Original Title: Saphirblau. Liebe geht durch alle Zeiten
Translator: Anthea Bell
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: October 30th 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.
First, impressions about translation then on to the review: I think I can easily say that I disliked the translation of Saphirblau much more than Rubinrot. Again, Gwen just reads younger than she really is, and this time it affected my enjoyment of the book much more than with Rubinrot. It seemed to diminish some of Gwen's character growth. Gwen also comes off as a much more angsty character in English than she did in German. And, again, can we just enjoy that German cover?
However, one thing both translations have in common is that Sapphire Blue reads more like slump chapters that follow Ruby Red than an independent book. It jumps right in where Ruby Red left off with little to no background information and ends just as abruptly. Even in a trilogy I like a little bit of a reminder at the beginning of each book about where we have been, and some sort of resolution at the end -- even if it is temporary or only for part of the plot.
I also found the main characters are disappointingly less realistic and well rounded in Sapphire Blue than in Ruby Red. Gideon is just a mess -- fluctuating between kind friend and jerk at the drop of a hat; Charlotte -- who was annoying but redeemable in Ruby Red -- becomes insufferable; and Gwen is so wrapped up in Gideon's personality swings that she misses a lot of really important things going on all around her. Lesley and the other members of the supporting cast (oh, how I love you Xemerius -- and I would buy you a dog!) save this installment of the trilogy. Their humorous antics carry the book between the action.
All this aside, a lot more happens in this installment than what one assumes at first glance. There are tons of little hints and bits of information that will be important for Emerald Green; the foreshadowing just got a little lost in the angst. Sapphire Blue was also still a fast and frothy read -- fun despite the flaws -- and I'm excited to get my hands on Emerald Green next fall.
***Read an excerpt of Sapphire Blue from TOR here.***
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Review also appears on Goodreads; I purchased my copy for Nook from Barnes and Noble.