Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier

Book: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Adventure

Rating: ♥ 1/2

Gwyneth Shepherd has grown up just like any average teen, she goes to the movies, talks about boys and doesn't have to learn French, be well versed in European History or have to deal with those nasty time travel induced-headaches... or does she?
In Kerstin, Gier's Ruby Red, book one in her Ruby Red Trilogy, we are introduced to Gwyn; a sixteen year old who as always lived in the shadow of her perfect cousin, Charlotte. In the blood of this family lies the gene that allows one to time travel. Charlotte has been trained since early childhood on the secrets of time travel; she is fluent in different languages, she knows her history and has been educated on proper etiquette. Unlike our under-prepared Gwyn who has been brushed to the side by her rather overbearing family that is all members of the Time Traveling Society that has been around for centuries. Once Gwyn starts having the ever-telling dizzy spells she is rushed back into time. Gasp! She luckily is only gone for a few moments before any real damage can be done. Once the truth finally comes out (she time travels three times before she tells her Mother), all hell breaks loose. Unbeknownst to the family, Gwyn’s mom lied on her birth certificate and was born on the special day that would mark her or Charlotte as the next time traveler in the family. The family is simply outraged. Gwyn’s aunt is a most wretched woman who thinks Gwyn’s mom has plotted to bring her own daughter glory and Charlotte shame and embarrassment. This is of course absurd. Gwyn’s mom was really trying to save her daughter the pain of what would be her life would be if she were the one to be the next in line for time travel, AKA, Ruby Red.
To get Gwyn caught up, she is rushed into the plot to outwit the supposed bad guys who have their own agenda to sabotage the ultimate mission that will reveal a long lost secret. Oh my!
Cue, handsome, smug and a bit dashing in his looks, traveling companion, Gideon. Here these two will start to unravel the mysteries of the past (which have been altered by other time travelers). They engage acts of espionage, ancient devices, magic (but of course) and for our leading lady, murder. We witness time travel back into the 17th and 18th centuries. Gwyn is lacking some polish but she tries her best to figure it out. The research was clearly done and the costumes created sound simply divine. Overall, I was entertained and look forward to Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green. It lacked some zest in the romance, there is definitely an attraction between Gideon and Gwyn but I wanted a little more oomph. Maybe in Blue Sapphire? I enjoyed the aspect of Gwyn being able to see ghost and the fact that she does indeed interact with them as though they are living, breathing people. I thought the time travel was well done and creative and that time travel isn’t for the faintest of hearts.
I give this book 3.5 
♥ 1/2.


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