Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
Date Published: May 10th 2011
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Description: Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance.
Ruby Red is obviously the first book in a trilogy. But was more the set up for a trilogy, than a separate book.
The first 120 pages are teen angst and more teen angst. Gwyn sees dead people. No one believes her, except her best friend Lesley. Gwyn’s cousin Charlotte is the “Chosen One”. The one who was prophesized to be the time traveler in the family. Charlotte has spent her 16 years in training. Gwyn has spent her 16 years in being a normal kid. So of course, Gwyn is the time traveler in the family. And see what I did there? I just summed up the first 120 pages so you won’t need to bother reading them. The plot picks up here. And actually gets interesting. Gwyn starts to travel in time. Meets up with Gideon, the other time traveler in the book. They go on a couple of adventures. Gwyn even meets her grandmother’s grandmother, who also happens to be a time traveler. We won’t get into the patriarchal, super-secret society that controls time-travel. It just made me want to scream at all the men who think that women are hysterical and useless.
In Ruby Red, time travel is genetic. And explained in a pretty simple manner. Travel is only backwards. Never into your own timeline. But a traveler could meet the same person at different times in either of their lives. Yes, time travel is confusing! Especially to Gwyn, who’s never had the rules explained.
As for the characters, Lesley was the most interesting to me, and she was a secondary character. Lesley is the brains behind everything Gwyn knows. And a bit of a kleptomaniac. But that just makes her more endearing. I found the fact that Gwyn sees and talks to dead people engaging, especially when those dead people are gargoyles. Gideon has potential, but wasn’t really developed enough in this story.
Overall, two stars for the first 120 pages, and three stars for the remainder of the book. I wish the editors would have just started the book once the action begins. I’m not sure I’m interested enough to read the rest of the series. Maybe others have read them and the books get better?
Totally what Lynn said. So my two cents will be brief, and listy.
- There is a lot of setup in this book, but not much actual plot. They go on some travels into the past, but again more to set up the idea of tim travel, and that they are in danger, than really anything else. And then the book just stops.
- There’s quite a bit of Charlotte is better that Gwyn, and there’s no reason for Gwyn to be the special one. Stuck up snobby people.
- The book introduces magic, sort of, but doesn’t develop that. What is the magic of the Raven? No freaking clue, and yet the book kept saying how important that is.
- Gwyn can see ghosts! And… no nothing happens with that.
- Gideon… might be a pompous jerk, or maybe something else?
- Big secret about Lucy and Paul in the prologue and epilogue, kind of want to know more about that. I’m assuming in future books this secret comes out. Then who’s side will Gwyn be on?
I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to keep reading, but maybe just a bit.