’re so horrible I can’t listen to what you have to say” and broke up with Gideon because she believed the Count when he said he’d told Gideon to pretend to be in love with her. Now, the combined efforts of her best friend Lesley and the comic gargoyle Xermerius are not enough to keep her from dissolving into tears. Only as tensions in the time-traveling circle heat up is she forced to pull herself together enough to try to figure out what’s going on.
It’s been clear to everyone except the current higher powers in the circle that the Count who’s in charge of the time-travelers is not really serious about trying to save the world, but wants only his own immortality. But as Gwyneth and Gideon find out that they’ve both come to this conclusion, they also realize someone in the present day must be working more directly on the Count’s behalf. It would have helped me here if I’d read the previous book a little more recently – I couldn’t remember enough of the villain’s character to recognize him. Gwyneth also learns a number of deep family secrets, one of which, very conveniently, is the location of the second chronograph, so that she and Gideon can do some investigating in other times on their own.
The story still focuses pretty equally on the time-travel plots and on the romance, which felt a little too deliberately swoony and physically rather than personality-focused for me to love it quite as much as I would like. Lesley falling for Gideon’s younger brother is sweet, though. There’s an odd side plot as Gwyneth and Lesley are invited to a classmate’s annual costume birthday party, even though neither of them is really interested in attending. Through much of the book, though, there are frequent conversations on how they can come up with good costumes to fit the “Greensleeves” theme without either going broke or going in green garbage bags.
I found this book just as hard to put down as the other ones, but the ending felt a little off to me. Even though it’s everything it promises – time travel intrigue and romance – I felt like both aspects could have been taken more seriously. This is probably irrational disappointment on my part, since the previous two books weren’t any deeper. Still, if you’re in the mood for clean romantic fantasy fluff, this fits the bill perfectly.