28 November 2013

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier

Published: 2009

Pages: 324 (paperback)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Own library


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.

My Thoughts

Although I've seen Ruby Red mentioned several times on other blogs, I'd honestly never really thought about reading it.  Until, that is, I found out it is about TIME TRAVEL.  These are flashbulb words for me - the combination of modern and historical settings means that I get a little of all the things I love in one book - what more could I want?

The very first thing that struck me about Ruby Red was Gwen - I loved her right from the beginning, and she is a perfect combination of brave, curious and funny.  She has her own distinct personality, has very specific ideas and speaks her mind when she should, without being overbearing.  There is a lot of internal dialogue with herself which I really liked - it made it a lot of fun getting to know her better.

Ruby Red is a fast read - there's a lot going on, and an intriguing back story, however what I really wanted more of is what attracted me to it in the first place - time travel.  Understandably Gier builds up to the initial time travel moment, but at times in between I felt that the plot slowed a little, and more was put into building the back story than actually moving forward with the plot.  All of this is actually very contradictory to what I usually enjoy in a book - world building is usually top of my list, but the lure of time travel seemed to overpower a lot of my interest in the world building itself.

The back story, however, is important to the plot, and I did find it rather intriguing when I wasn't hanging out desperately for more time travel, and I think Gier showed a lot of thought and imagination in creating it.
I did have trouble remembering the cast of characters as it's quite substantial, and many of them are introduced by other characters talking about them rather than appearing in their own right in the first instance, and this contributed to my confusion.  If only I had known there is a character list at the end of the book - at the front I would have found it when I needed it!

But I had a lot of fun reading this book - I found it incredibly engaging, fun and as I said earlier, I absolutely adored Gwen.  Although I didn't feel I got to know Gideon well enough in this book, I can see that there is a lot of potential for them to develop an interesting romance later on in the series.

A fun read, with a great female lead character, I really enjoyed Ruby Red, and I'm curious to see where the series goes next.

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