Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 10th 2011
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.
Without a doubt, this is the best book I've read in a long time. Ruby Red has an air of mystery that settles in throughout the whole book and keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished reading it. I was up late reading this one and couldn't fall asleep after having read it. The writing was fantastic and the way the plot slowly unravels pulls the reader in and keeps them until the end of the book.
Gwyneth is really my type of character. A bit negative at times, but she really rolls with what is going on and takes it as it comes. She's also not perfect and I love that her cousin is the more beautiful and sophisticated one, making her imperfections stand out. I love a character who isn't 100% sure of her self and always doing the exact right thing.
And of course, there is Gideon, the very good looking boy who is to be her partner. She thinks she doesn't have a chance with him at all (not with her cousin Charlotte, whom he seems smitten with), but certain events prove her wrong. I really enjoyed his appearances as he is the one who has to deal with a new partner, one he barely knows, to travel back in time with.
Overall, this book was a fantastic start to a trilogy that I really am dying to read the rest of. There's romance, danger, and some very pretty old fashioned gowns (and some ugly hats too). And who doesn't love a trip back to the different centuries in London, such lovely historical times.
While I don't want to completely repeat everything Kristen just said, I will say that I do agree that Ruby Red was fantastic. And going out on a limb here, probably one of my favorite reads of 2011 (thus far).
Ruby Red is quite different than most time traveling books that I have read recently. Gwyneth, our main character, comes from family with a special gene that allows a person to travel. Of course, with great privilege comes great responsibility. A responsibility that Gwyneth just isn't ready to handle, which only adds to her likability. Similar to Kristen, I bonded pretty quickly to Gwyneth. While her prestigious family dotes on the equally perfect Charlotte, our main character is pretty much pushed under the rug. Gwyneth has her quirks and they make her stand out from most of the female leads that I have interacted with recently.
As for our main character's love interest Gideon… the verdict is still out on him. Kristen and I have yet to have the Gideon talk, but I foresee it coming soon. Part of me liked him or at least wanted to. The other wanted him as far away from Gwyneth as possible. As Kristen noted, Gwyneth and Gideon are thrust together as partners. Gideon having years of experience with Charlotte does not know how to handle the Gwyneth situation. Does he go with the flow and accept her as the new partner? Or just ignore her and see what happens? I guess it all boils down to me liking them as partners, but everything was so rushed into. One second Gideon cannot stand the sight of Gwyneth… the next, he is very close to the 'I would lay down my life for yours' kind of talk. I would have been happier if there had been more chemistry from the pair before the romance just happening as it did. It completely caught me by surprise.
I won't lie. There are a lot of people in Ruby Red. Family members… extended family… and so on. Gier does a pretty nice job of adding little bit and pieces of information at the beginning of the chapters to help the reader along. This is a time travel novel after all, so I knew that could happen especially with little plot threads all over time. Funny enough, I actually got out a notepad to help me keep everything together, but at times I still got lost.
From what I can see, Ruby Red is just the beginning. The ending, while satisfying, made me want the second book as soon as I finished the last page. If you are in the mood for something different, I suggest giving Ruby Red a try. I am pretty sure you will fall in love with it, just as I did.