"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." (from Goodreads)
The subject: a girl trying to juggle a time-travel mystery, a hot-and-cold romance, a snooty cousin and a snarky gargoyle.
The setting: present-day Britain, along with a whole slew of different times and places!
Shutter speed: Slower than I would have liked, all things considered. Not a lot actually happens in this one — I would've liked more action, fight scenes and dramatic tension. I thought it dragged a little, it seemed like there wasn't that much momentum pushing it forward.
What's in the background? The comic relief provided by the gargoyle. He was quite funny, and although his jokes did get kind of tiresome partway through, he definitely added some levity to the book. Overall he was just an enjoyable character!
Also, Gwen gets to wear some really awesome dresses.
Zoom in on: Great-aunt Maddy! We didn't see her very much in this one, which is a shame because she can be humorous.
Anything out of focus? I kept losing track of the next step as they jumped around from one century to another — the whole time-travel angle definitely complicates matters. I found myself thinking things like, "Does this person know that this will happen in the future?" (Then again, I suppose that is a necessary evil of just about any time-travel story.) They don't really get that much further in terms of figuring out how everything fits together and what the 'ultimate destiny' is. This is the type of series where each book serves as part of a larger story arc, rather than having any sort of internally contained one.
It's definitely more about the relationship between Gwen and Gideon, which – while really cute – I also found frustrating. They have so much trouble with communication and they're always keeping secrets from each other. Gideon is particularly moody in this one, although he does have some reasons.
Ready? Say... Time travel, gargoyles and teen angst, oh my!
Click! 3.5 shooting stars. Some things frustrated me, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit and whipped through it in a day. All the same, at the end I was left feeling dissatisfied, as it didn't feel like much had been solved or accomplished.
Just a couple suggestions: I think it'd be a good idea to re-read the first book before starting this one if it's been a while, since Sapphire Blue drops you into it head-first and you're going to be lost about what's going on if you haven't (I skimmed Ruby Red beforehand and it's good I did!) Also, although I read this as an e-book I suspect it might be more helpful to read a physical copy, because it's difficult to remember all the characters' names and connections without flipping back to check the family trees.
Disclaimer: I received this as an e-book for review from the publisher.