**spoiler alert** I'm so relieved we finally have answers! Though I must admit some of the weavey-windey time travel stuff still doesn't make much sen**spoiler alert** I'm so relieved we finally have answers! Though I must admit some of the weavey-windey time travel stuff still doesn't make much sense to me. I shall chose to suspend my disbelief because in general, I really enjoyed this series, even if it should have been one big book. ;)
So what are my final thoughts?
I still feel like the relationship between Gideon and Gwen should have been given more time to develop. Considering how deep their connection ended up being, it would have made more sense if more time had elapse during Gwen's training. As the characters specifically mentioned several times, it didn't really matter how long it took in the future for them to go back because they could go back at any time TO any time. I really would have believed in their love more had it been given more time to grow instead of simply being "love at first sight."
If I'm reading the time travel/secret elixir shenanigans correctly, this is how things went down for Gideon on that last "day": Gideon travels from 2011 to 1786 with Gwen to drop her off and be threatened, and then back to 2011. Gideon then travels to 1912 to get Lucy and Paul's blood for the Guardians' chronograph, and while there, he drinks the elixir that he and Gwen produced when they closed their family's chronograph, and then he heads back to 2011. While in 2011, they put Lucy and Paul's blood in the Guardian chronograph, and Gideon travels back to 1786 to deliver the elixir to the Count. After Gideon leaves 2011, "Mr. Whitman" attacks the Guardians and locks most of them in the chronograph room to await Gideon's arrival back in 2011. What I don't get is, if the prophecy says that the person who was immortal stops being immortal when Gwen was born, why is Gideon still immortal? Is it because he went back in time from a time after Gwen was born and then took the elixir? And now his immortality will be unending because there's no more Ruby to be born to end it? I get that the point was for Gwen to have an immortal companion for the rest of her life, but how we got there could have been cleaned up a bit. Oh well.
I loved the bit in the epilogue where Lucy and Paul's new last name is Barnard! Does that mean it's their descendant who becomes the Montrose butler?? No wonder he knows so much and is so devoted to the family! I hope Gwen and family find that out so they can spend more time together....more
If you haven't read book 1 in this trilogy, or even my review of book 1, I would highly recommend you stop reading here and check out Ruby Red. :)
(vieIf you haven't read book 1 in this trilogy, or even my review of book 1, I would highly recommend you stop reading here and check out Ruby Red. :)
(view spoiler)[I've said it once, and I'll said it again, and again, and again. This really should have been one big book. We've reached the end on the second book and it still doesn't really have any sort of separate, defined plot. That's often the problem with middle books in trilogies, but it seems especially pointed here. I'll leave it at that for now, as I really am enjoying this book series for the most part.
So, where are we now? Gwyneth, as the Ruby and the last Traveller, has the power of the Raven, which is most likely her ability to see ghosts of both people and demons. There are still only a few people that know she has this power, and even fewer who believe she's telling the truth. I'm not sure where Gideon falls on that scale, because when Gwyn was telling him about it, he was a little distracted, both by her being drunk and by wanting to kiss her. But her friend Lesley and Mr. George definitely know and believe her, and there's a possibility that the Count knows as well, though I can't figure anything out about the count and his intentions, really.
It's still unclear who is on who's side in this whole mess. I think the dividing line is going to come down to who cares more about Gwyneth's life than closing the circle and fulfilling whatever prophecy has been foretold, because I'm pretty sure the part that's been redacted by the Count and the reason why Lucy and Paul rebelled and ran away is that Gwyneth has to die to close the circle. I'm not sure why they would need more of her blood than the others', but that's the impression I've gotten.
It also seems important to the Count that Gwyneth be separated from Gideon, and I'm guessing it's because he wants to keep her closer to his side, and maybe that he didn't expect Gideon to actually fall in love with Gwyn. I'm pretty sure the Count gave Gideon instructions to make the Ruby, whether that be Charlotte or Gwyn, fall in love with him, because in his mind, a woman in love is controllable. The tables turned, though, when the Count realized that Gideon actually did love Gwyn, and that shifts the power towards Gwyneth and those who will want to save her (Paul, Lucy, Lady Tilney, probably others). I feel really bad for Gwyn because no one likes to be deceived, but you have to admit, she is very emotional, and she doesn't trust people easily (or at all, really).
Forgive my disbelief, but Gwyn and Gideon have known each other for maybe a week now. I have a hard time believing that they really are "in love" in a meaningful, forever type of way. That appears to be the path they are headed down, but speeding up the process just makes it feel less real and likely. As deeply as Gwyn claims to feel for Gideon, you'd think she'd give him a little benefit of the doubt. Only asking him a yes or no question isn't very fair, because it doesn't tell the whole story. Even if he went into meeting her with the task of making her fall in love with him doesn't mean everything he has said and done has been a lie, carefully constructed to win her over. Yes, it's hard to figure out who to trust, especially when your hormones and emotions are flying every which way, and people are hiding things from you at every turn, but in the end, you need to trust your gut, follow your instincts, and ignore what the creepy old guy is telling you.
My favorite part of this book has been Xemerius, the gargoyle-shaped demon-ghost who has quickly become Gwyneth's (and my!) best friend. He's so helpful and adorable and insightful, and he's become a great sounding board for Gwyn as she tries to figure out what the heck is going on. I just wish he could travel through time with her, because most of the danger to Gwyn seems to lie in the past, when she's visiting the Count & friends.
I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next (and finally getting a conclusion!), and I won't have to wait long, because I already have book 3 in my hands. :) (hide spoiler)]...more
This one moved quickly, and I wasn't ready for it to end! And that's mostly because it DIDN'T end. It just stopped, mid adventure. This is the type ofThis one moved quickly, and I wasn't ready for it to end! And that's mostly because it DIDN'T end. It just stopped, mid adventure. This is the type of trilogy that should really just be one really long book, because even if it's a series, each book needs to have some sort of narrative arc in and of itself. As it stands, this first book just ends, with no real conclusion for any of the many plot lines or mysteries. I would roll right into the next book of the series, but I have to wait for my hold request to go through at the library. This lack of conclusion itself is one of the reasons why this book is getting 4 stars instead of 5, because I'm rather enjoying the storyline and characters for the most part.
Time travel can become very sticky, especially when multiple people can travel through time, and you never know where people have been and who they've already talked to and how they've influenced the timeline. It can be really hard to keep straight, even as an outside observer, so I can only imagine how hard to is for the characters to wrap their minds around and keep track of.
This book actually reminds me a lot of the Chronos series that begins with Timebound - a girl has the ability to time travel through her genetics, and must use it to save the world/reveal some sort of unknown secret power, and she doesn't know who she can trust, even those in her own family tree. At least that series seemed to have a clear goal: stop the dude from taking over the world and changing the course of history bit by bit. This one, not only can't I figure out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are, I can't figure out what anyone's goals are. What is going to happen when the chrono-thing is complete? Do they even know? Why do some want to stop it? Why would it be bad if the count knows about Gwenyth's abilities? Is that the Power of the Raven? (view spoiler)[And is she extra special because she's the child of 2 time travelers? (Yes, I'll say that again. I think it's pretty clear by now that Gwen is Lucy and Paul's child, and Grace has been hiding her for years.) (hide spoiler)]
The only thing I'm a little disappointed by is that the relationships don't feel very developed yet. (view spoiler)[Obviously Gwen and Gabriel are being set up for romance, but the whole part with Gabriel suddenly calling her extraordinary and kissing her in the church seemed really sudden considering their limited interactions up to that point. They'd only seen each other, what, twice? Maybe it's because I'm cynical or pragmatic, but I don't believe in love at first sight and I didn't get the impression that they were falling in love, regardless of what the epilogue says. (hide spoiler)] Plus, it added to the confusion at the end of the book, because I turned the virtual page to see what would happen next, because surely that wasn't the end, to discover the epilogue. Uh, what? I had to go back to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I'm hoping in the next book we get a little more insight into their relationship, more than just "you're different from other girls. You don't do what I say. It's so fascinating."
I also am really looking forward to learning more about Gwen's powers. Seeing ghosts and gargoyles is pretty cool and unique, and I wonder what it means, in the grand scheme of things. I'm especially looking forward to ghost James teaching Gwen all about the past, and maybe she can even meet him while he's still alive sometime! There's other interesting characters, too, like the best friend and the teacher. I'm curious about them, but hopefully the development of the main relationships won't be sacrificed for their sake.
I'm super curious to see what happens next, and hopefully my hold will come in quickly!...more
A gentle, thoughtful story that explores love and loss.
(view spoiler)[ This book did NOT end the way I expected! I figured that ghost-Mio was probablyA gentle, thoughtful story that explores love and loss.
(view spoiler)[ This book did NOT end the way I expected! I figured that ghost-Mio was probably not a shared hallucination, but I've read enough magical realism to immerse myself in the idea that ghost-Mio was able to come back for a short time to help Takkun and Yuji move on and regain some semblance of normal life again. Yuji was able to let go of some of his pain over feeling responsible for his mother's death, and Takkun was able to fall in love with his wife one more time, even while knowing she had to leave again.
And then! We find out that actually Ghost-Mio had come from the past and was Timetravelling-Mio! Love how open she was while getting to know Takkun and her son again, even though she had no memories of them. You could see how much she was falling in love with them and their life, and wanted Takkun to look at her and see HER, the woman returned (or so they thought), and not the memory of his dead wife. I think by the end of their 6 weeks, he really did see her for who she really was.
I really loved her letter, and how in the end, it wasn't just loving him that determined her fate, even though she did love him deeply, but it was also her choice. She chose to enter that life and bring Yuji in the world and everything that came with it, even knowing she would die, because she'd rather be with them than live longer. And that is what they mean by true love. I could read Mio's letter over and over again, it really is that special. It alone earned one of the stars I give this book. (hide spoiler)]...more
Review to come later. This was a bad time to happen to be reading a book about kids killing kids, even if they are all 15 year olds instead of 20 yearReview to come later. This was a bad time to happen to be reading a book about kids killing kids, even if they are all 15 year olds instead of 20 year olds attacking 5-10 year olds. :(
Most if the time when I'm reading, my brain automatically censors itself, and allows me to believe what I can process more easily. Most of the time while ready this, the characters seemed older to me, in their late teens or twenties. Not that that makes all the forced killings better, but still. Not kids. But every once in a while, when I force myself to see it, I am once again saddened and horrified. I have a niece who's 15, and the thought of her being sent to a place like this is mind-boggling and heart-wrenching.