Series: Ruby Red #1
Also in this series: Sapphire Blue
Released by Henry Holt on 6 January 2009
Genres: Science Fiction
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.
A very long time ago, I came upon this book and thought ‘wow that cover looks amazing’. It was, I think, back when only the first book had been translated into English and I decided to not read it then because I wanted to wait for the other two to be translated as well. Now that they finally have, I bought the ebooks and started reading the first book. Personally, I think I am happy I didn’t get persuaded to buy the entire trilogy as physical books.
Because even though I really liked the story, I also thought it was a bit boring. Honestly, I love reading about time travel, it’s one of my favourite things to read (and watch) about and I really loved the idea behind this book, but when I finished it I didn’t really feel like I’d just read an amazing book about time travel. Sure, Gwyneth travels in time enough in this book (I think six or seven times at least), but they were a bit boring and nothing really happened until the last chapter of the book. Perhaps I am just way too used to Doctor Who which is always full of action in every episode. Oh well.
I did also notice a couple of times that this book wasn’t originally written in English, because a couple of things didn’t really make sense in the translation (perhaps that’s just me). I haven’t written down any examples, but I’ll surely do that for the next book (yes I will be finishing the series). The writing was very simple and that kind of made it feel like a book for younger teens (12/13 ish) not young adults.
As for the characters, I liked Gwyneth though sometimes she sounded a bit childish, I especially liked Lesley because she was just such a good friend for Gwen (I am just going to call her that ok), looking up all that stuff on the internet and just helping her get used to the whole time travel thing. The rest of the family was a bit, well, odd.. Her mother was okay and so were her brother and sister, but her aunt and cousin (Glenda and Charlotte, who was supposed to have the time travel gene) were just awful when they found out Gwen was the time traveler and not Charlotte, seriously I wanted to SLAP them for being so annoying. As for the Villiers family, I don’t really like them much so far but maybe that’ll come in the next two books.
I also didn’t really believe in the romance, because though Gwen obviously has a crush on Gideon almost immediately (at least that’s what it felt like for me), I didn’t believe it from Gideon’s side. It kind of felt like he just kissed her because she was Charlotte now and he had to start something with her because they were traveling through time together. And then there was the thing of Gwen being able to see ghosts, and apparently demons? I am not so sure what this adds to the whole story, but that might just be me.
So in the end, I didn’t really enjoy Ruby Red as much as I thought I would, but I am definitely going to check out the other two books. And perhaps watch the movie, just because I can (hopefully there’s an English version going around somewhere, because my German isn’t really that good).