Title: Ruby Red
Original Title: Rubinrot (German)
Author: Kerstin Gier
First Published: January 6th 2009
Length: 343 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Edelstein Trilogie #1
Synopsis 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.
First of all, I have no freaking idea why it took me so long to pick up this book. I mean, the cover is gorgeous, the synopsis sounds awesome and come on guys, time travel. Do I really need to say more? In my time as a reader, I have come across some books that seemed amazing, but ended up being meh. In this case, though, I’m telling you, it’s just as great as it seems!
Ruby Red has this sort of quality to it, you see, that makes it next to impossible to put down. Chapter after chapter after chapter. I just couldn’t stop. This week I had a huge test to study for, and I made the incredibly stupid mistake to glance in the direction of this book. Let’s just say I finished both Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, the sequel, in only two days, and ended up with a lot of lost study time (I regret nothing).
I can’t say I’ve read a lot of books about time travel. Actually, I don’t think I have ever read any book about this particular subject, but I know that even though it’s very intriguing, it can end up very confusing and complicated. Therefore I was a tiny bit nervous starting this book, but it was really no need. I think Kerstin Gier did a very neat job putting together all the rules and restrictions of the time travel, and it all felt reasonable. For example, you can’t travel to the future because it hasn’t happened yet, and you can’t travel in your own timeline or too far back. This prevented the story from becoming too unbelievable, and I think it ended up great :).
I have to be honest, though, if you like a lot of action and need things to happen all the time, this probably isn’t for you. The first two books in the series takes place during only one week (actually less than that), so there isn’t exactly that much time for excitement. Don’t get me wrong, the time travel scenes were awesome, but some people would probably find the parts in between a bit slow. Since only a couple of days “drags out” for 343 pages, there’s a lot of dialogue and Gwyneth trying to find out what’s going on. I thought those parts where almost as exciting as the time travelling, but I’m not sure that everyone would agree with me on that subject.
The absolute best thing about this book, according to me, is the protagonist. Gwyneth (originally Gwendolyn) has an absolutely hilarious voice, which brings a lot of wit and personality to the story. I must admit she’s a bit childish at times, but I think that just adds to her charm. In many ways, she actually reminds me of Kami Glass from Unspoken, so if you liked her voice, you will most likely find this book very enjoyable (and vice versa of course) :).
If you need more convincing, character-wise, I’m glad to tell you that there’s also a fabulous best friend…
“Lesley patted my arm. “All the same, those dark rings under your eyes kind of suits you,” she said, trying to cheer me up. They make your eyes look extra blue.” I smiled. Lesley was so sweet.”
….an insane family…
“Stop telling lies!” cried Aunt Glenda. “You did it on purpose! Your baby wasn’t supposed to be born until December, but you manipulated the pregnancy and risked a premature birth just to have her born on the same day as Charlotte…..”
….and an arrogant boy.
“Anyway, there’s no need,” said Gideon. “I can do it all far better on my own.”
What more can you ask for, right? ;)
I really loved this book, to say the least. All the mystery, the secrets, the humour, the voice and the characters were outstanding! If I got to change one thing, though, I would have wanted the story to take place during a longer period of time. Sometimes it felt like things developed a bit too quickly in relation to the number of days the story took place. The relationship between Gwyneth and Gideon, for example, which went from despise (I love when characters dislike each other in the beginning), to something more, in like two days. Not a fan of that.
Overall, great book that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!
Some Funny or/and Simply Thoughtful Quotes:
“It took me a couple of years to realize that ghosts can’t hurt you. All they can really do to people is scare them.”
“Unless…oh, nonsense! I was just growing too fast. Or I had…I had a brain tumor? Or maybe, I thought, brushing that nasty notion aside, it was only that I was hungry.”
“Which was worse? Being crazy or actually traveling back in time? Probably the second, I thought. Maybe you could take tablets for the first.”
“And quite by chance, they all had questions to ask about the future. The boy told us it would be a good idea to buy shares in Apple, whatever that may be.”
Some Other Covers:
The original German cover.
The Swedish Cover