Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red (Ruby Red #1)
By Kerstin Gier, Translated by Anthea Bell
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

To Sum It Up: All her life, Gwyneth has lived in the shadow of her cousin, Charlotte. Charlotte has the time traveler gene, which runs through the female line of their family. As a result, Charlotte has been trained her whole life to travel through time; the mysteries of time traveling and her family’s past are kept from Gwyneth. Although at times not being allowed in on the family secret is frustrating, Gwen happily contents herself with her normal life. That is, until Gwyneth unexpectedly travels back in time. When Gwen reveals that she has the time traveling gene, her family can't help but not believe her. Charlotte was born on the calculated day when the twelfth time traveler was supposed to be born, Gwen being born a mere day after. But, what if Gwen's family made a grave mistake, and they were training the wrong the girl all along? Suddenly, Gwen is pushed into the spotlight, and everyone expects great things from the twelfth time traveler, the girl who is supposed to close the circle and reveal a centuries long secret.

Review: I'd never read anything about time travelers before Ruby Red. Well, I did see the movie version of The Time Traveler's Wife, but that doesn't really count, so I was pretty excited when I found this book. Not only was the cover pretty, but the synopsis definitely had me hooked. Although I didn't find this book mind-blowingly amazing, I did find myself enjoying the story. I really like the whole idea of time traveling. Kerstin Gier did an amazing job weaving a story out of this concept; she covered all of her bases. Subconsciously, I had a bunch of questions to test the plausibility of the plot, but Gier answered most of them before I had a chance to ruin the story with my logic. For me, she tied everything together perfectly. I can safely say that under certain circumstances, I would totally believe that time travel was real.

The main character, Gwyneth, is pretty cool. She wasn't like other protagonists who find out that they have a supernatural ability; she didn't whine or complain about how life was unfair. Gwen took it in stride and was actually excited about her new ability. She was also pretty funny. I liked her best friend, Lesley, a lot. Lesley was really supportive but sadly, a little dim. I found her amusing all the same, though; she made me chuckle.

Charlotte, Gwen's cousin, was kind of mean and stuck-up. Despite her snottiness, though, I kind of felt bad for Charlotte. It's sort of sad to be raised to believe that you have an awesome gift and destiny, just to be told that they made a mistake and that it's your cousin who can actually time travel, not you. I know I would be upset. And to think that your guy, an amazingly attractive and intelligent fellow, is not your time traveling partner any more, but your cousin's. It's not like Charlotte could deny the inevitable attraction between Gideon and Gwyneth, either. Even if the attraction is not there now, all that time traveling together will surely make it blossom! Poor, Charlotte; I can't help but feel sorry for her!

Ahh, let's move on to Gideon. I like Gideon well enough, but I'm not rooting for him or anything like that. He's cool, but he's kind of just there. I kind of like Paul and Lucy's story better than I like Gideon and Gwen's. You don't get to read too much about Paul and Lucy until later on in the book. They are mentioned like a gazillion times, though, and I found myself really liking them! They just seem really cool, and I can't help thinking that Kerstin Gier should have written a book about them instead of about Gwen and Gideon.

Most of the little secrets in the book came together really easily for me. Although I pieced together some of the mysteries, other pieces of the puzzle eluded my greedy hands, and that added to my enjoyment of the book. I don't like stories with plots too easy to figure out. I like a challenge!

Anyways, I did like Ruby Red a lot. It didn't reach my high expectations, but most books seldom do. The plot was enjoyable and the concept was unique. Gier mixes enough paranormal and science into the time travel idea. The characters were likable enough, though I did like the secondary characters more than I liked the main ones. To me, Paul and Lucy just seemed to be more interesting. There is a lot more to the book than what I can write in a review without spoiling the whole thing. I am excited to read the next book in the trilogy, though in all honesty, it's not the highest book on my to-read list. I will, however, read the book as soon as I can, out of support for Lucy and Paul! I have an inkling that they will have a more prominent role in the next book!

All in All: Ruby Red was a good book. I did enjoy the story and will read the rest of the books in the trilogy. The concept was truly interesting, and I am glad I took the time out to read it. I recommend this book to anyone curious enough to try it!

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