posted at Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Reviews, Young Adult
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on May 10, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Time Travel
Amazon • The Book Depository • Audible
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.
Recommended by: Debby (Snuggly Oranges)
Ruby Red has been on my to-read list for simply ages, and, in an effort to force myself to make time, I requested the final book in the trilogy for review, even though I know that’s always a highly stressful thing to do. Anyway, Debby was super helpful by forcing me to read it immediately. I am so glad that I ended up really liking this one, since I have two more to read. Ruby Red is a really fast-paced, light, humorous read and I was flipping pages like a mad woman to find out what would happen next.
Generally, time travel stories make me crazy, because they end up being super complex or just off the wall impossible with contradictions. With Ruby Red, though, Gier handles everything in a way I deem acceptable. The time travel stuff is really fun and not intensely scientific. This definitely falls more on the fantasy end of the spectrum than science fiction.
Like several people in her lineage, Gwyneth discovers that she has the time traveling gene, much to the disappointment of her aunt and cousin, who were convinced Charlotte had it. Poor Charlotte! Gwyneth reads a bit young and naive, but it worked. She feels like a real teenager, youthful and a bit snarky. I love the way she’s always making fun of the people bossing around in her head. I look forward to watching her grow as the series progresses.
The prologue and epilogue are really interesting, because they’re an unnamed couple that can time travel. The guy is unnamed and he calls the girl Princess. Is it Gwyneth and Gabriel grown up? Another set of time travelers? My curiosity runs rampant. Usually I find such framing devices annoying and pointless, but this one is a delight.
Then there’s this romance that promises to be super flaily down the road, since it starts with Gwyneth witnessing another version of herself kissing Gideon. Later, though, they meet and he’s all “she’s not handsome enough to tempt me.” Okay, fine, he didn’t say THAT, but the spirit’s the same. Obviously, these two crazy kids are meant to be, but I didn’t quite get the swoony feelings yet, but I am definitely keeping an eye open for when they dress in those costumes from that first kissy scene.
Ruby Red was seriously a lot of fun and I don’t have any real complaints, but I don’t feel like I’ve gotten enough yet. I need more world building, more feelings, more intensity and more character development. For now, this is a super cute, page-turningly fun read, but I’m hoping for a bit more depth in the next two books.
“Oh, it is not particularly difficult to beguile women and subdue them to your will, my dear sir. They’re all the same. If my mind were not on higher things, I would long ago have written a manual for gentlemen, advising them on the right way to handle women.”
I bet he would. I could think of a good title for it straight off. Successful Strangulation, or How to Talk a Woman to Death
Next week, I’ll be working through the rest of the trilogy. Expect a review for Sapphire Blue at midnight next Sunday. Hopefully I’ll also get Emerald Green read too, but I’ve got a busy reading schedule, so we’ll see about that.
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