by Kerstin Gier
Plot Summary: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.
Review:This second book in the series picks up right where the first left off, and in my review of the first book, I did mention how the series really seemed like one big book (because the first book just ended) and this book continues that feeling. The story keeps building, with Gwen finding out more about the secrets everyone might be keeping and also with more hints about Gwen's future actions being dropped. I found that element to be particularly intriguing as there was one scene in the first book where Gwen witnesses her future self, and I really can't wait for those scenes to be worked into the (final?) book to show the complete picture. I also love how in one part of the book Gwen visits St. Germain out of order, and he gives hints about their conversation (for him it's the day before, and for her it's tomorrow) and how that sets up expectations for their scene. It's one of the things that I love about time travel stories - getting the pieces and having them put together so cleverly to create the full story.
Gwen and Gideon's romance is still on tenterhooks, especially because they don't know if they can trust each other, but I loved reading it play out and even enjoyed sometimes disliking Gideon but always coming around and understanding his point of view. They have a difficult relationship and I think it's great that they aren't immediately 100% devoted to each other. But I can't wait for Charlotte to get her comeuppance! There's also a new character in this book - the gargoyle Xemerius - and while at first I thought he was a little annoying, I came around to his character very quickly and found that I really enjoyed all the scenes he's in! He's so snarky and forthright, and surprisingly helpful!
This series is such a fun and absorbing read, with great characters, and interesting teen drama, that even though there were slight pacing issues I had in the middle, still so many unanswered questions, and an ending that still doesn't give a complete story feel to these books, I have high hopes for the third book and I can't wait to read it! I feel like because there's so much that still needs to be explained, the last book is just going to be jam-packed with action and plot twists!