Emerald Green

A fun conclusion to a charming series, Emerald Green is the third and final book from Kerstin Gier in her Ruby Red Trilogy about time-travel, romance, secret societies, and stopping a really creepy guy from becoming immortal. Like ya do.

Gwen grew up in the shadow of her cousin Charlotte... not only was Charlotte beautiful, talented, popular, redheaded, and rich, but Charlotte was destined to become a time-traveler and complete the mission of a secret society with which their family has been involved for generations. But when it turns out that Charlotte *doesn't* have the gene and it's Gwen who will fulfill the prophecy (and whose birthdate was actually fudged to deflect focus), everything is different. Through Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, Gwen discovers her ability, learns more, and gets limited information about what's expected of her, but it's obvious she's not being told the whole story. In Emerald Green, Gwen will finally be able to unravel the mystery surrounding not just her own birth, but the intentions of the secret society whose agenda she's not willing to blindly follow.

If you're looking for a light, sweet read with romance, pretty costume dresses, and charm, then I'd definitely recommend the Ruby Red Trilogy. It's a good fit for teenage girls in the 12-16 age range, as there isn't much more-than-kissy content to get anyone's knickers in a twist. Just lots of romantic angst and lack of clear communication. Sounds about right for the early teen years.

I don't recommend judging books by their covers but, let's face it, I think these covers do a pretty good job at setting your expectations. Pretty dresses, time travel, romance. Don't expect great depth or shocking plot twists and reveals. Most of the things Gwen learns in this book are facts that the readers has seen coming for a very long while, so you might be a touch irritated at her dimness, but Emerald Green is a nice wrap-up so at least poor Gwen can catch up.

A point of note: I sense a bit of redhead envy in Gier's childhood, given that Charlotte's hair is a frequent point of discussion, usually in the same sentence as a remark about her attitude or villainy. (Gier's hair is blond but has enough richness to it that she might also have redheads in her family.) I actually enjoyed seeing a redhead in a less-than-flattering role, as Charlotte's is an interesting role, particularly in this book, where she's finally dealing more actively with her frustration at not being the destined time-traveler as everyone expected. Thwarted ambition, anger, and sadness... it would have been nice to have more of this (or have Charlotte included in the ultimate triumph) but this is Gwen's story and so we focus on our time traveling teen.

Gier is a German author, so I find it particularly amusing that this storyline is all set in London, but she obviously has familiarity with the city, as everything seems quite accurate. This series was a pleasant bit of escapism with lots of heart. Whatever project Gier tackles next, I'll be happy to read it.