Date of Publication: October 31 2012
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.
I'll start with a quick note on the cover. I usually love girls in dresses, but the hardcover (the image I included in this post) is so much classier. I don't see why they needed to change it for paperback, but what do I know, right?
Sapphire Blue is a very entertaining read that grasped my attention very well. It's one of those books that you can read for fun and it won't require too much dedication. It's an extremely readable book that I think has some issues, but in general they don't stop the book from being enjoyable, they just keep it from being great.
The first issue is Gwen herself. She's a very likable, emotional teenage girl who's a little all over the place. Gwen cries and jokes and laughs and generally, I liked her. She's the type of character you can have fun with. However, Gwen is also very irritating. She cries a lot over some uh, not bawl worthy things. Somehow, her pain feels superficial. It feels a little childish. She was immature for her age, and I think she was written that way by design, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
The other issue I have is that Sapphire Blue felt like an installment, not a complete story. I don't feel like the ending was adequate because even more questions were raised. The storyline didn't exist and wrap up. Sapphire Blue was a transition book, and sometimes the lack of obvious direction was frustrating as a reader. After I read the final chapter, I had no idea that the story would end there so I continued on flipping pages and was shocked to see an epilogue. It feels like a random place to end a story. Scratch that- it's a cruel place to end a book, especially because it's a bit of a low.
Gwen's attraction to Gideon is also a little strange. I mean, it takes a week for them to fall in love. I'm glad to see there's some doubt, but it's too fast. I wouldn't even call it love for that reason. Maybe infatuation, but not love.
Now that I got the negative off my chest, I'll move on the positive. Sapphire Blue was charming in a way. The phrasing of the words and the dialogue was different from what I normally read and I'm not sure if it was accurately British, but it did read differently than most North American books. I enjoyed that.
There is also some delightfully humourous aspects to the story. Maybe you won't connect emotionally with Gwen but you will be amused by her behaviour. She's very out there and honest in a way most people aren't. The other characters bring some charm as well. None of them are particularly deep, but they are fun to read about.
And that's the key to this series: fun. It's not too serious. It's a light read that has minimal sci-fi complications with entertaining characters. I liked it, and so it gets 3 hearts.