Luckily the book didn’t suffer from the second book syndrome and despite my misgivings with Rubinrot and the problematic translations editor and lacking in beta readers, I really like Gwendolyn. The storytelling is still a disjointed mess between a romance and a historical fantasy but I do enjoy this book more than the previous one. Because of that, I just skip the problematic paragraphs with weird sentence structure that made my own occasional Malaysianized grammatical lapses more comprehensible than reading parts of this book.
The problem with this kind story was there wasn’t much a chance for the characters to develop overtime because of the differences in timeline in between the modern and the time lapses which made the romance happen in span of several weeks. Plus, because of the genetic defect they had, they either they use chronograph to time travel at specific fixed time or flung uncontrollably into time. So with each time travel, curiously they were all very eventful to fit in one book. Then again, I was hoping for a Doctor Who reference at this point too.
Luckily for this novel, I was taken into the mystery of the twelve circle and the prophecies and the endless foreboding from the occasional psychic aunt and also the persistent “romance between Montrose and de Villiers always end badly” that always put out as a reminder which of course will be continued with the next book. But I did predicted something between Paul and Lucy and their exact relationship with Gwendolyn (Sorry, “Gwyneth” seemed to rhyme with an exaggerated sigh) and the novel does give out obvious clues around so I won’t spoil myself until I get the next instalment.
Unlike the previous book, the writing aren’t as badly juvenile as the previous book and there’s more interesting parts and scenes unlike the quite linear Rubinrot which the movie changed some parts and embellish it even more. Plus, a drunken teenage girl singing Cats was as entertaining as it sounds. I like that there’s some relationship stuff happening between Gwen and Gideon which was put into a cliffhanger at the end. I still think the Lodge folks, the gargoyle and Gideon’s brother probably have some tricks in their sleeves. The predictable parts remain predictable but some of the time travellers secrets are intriguing enough to sustain the interest in the final book.