Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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.
It seems to me that I have a tendency to not read books that are exceptional in all areas, whether it is the plot or the characters or even the writing. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier is one of those books. It’s one of those incredibly well written books that has a character you’ll love and a plot that makes you want to know more but it’s also a book that didn’t get a lot of attention. Ruby Red is funny, dramatic, well written and has to do with time travel!
Let’s begin with the plot, shall we? The fact that blood determines if you’re going to be a time travelers is brilliant and not very common. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done before, actually. There is a lot of secrecy going on among the group of time travelers which leads to lots of drama too. As you read more and more of this book, you find that the history of the Circle of Twelve, the society of time travelers, goes back centuries and there is more mystery and deceit and lies within the society than meets the eye. There is a lot of mystery in this book in general and some interesting plot twists that make is nearly impossible to stop reading. Plus, there isn’t a whole lot of information dumping going on and we only learn enough so we (the readers) aren’t confused but the mystery is still present.
I loved Gwen so, so much. Ruby Red does have a lot of drama going on especially when Gwen turns out to have the time traveling gene and the family not being happy about it but it’s not overly saturated. This has a lot to do with the fact that Gwen grew up a normal teen and when she’s thrown into this situation, she’s scared and awkward and her sometimes cynical. She’s a very believable character and she really does make you laugh. Yet, I did feel she was...young. She's supposed to be 16 and all, but that didn't always come across as such.
I also have to mention the writing. Maybe it’s because this story is set in England and the dialogue and vocabulary is very British and doesn’t seem forced. As I was reading this story, the words flowed together seamlessly and I really had no idea how fast I read this book! But then again, it does have a lot to do with the translator....
Overall, Ruby Red has become one of my favorite books of the year. An excellently told story through the eyes of a funny teenager, Kerstin Gier’s novel is well written and wonderfully paced. I recommend this to everyone and anyone. I will also point out that maybe I didn't like it as much or had issues with it because of the translation? I'm not sure but I like the new cover for the paperback:
Original cover: I like it. It's simple and elegant and nice.
New cover: I actually think it's really pretty. I love the dress a lot but maybe the whole explosion in the background doesn't work do well. I do like the London scenery!
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