Series and Book #: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
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, watching movies and talking about boys. It comes as an unwelcome surprise then 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, 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 don't read a lot of time travel novels. They're somewhat rare (considering most YA novels are about werewolves, vampires. faeries, etc) and a lot of times they're the same. They're mostly about a girl who can travel back in time and she falls in love with a boy ... blah blah blah. Ruby Red was a refreshing break from the serious, melodramatic time traveling novels.
Gwen and her friend Lesley don't take the time-traveling very seriously. For instance, Gwen takes her cell phone back to the eighteenth century and takes pictures of the people she meets. She also has Lesley Google everything she doesn't understand or can't remember from history lessons. I somewhat pitied Gwen, because everyone expected her perfect cousin Charlotte to get the gene, and when she started to time travel, no one believed her and they mocked her because she wasn't as pretty or smart. But Gwen was sharp and witty. She was also very stubborn, making for an interesting MC.
It felt like the author was cramming the entire plot into one novel. This made me a little breathless. It was also confusing. Gwen doesn't know what's going on (because she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries") therefore the reader doesn't know what's going on. I would have liked if we'd had a bit more explanation and slower events, or at least enough time to breath in between!
Overall, this was a great novel. The MC was marvelous, the extensive accounts from previous time travelers was a brilliant add, and Kerstin Gier just had to end on a bit of a cliffhanger. Though the novel was fast and somewhat confusing, the characters were marvelously written as was the history behind the Temple and the Twelve. I can't wait for Sapphire Blue to come out in October!
The Cover: This is the newest cover, the one that matches the sequel's. I kind of like the original just because it was had a very sophisticated feel. But this is just as lovely as the first, and I especially love the background.