Let's start the week with a YA review :)
Author: Kerstin Gier
Title: Ruby Red
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Release date: 22th of May 2012
Published by: Mcmillan
Imprint: Square Fish
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Time travel, YA
Pages: 352 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository
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
, they can trust. London
Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance.
I haven’t read nearly enough time travel YA so I guess Ruby Red was a good start as any. The premise was quite intriguing and I liked the mythology and background surrounding time travel in the universe of this series. It was well thought out yet simple and I’m definite there is a lot more to discover and unveil beyond the first book to keep me on my toes in the upcoming books (which I certainly intend to read).
I liked several aspects of the book. There is a definite goal in the series or at least a trajectory to the journey, how things turn out is another matter tough and I’m already anticipating all the twists and turns. The technical side of time travel wasn’t too complicated taken the subject matter and I didn’t feel confused or out of my league as it might happen when an author want to impress, but ends up leading the reader into a mess to figure out without any substantial direction signs. There is also always something fascinating about secret societies walking on the edge of sinister aims. You never know who’s got what skeletons in their closet and whose intentions aren’t as pure as they seems. This side of the book really left me guessing and anxious to know more.
I have to, however, complain that the story felt too short to seriously take off. All in all, everything was present (introduction, climax, ending twist, etc), but it went by so fast and thus it was missing something, a spark, a fuse, a fantastic scene that would have me on the edge of my seat, a distinct touch to make it unforgettable, etc. There wasn’t really anything that popped and stayed with you, it was good, but the story needs to up its game to make it great, and I’m hoping this will be rectified in the remaining two books of the trilogy.
I think this book is a perfect adventure romance for younger readers. There is just something magical and exciting about the story despite its faults. It’s simple and engaging. The romance was also quite in the beginning phase, but I have high hopes for its development.
Gwen was definitely the underdog in the start and that is what made me like her. She was completely in the shadow of her cousin and, honestly, I think she didn’t mind as much. She had a great best friend and nice mother and siblings and, while, she did come across childish and naïve at times, I still liked her honesty and don’t-keep-down attitude. After she starts time traveling I expected her to literary freak out, but she surprised me by remaining quite calm and collected, more so since she hadn’t had any significant preparation for the occurrences. She was a champ and took everything like it was basically nothing.
Gideon was gorgeous and gracious and a perfect gentleman… to everyone except Gwen. Well, I like reluctant romance so I’m all for denial if it leads to something explosive. Still, he remained kind of flat, there wasn’t much insight into his character and thus I felt he was just a pretty exterior with occasional glimpses of the inside. I really hope he gets some decent development in the coming books, there is much potential there.
Regarding other characters, there’s more than its fair share of intriguing people who I bet will surprise me… or surprise me by not surprising me.
I never knew time travel YA could be so much fun! It’s a good introduction to the genre with heaps of action, history, mystery and slight romance. Definitely recommend, especially for younger readers 12+.