Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Posted June 21, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

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Emerald Green

Emerald Green

by Kerstin Gier

Series: Precious Stone Trilogy #3
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. on December 8, 2010
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Target Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

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.

 

I am sitting outside on a brick wall in a charming little courtyard in the shade of trees.  It is precisely 76-degrees out and the skies are blue and sunny and there’s a perfect, quaint little wind.  It is an absolutely perfect day, and I am ever so slightly miserable.

Why?

Because after lovingly dragging it out over the course of the last few years, I have finished finished the Ruby Red trilogy.

adored this story.  The only bad thing I can really say about it is that it’s a bit silly.  I like that silliness, though, I think it works for Gwen’s character.  Listening to these audiobooks has brought me such joy and I’ve anxiously anticipated each next installment.  The trilogy as a whole feels very much like one story that’s been split apart due to page count, and now, I’m just waiting for more (which is not coming).

Don’t get me wrong – as the last book in the trilogy, Emerald Green ties everything up quite nicely.  The story arc is closed in a satisfying way, and Gwen stays true to her character.  That’s a big thing for me, the fact that Gwennie didn’t suddenly become some kick-butt heroine at the last moment for sensation and thrills.  In fact, the YA genre has me so spoiled with extraordinary things that I was pleasantly surprised to see that the characters were consistent… and that they always felt real.

Another really nice thing about Emerald Green was the timeline consistency.  What with the tiny little subplot here, I’m sure some things changed in the present, but as a whole, it kept to its own rules and followed through.  There were bits and pieces from the first book that I’d forgotten about until they were playing back to me in Emerald Green and I’ll admit, it took some self-control not to say “AHA!” in the right moments, though that interruption would have been largely frowned upon in an otherwise mostly empty office.  The rules of time travel is the sort of thing that can make or break a story, and right through to the end, this one was consistent (*side-eyes Vortex*).

I’m just… all shades of happy/sad here.  I’m so delighted because this book is such a romp and a good time.  But I’m also sad because it’s the end of my journey with Gwennie and Leslie and Gideon and the crew.  For all that I’m outside of the demographic and the book’s a bit older now, this is easily going to be a comfort read for me.  And I knew it from the outset, when I fell in love with Ruby Red.  It’s so nice to discover books like these.

It may not have always been surprising, but I cannot deny the sheer delight Emerald Green brought me.  It was just the book I needed right now.  If you’ve not read this series and you don’t mind light-hearted YA time travel stories, I cannot recommend it enough.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★

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Do you ever drag out reading a series because you’re not ready to be done reading it?  I don’t usually do it on purpose because I follow some strict rules on my personal TBR, but I’ll admit skipping Emerald Green a few times just because I knew it was the end.  Tell me about all the series you haven’t wanted to end in the comments!

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2 responses to “Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

  1. Tokio

    I reread the Ruby Red trilogy about once every 18 or so months (less than once a year but more frequently than every other year). It’s SUCH a comfort book! It is in every way lighthearted and delightful. I remember when I first ref the trilogy, I had a dopey smile on my face the ENTIRE time, and squealed and giggled constantly (the marzipan hearts? I used this when talking to people!) This book made me feel exactly the way I felt reading the Princess Diaries when I was eleven.
    Favorites things for me:
    1. Gwynnie was a normal, silly girl with a normal, silly life and she didn’t change AT ALL from that! Even after becoming “the chosen one”, she kept her strong relationships with her siblings, her mother, and her best friend. She never gave up any of herself, and the author didn’t try to discard her old life for her new. The time travel was never a dark secret she harbored from those she loved the most: her brother and sister and Leslie knew all about it, and thus could actively get involved and help her. I loved that she was never alone, and that the story was never her and Gideon versus the world, like so much modern YA (and I am aware of how guilty I am of that, too, don’t worry!). She had a huge support network and that just made me so nonsensically happy, tbh. Leslie reminded me so much of Stiles from Teen Wolf- best friend is dealing with life-changing BS, so she had to step up and do the research and get involved.
    2. That the book read, as you suggest, like it was one book split up into three parts! Generally it drives me crazy when I get to the 3rd in a trilogy because the writing style will have changed so much since book one. But this remained totally consistent! I worried when Xemerius was introduced because it felt like the book much jump the shark, but he fit seamlessly into the pages without disruption. Same for Raphael. The story felt genuine and the characters themselves from start to finish. Also if you look at the timeline, all three books happen over like 2 weeks. So it wouldn’t make sense at all for people to change.
    3. AUNT MADDIE
    4. Gideon freaking out after she was stabbed by Rakoczy and then staring at her like his world was rearranging whilst he tries to figure out what happened and then COMING TO HER HOUSE?? I had an OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE when he showed up at home!!! Honestly I really didn’t like Gideon at all until that point. He was too arrogant and dismissive for my tastes. But the way she wrote his character after he was openly honest about his feelings following Gwynnie’s death was awesome and definitely Prince Charming. Everything he did after that was 100 times better.
    5. That Gideon was not in the final scene. It was she and Leslie at school chatting. Very in-character for the story. I smiled the whole time.
    6. The translation! There is something so unique about the word choices of the translated version that really sets this old-timey tone despite the story itself taking place in modern London. It made the whole thing feel like a classic romance of yesteryear.

    Things that pissed me off so much:
    1. Nearly every single man in the story, and the UNBEARABLY MISOGYNISTIC way they treated her and a her mother. I know that’s the point, that the lodge is full of old fashioned assholes, but holy crap, I wanted to fistfight all of them.
    2. That’s it. This book was a masterpiece, and I suggest it to everyone I meet. It reads like a modern fairytale with its lofty cuteness, and it’s one of my go-to comfort reads. I’m so happy you liked it!!!

    • Amber

      As for your annoyed points, I will fight you a little on point #1 where Raphael was not so bad. Or Paul. EVERYONE ELSE THOUGH OMG.

      As for your good points – YES. One of the first things I realized going into Emerald Green was the timeline and I was like “holy f- this is only 2 weeks” so it all makes so much sense, and also, why do we drag fantasy books out over the course of months? Silliness.

      AUNT MADDIE IS A DELIGHT.

      I am so ruined by modern YA that I was waiting for Gideon to be a villain the entire time, that his character changes were a front and Kerstin Gier was messing with us. When he came to the house I was like HE AND CHARLOTTE ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING WITH THE CHRONOGRAPH and even when she trusted him, I was with Leslie. I’m looking forward to re-reading and knowing that he is a complex person and not a literary trope. <3

      The translation is honestly beautiful - it took me until after I finished Ruby Red to realize it was originally written in German. It's a seamless, beautiful translation and I wish the same translator had worked on Cornelia Funke as well because her stories are also remarkable but the translation doesn't get me there. Which OMG is such a privileged complaint to have, but yes you're right these translations are beautiful.

      I support anything that makes you wear a dopey smile. <3

      <3 <3 <3