Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy #1), by Kerstin Gier
Publish Date: January 6, 2009 (audiobook recorded in November 1, 2011)
Published by: Macmillan Audio
Translated to English by: Anthea Bell
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Pages: 324 (approx. 8 hrs 50 min.)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
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.
This book has been on my TBR for so long, and yet somehow I never got around to buying it. But since I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks, I discovered it on Hoopla and excitedly started listening to it. Not only is the narrator superb (the way she captures Gwyneth’s voice both in dialogue and in her narration of events), but the story captivated me immediately from the start. This book was full of great characters, lots of mystery and intrigue, fun and harrowing time travel incidents, and it kept me captivated the entire time I was listening to it.
It was a little confusing at times, I’ll admit, especially when listening to it as opposed to seeing it on the page. I think the most confusing issue was the different symbols for the Twelve time travelers, and why they all had to have both a gemstone and a musical note to represent them. But otherwise the plot was fairly easy to follow, and the mysteries kept me engaged and eager to know more. The pace moved easily without ever dragging, and the storyline was full of so much that I always felt like I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was next in store for Gwyn.
I absolutely love Gwyneth, who was a character I could easily sympathize with, and whose personality overall was just something I enjoyed greatly. She is funny and honest, but also headstrong and unwilling to follow blindly. I loved how open she was with her best friend Lesley, and how she relied on her strongly both as a friend and confidant, as well as not being afraid to appear “weird” in front of others when she spoke to ghosts right in front of them. Despite never wanting the ability to travel in time in the first place, she accepts what she is and does what she can to understand what is going on around her.
[SPOILER] I will say I wasn’t too big on the romance in the novel, one because it kind of moved a little fast for me considering that Gideon and Gwyneth only really knew each other for about twenty-four hours before he was suddenly kissing her, and two, because I have my suspicions that they might be more closely related than Gwyneth thinks. I was already suspecting the second one long before Gideon started showing any change in attitude towards Gwyneth, but even then it still seemed a little fast and sudden to me how easily his judgment of her changed. On the one hand I’m glad that she put him in his place and showed him how biased he was being towards her, but on the other, it still seemed very quick how he was suddenly showing romantic inclinations towards her. Honestly, it just has me feeling suspicious that there is more to him kissing her than appears to be. All things considered, there is a lot of manipulation going on, and I wouldn’t put it past Count Saint-Germaine to put a suggestion in Gideon’s head…[END SPOILER]
Anyway, I really enjoyed listening to this book and I cannot wait to start the next one, in fact I might just go do that now. This was a really fun story, with an excellent protagonist, interesting side characters, lots and lots of intrigue, and a unique take on time travel. Despite some of the confusion surrounding the different prophecies and symbols, I’m eager to find out if my theories are true, and to find out the answers to the other questions this story has burned into my head, so time to go start Sapphire Blue.
Beat the Backlist 2018 | Books Completed Toward Goal: 25/20