A Great End to a Great Series: Emerald Green (Ruby Red, #3) by Kerstin Gier Book Review

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Emerald Green (Ruby Red, #3)

By: Kerstin Gier Narrated by Marisa Calin

Released: October, 2013 by Macmillian Audio

Length: Audio 12 Hours and 42 Minutes

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: purchased via audible.com

 

We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard…oh wait wrong book. We’re off to see a made up Count to close the Circle of Twelve so illnesses can be cured. Or, are we?

Two weeks ago, Gwen’s perfect cousin Charlotte was the Ruby, the Raven, the last time traveler of a circle of twelve–a secret society based on two families of time travelers. But, Charlotte wasn’t the Ruby. It was Gwen, whose  real day of birth was a secret, among other things, creating an uproar. Now, with a little bit of training, a demon ghost friend, and her best friend Leslie, Gwen isn’t so bad at time traveling. But, the mysteries are piling up. The pressure is building to close the Circle of Twelve. And, Lucy and Paul, two time travelers on the run with the original chronograph that allows all time travels to go to specific places in time, are still a sore subject. Gwen is starting to find out what they know–why the circle shouldn’t close. And, it’s big.

Then, there’s hot and cold Gideon. I love You/ I don’t love you. With his feelings constantly in flux, Gwen spends the time not crying with her grandfather discovering more secrets, and getting closer to the truth. Thankfully, Gideon makes an honest man of himself and is upfront. Now, time to save the day you two–together, preferably.

Gier’s final book in her YA fantasy trilogy was excellent. I loved every twist, turn, revelation, and final reveal. I was stunned at the end at who someone really was. The surprises were great. Listening to it on audio made me feel more there with all the action.  Marisa Calin, who has narrated the whole series, was a joy to listen to again. This was a great finale. Everything I would want to happen, happened. I was right about one of my hunches (and, I love being right!). There were intriguing turn of events I didn’t see coming. I think this was truly the best in the series. It was truly the strongest send of a third and final book could be.

I would truly recommend this series. I was never disappointed. There were never any parts I wanted to really skip. The characters were all amusing, well developed and crafted. The time traveling was interesting and fun. The mysteries were intriguing and kept my attention the whole time. This is definitely a good series to start. I normally don’t finish series. I get bored with them so easily. This one, I just couldn’t help but finish it. I’m so happy I did. I am completely satisfied. I hope you consider this series. It’s a very quick read. It is even more fun to listen to because Calin does fantastic voices. Give Ruby Red a try and fall in love with Emerald Green like I did. You won’t regret it.

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Love is Neverending for the Believers: Endless by Amanda Gray Book Review

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Endless

By: Amanda Gray

Released September, 2013 from Month9Books, LLC

Length: 384 Pages

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal with a mix of Historical Fiction (Romanov Era)

Rating: Four Stars

Jenny Kramer was accustomed to seeing visions from just a simple touch, but when the visions start to involve Maria Romanov and becomes intertwined with her real life, Jenny has to find out what the connection between Maria and her is. And, why a boy from her visions seems very much alive next door to her. She’s can’t seem to stop herself from being drawn from him, either. Is it love? Is it Real?

For a majority of her life, it is just been Jenny Kramer and her architect dad since her mother died when she was young. Although she is close with her dad, the details surrounding her mom are vague. Jenny can’t remember anything about her. All she knew was her mother would disappear for periods of time without saying why.  Jenny never pushed her dad for details, but when a figure from her dreams not only sneaks into the paintings Jenny made for an exhibit, but appears in the abandoned manor next door, Jenny starts to question who her mother really was. Why did she have a ring that resembles that of a secret organization in her town that helps people out of time. And, what is out of time? There are so many questions Jenny needs to find the answers for. The first, why the man resembles a boy, Nikolai from the Romanov Era? And, why he calls her Maria, the girl she is in her dream? Is she related to a Romanov?

 There were so many layers to this novel that I can’t do them justice. So much intrigue. I loved the historical aspect. It brought anew twist to the paranormal/fantasy aspect in the novel. I enjoyed that the chosen period wasn’t that of the Tudors, or the like, but of the Russian Romanovs that have such a sad history. It made the book seem less cliche; Romanovs aren’t usually on the top of peoples radar. Gray was able to weave together the tragic end of the Romanovs, focusing on Maria Romanov, into a timeless love story. Jenny/Maria was a strong character. The love story between her and the mysterious Nikolai was great. It wasn’t a love that was forced down the reader’s throat because it is supposed to be true love. It was natural; believable in the intensity for once. The way Nikolai finds Jenny/Maria was awe-inducing. I didn’t cry over their love, but of all the true love YA books out there, this has to be one of the most original; and sweet, heart-warming, and not creepy in a It is Young Adult, but didn’t always feel like that which was refreshing. You didn’t think about how old the characters were. There was no High School moment. They were never in classrooms that would remind you you were reading a YA book. It all felt contemporary; and, the age irrelevant.  I am never a huge fan of reading soulmate books, but this one was one I would read again. It all felt more authentic than others.

The dialogue in this novel wasn’t the writers’ strong point, but it was enjoyable enough that I didn’t want to skip many pages. I loved the plot the best; the way it unfolded it a gradual pace that allowed me to hang on to my seat for a little while. I was definitely surprised, or shocked, at certain plot twists that I enjoyed. All the plot twists, or layers, were great. I really found this novel to be unique and original. Since Amanda Grace is a duo, I thought maybe I would read parts that belonged to one author and not the other, like some collaborations read. Not here. The novel was completely fluid, with no real style changes. The book may seem to be a little long at a little under 400 pages, but reading it feels like it is much shorter. I just kept turning the page as each twist appeared, an aw love moment would happen, and a funny line would appear. I loved this novel.

I highly recommend this book. Just read it. You will want more. There is a slight cliff hanger, but I couldn’t find out if it is part of a series. Makes me love it even more that it was so good I want a second one. I’m not even a real fan of series. It was that enjoyable for me. I want to find out more!

Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2) book review

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Sapphire Blue (The Ruby Red Trilogy, #2)

 

Sapphire Blue (Red Ruby Trilogy #2)

By Kerstin Gier (read by Marrisa Calin)

Originally published in German 2009

Four Stars

Genre Young Adult Fantasy

Gwen’s life has been a roller coaster 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.

Once again, Gier tells a captivating story about Gwen Shepard, the unlikely heroine. When we first met Gwen, she discovered she was a Ruby, the last time traveler, the one meant to close the portal of twelve and release some secret; a secret no one trusted to tell her or really know. She was beyond slighted by her family. Because she was so unprepared, as her perfect cousin was meant to be the last gene carrier, she had to quickly catch up and hear about how much of a failure she is by everyone. Except her mom, siblings, and her side kick Leslie.

Now, slightly more adjusted, Gwen is not only accustomed to the dirty looks by the members of the inner circle, but becoming more confident. She is still trying to hold on to her secret about seeing ghosts, as she feels no one in the order would believe her. Luckily, she has a new sidekick, the hilarious  gargoyle demon, Xemerius who started to follow her after Gwen’s kiss with the warm and cold Gideon.  Xemerius is witty, talkative, and really helpful. He makes fun of the order while spying on them. Complains and complains, but oh so witty. I love Leslie, but I laughed every time Xemerius appeared. He was just so right on point with things. His humor was dry. Gwen doesn’t appreciate him as much as she should.

If it was possible, the time traveling aspect became much more intricate and entertaining. The mysteries, oh the intrigue. What really is the secret?  Why Did Paul and Lucy steal the original chronograph? And the Count? Maybe there was one or two dull moments, but hardly any really. Gier’s writing style is simple, easy to understand, but fast paced. You want to turn the pages, and fast. The adventure is there, as well as romance. The romance controls Gwen’s mind, making her get side-tracked often. She gets angry, distrustful, and confused. She becomes her own person in this sequel.  She doesn’t mind breaking rules, speaking up, and telling Gideon and others what she feels. Not always in a polite tone, but gets her point through.

This was a great sequel. I am really happy I started this series. It is a fun read. The time-traveling and mysteries are fun. The characters engaging and worth remembering. Even with listening to this one as an audio oppose to reading it as an e-book, I loved it. The end was great. And, now October needs to get here fast so i can read the last one. I can’t read German, so I need to wait for the English translation.

 

Ruby Shoes and Ruby Red: Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy #1) Book Review

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Ruby Red

Ruby Red

By Kerstin Gier (Translated to English by Anthea Bell from German)

Published May 10, 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.

Four Stars

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

-goodreads.com

Ruby Red was a $2.99 buy I purchased months back on my nook. I liked the idea of the book. It intrigued me; even though I am not a huge fantasy fiction fan. There is something about time travel and the past that I enjoy. What I wasn’t truly prepared for was the allure of secret societies on top of everything else. And, I mean secret, secret society. Intriguing, right? Yes, indeed. Especially for Gywenth Shepard who has spent her whole life on the outside of her family’s heritage. Charlotte was being groomed and welcomed to what the secret was. Gwen knew that there was a secret plan for the last time traveler. But, she just wasn’t sure how far and deep the secret and the society went.

Even after being the true Ruby Red, the last with the supposed most power abilities, she was treated with the utmost disrespect. She was untrained, not as groomed, and not knowledgeable in the least. Something she has learned to accept as her family and the other time traveling family, de Villiers.

Gwen is a great heroine, but it is her best friend that I enjoyed the most, Leslie Hays. She is the brains. She researches everything Gwen tells her, helping Gwen the most. Not only is she a great cheerleader, she is the one person I would trust with my time-traveling life. Her humor is great; her feelings open; and she is a great friend.

Gwen could get a little nervy, yet it was great heading into different centuries: the eighteen hundreds, 1912, and the seventeen hundreds. Each time, there was a different London and more adventures. Thankfully Gwen was never alone, but her companion Gideon was all but open to this new change. He was possibly one of my least favorite characters.

Still, I couldn’t help it, but each time Gwen came back from time traveling I pictured that she had the ruby shoes from The Wizard of Oz. Of course, she didn’t. But she is the Ruby.

I am looking forward to book two, which I downloaded for free as an audio book. I started already, and love it. Oh, the intrigue.

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes little YA fantasy, time travel, and outcasts. It is a pleasantly quick read at only 203 pages as an e-book.

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