Blurb: 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. [I must admit the blurb/summary doesn’t do the book much justice]
Ruby Red is the first book in the Precious Stone Trilogy by Kerstin Gier and my first experience with her as an author, therefore I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Of course it’s been sat on my TBR pile for a while as in the past it has featured on numerous Bookstagram and Booktube pages… this weekend I finally picked it up for myself and I have to say I LOVED IT.
Set in London, United Kingdom; Ruby Red follows Gwyneth as she begins her journey towards becoming the Ruby Time Traveler. Ruby Red is the journey in which she embarks to find out more about her abilities as well as the mission she is placed on with Gideon from the Count. I really enjoyed the context of Ruby Red as the theme of Time Travel allows us to be transported into both Past and Present therefore we can experience 18th Century England and 21st Century England within the same chapter. The Past sequences were one of my favorites as I love the descriptive detail of the delicate dresses and the setting in comparison to Modern London. The incorporation of the 17th and 18th Century in London reminded me of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.
As a whole Ruby Red was a pleasant and easy reading experience, I found it myself engaging with the novel on an emotional level as a reader as I felt jealously and anger as Gwyneth herself would express them. Furthermore the book posed a great deal of questions to myself such as ‘Why would Gwyneth’s mother lie?’ and in turn whether or not it was to keep a secret or to keep her safe. Overall the burning question for me was ‘What the heck is happening?!’ which leads me onto my next point of how unpredictable I found this novel. Of course from Gwyneth’s dizzy spells in the beginning I knew she would become the Time Traveler, that much is predictable.But that’s ok, because that’s not a big reveal, its the premise of the story outlined in the blurb. What was unpredictable was what would happen next, of course the past has already been written but both Gideon and Gwyneth can’t be sure on how it played out exactly therefore every experience is new for them just as it is for us reading it unfolding.
Finally I just need to comment on a character which I could not stand which was Charlotte, I understand that she was meant to be the Time Traveler however I found her very elitist. She thinks she is better than Gwyneth due to her higher education in history, fencing and her overall etiquette yet she was given a different start at life. Gwyneth was left to have a standard education because her family never thought she could be the one with the gene. I felt no sympathy towards Charlotte because of the sense of snobbery I got throughout from her.
Overall Kerstin Gier’s writing style is easy to get into which makes the book flow easily, the book itself is written in first person narrative through the point of view of Gwyneth’s character therefore we are able to experience her most personal thoughts and feelings towards becoming the Time Traveler and how she is coping with the changes it makes to her life.
Ruby Red ends on a somewhat cliffhanger, the trilogy is one continuous story therefore I need to get my hands on Sapphire Blue in order to see what happens next and how the story unfolds…Have you read Ruby Red? Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts!