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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Ruby Red

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy #1)
by Kerstin Gier

Plot Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood.  In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far.  The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley.  It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden uncontrolled leaps into the past.

She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart.  He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any century...


I picked up Ruby Red because it has lots of things that I love. Time travel, romance and English history.  And it delivered on all those things while surprising me with its wit and humor.  Seriously Gwen is such a fun narrator, especially more so because she is not prepared for the crazy things that happen to her. Gwen's family life adds to the humor and the interest because she lives in a gorgeous upscale home with her grandmother, her immediate family and her aunts and cousin.  Oh and they have a butler!  The modern setting with such old fashioned values fits in with the secret society of time travelers that Gwen is involved in and all this created a world that was believable and fascinating.  With the rules to the time traveling gene being both wonderful and a pain.  I love that because it adds a level of realism - especially when comparing Gwen's obligation to the freedom her cousin Charlotte has now that she doesn't have to worry about randomly time traveling.

The romance between Gwen and Gideon was very unsure at first, and I thought the author developed it wonderfully - with the reader never really knowing Gideon's true feelings or intentions.  And there is a love triangle of sorts in that Gideon may have feelings for Gwen's cousin Charlotte, so that is an interesting angle to take.  Gideon is a fun character to explore as well - he can be sarcastic and changeable and I think there is still much to find out about him through this story.  There's another love story that is detailed in this book - between Lucy and Paul, and while we only get glimpses of it, it is definitely important to the narrative arc, and I look forward to finding out more about their characters.

There is one other aspect about this story that I really adored - everything with Gwen and her best friend Lesley.  So often in YA novels, when something supernatural or extraordinary happens to the main character, all of that character's old friends are left by the way side, but in this book it doesn't hurt Gwen and Lesley's friendship and the fact that Gwen had someone she could share everything that happened to her was awesome.  Especially fun was every time Lesley suggested they rent the DVD to solve some problem (like not knowing about a particular time period).

The logistics of the secret society, time traveling and Gwen getting to know Gideon made up most of this book, which I mention because this book just ends.  There's not really a cliffhanger, and no sense that this book is only set-up for the series, but this book felt like the first part of a three part tome.  Although I prefer each book in a series (or at least the first book in a series) to feel like a complete story, I didn't mind the ending of this book as much because I just went into the second book right away.

This book is a fun, engrossing read with strong characters and a great new approach to someone carrying a time traveling gene. A must read!
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P.S. There's a German film adaptation of this and it's OUTRAGEOUS it's not released globally!!

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  1. I'm so glad you liked this book! I read the whole trilogy in three days and loved it. I was so sad it ended, I think I could have read three more books about Gwen, Gideon and the whole time travel thing. I loved everything about it!
    I saw the movie with English subtitles. Unfortunately, they were so bad that I could barely understand what the characters were talking about. They changed a lot of things from the book, but when I watched it I hadn't read the book yet and I guess this is one thing that made me like it. Maybe if I had read the book before watching the movie, I would have been annoyed by all the things they changed.

    1. Ooh Emerald Green isn't out yet here, so jealous! I want to know how it all ends! Maybe the author will write more about these characters since it seems so popular.

      Thanks for the warning about the film - I hope I won't be too disappointed if I ever get to see it, though from the trailer it feels more epic than the book does.

    2. Yes, from the trailer it seems epic because it's so colorful, Gideon is hot and Gwen is so sweet and beautiful. Unfortunately, they changed the story too much... There are some things that don't even happen in the books, especially at the end of the movie.

      I know Emerald Green isn't out in the US yet. :) I read the trilogy in Romanian, and the last book was published here last year.

    3. Hmm, very interesting! I can see why they might change things in the film to give it more of an ending. Do you know if they are making a film of the rest of the series?

      Geez, it got published last year! Well, I'm glad I just read the first book, so I didn't suffer too much from waiting. :D

    4. I'm sure they're making a film for the rest of the trilogy, because the first one ended in a cliffhanger. Actually, it ended pretty similar to the first book (with some changes). It wouldn't be very cool to leave it like that. :)

    5. Oh good, I wonder if they will think to start showing the films over here then, if the book starts getting really popular!

  2. Ooh, I'm not sure if I would've picked this one up normally, but it actually sounds like fun, and your review is definitely convincing me!

    You mention a love triangle, and that's it's F/F/M - you don't often see that, which is interesting (well at least when I've read about them, they're always M/M/F).

    Great review =) Also I speak German (not fluently sadly) so I may have to look into the film!

    1. Yay, I'm glad! And I think it is a refreshing change to for the love triangle to have a guy in the center. And the choice is easy for the reader too! :)

      Oh wow, it would be great to read this book in the original language too - I was curious about some of the things in this story, especially when it comes to the humor and how much the translator tweaked it.

    2. Ahh, have you seen the German cover?? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rubinrot-Zeiten-German-Edition-ebook/dp/B00AAT6N0C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377037138&sr=8-1&keywords=rubinrot

      How pretty is that! Looks like there's also 'Sapphire Blue' and 'Emerald Green' to look forward to.

    3. Actually it was the German cover that really pushed me to read the plot summary, I really like it too! I wish they stuck with that here! I loved Sapphire Blue as well, it continued the story really well. Emerald Green I'm eagerly looking forward to, just a few more weeks!

  3. Oh, this sounds like an intriguing read. I'll have to keep an eye out for a copy. ;)

    1. Great! I hope you enjoy it - and if you wait until October, you can have the whole trilogy to read at once so you won't suffer as much. :)

  4. Oh, another one that's been on my list for so long! I'm going to move it up. Thanks for the great review.