Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 with 3 comments
Ruby RedTitle:  Ruby Red
Author:  Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell (translator)
Series:  Edelstein Trilogie
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date:  May 10, 2011
Source:  purchased
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

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.

I’ve read quite a few novels centered around time travel as of late, but I think this one was probably my favorite. In Ruby Red, our time traveling heroine actually gets to go back in history, which is a definite plus, since in other time-traveling novels I’ve read recently, the most the characters travel back to the past is within their own lifetime. And that’s just not as much fun as going back decades or even hundreds of years.

The time travel aspect itself wasn’t overly simplified, nor was the book tedious in its description of how the time traveling process actually worked. And I loved that it was more of a tradition passed down through the families than some freak power that the characters developed and didn’t know how to wield. Though, there is a bit of that since it was expected that Charlotte, not Gwyneth, would be the one to carry the time traveling gene.

Gwyneth takes it in stride, though. She’s thrust into this matter feet-first, and despite any misgivings her time-traveling partner Gideon may have, she handles herself well on their trips back to the past. But Gwen has help from her resourceful best friend Lesley, and Gideon even proves to be more than just an insufferable know-it-all. The cast of characters – good and bad – are fabulous, as were the author’s descriptions of them. I felt like I could pick them out of a line-up if asked.

The pacing was a bit drawn-out, though, and not much really happens for the first half of the book, but what the story lacks in action, it makes up for with character interactions and provides a fair amount of material for reader speculation. No secrets were ever deliberately exposed, but by the end of the novel, you’ll have a good idea of where the story is headed in the next book. It’s always nicer when the author drops a few miniscule breadcrumbs and leaves it up to the reader to develop their own theories. Of course, I read too much into everything, so I created quite a bit of conjecture in my notes for this novel. I can’t wait to read Sapphire Blue to see how much of my speculation pans out.


  1. Guess I'd better put this book on my TBR pile. Sounds good. Have you read REvolution by Jennifer Donnelly? I'd be curious how they compare.

  2. I have Revolution on my bookshelf. I just haven't gotten around to it yet, though it does sound intriguing. How did you like it?

  3. This book was adorable! That may be a funny thing to say about a book that's not an actual childrens book, but it fits for this one. It's full of characters that are just full of quirkiness and life. Each one is memorable because of their strong personality traits but it took me a couple chapters to have them all straight. I think that was because there were a few C names that were too similar when I wasn't yet familiar with them. But it didn't last long. And Gwyneth was awesome! She had a personality I could immediately connect with. Gideon was a bit mysterious because he was kind of a jerk in the beginning but was becoming quite different towards the end. I like him, but I feel like I just don't quite know him yet.
    The story starts out strong and stayed strong through the entire thing. I never once had the urge to set the book down. It thoroughly sucked me in and didn't spit me out until the end. And even then I just wanted it to keep going! The mystery of things was pretty intense and we'd get thrown some hints so I was busy trying to figure it out as I read as fast as I could.
    The setting of the story is brilliant. I love that it's in London and it's full of the London charm. I think most books I've read that take place in Lon


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