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.
When time travel is involved, you automatically assume that it will be an action-packed plot where the writing is constantly moving the story forward. Not so in Ruby Red. I found that, for a book about time travel, there wasn't enough actually happening in the story. I got a lot of family background information and explanations about chronographs that thoroughly confused me, but I had a really hard time envisioning Gwen and Gideon's travels through time and the purpose for their trips.
I really struggled through this novel. I'd like to say that part of the issue was that it is a translated text, but I don't think the translation was the problem. I think there wasn't enough plot in the story or vivid, empathetic characters to keep me excited and interested. Gwen was a pleasant enough, but she didn't leap off the page. Gideon's character was supposed to be a love/hate relationship with Gwen, but I found him rather dull. I know a lot of people have read and loved this book but as for me, I'm still debating whether or not I want to continue with the series.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Published: May 2011 by Henry Holt & Co.
Audience: Young Adult
*Book received for review