04 January, 2018

REVIEW: RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Series: Precious Stone Trilogy #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Arena Verlag
Release: 2011
Source: Paperback/Audiobook
Pages: 324

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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.


EXPECTATIONS: As you may have noticed already, I enjoy posting reviews about books that are not very well-known but they deserve to be because they are amazing so here there is another one of my favourites. Actually, the Edelstein Trilogie composed of Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green is way more popular in Germany than any other place which makes sense because the author is German and the book was first published there. There are movies as well! (as far as I know the languages available in the DVDs are German, English, Russian, Spanish and Italian)
So one day I was in Bonn at a bookstore called Thalia where you can also sit with your coffee and read, no need to buy the book, and I found it. The story of time travelling caught my attention so off I went!

Before I start I would like to express my absolute disappointment with whoever decided to change Gwendolyn's name, if Kerstin chose Gwendolyn as her name it is for a reason and should be respected! plus Gwyneth doesn't sound as good as Gwendolyn in my opinion but whatever, I was lucky enough to read it with the original name so... my opinion... I loved the trilogy! It is not a dystopia but it's set nowadays in London. Gwendolyn Shepherd, the main character, is a teenage girl aged 16 living a normal life with her not so normal family. She lives with her mother, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, grandma, and the family's butler in a huge house which is a bit odd but Gwendolyn explains why in the book. The thing about her family is that her cousin Charlotte has inherited a gene which will allow her to travel through time, thus she has been prepared specially for it assisting to history, dance, manners, horse riding, fencing classes (among others!) in order for her to survive in past times. On the other hand, Gwendolyn (I refuse to call her Gwyneth) grew up in a more "normal" environment having enough with school, concerts, boys and whatnot and I must say she is a rather clumsy character and totally hilarious. Charlotte is the beautiful, perfect one and she is the average, inept one. To Gwendolyn's surprise it turns out Charlotte did not inherit the gene but her! She is immediately taken to a secret society, the one that had been preparing Charlotte, where they explain her role in the whole story. Gwendolyn is not alone in this new journey because she has her best friend, Leslie, and her time-travel partner, Gideon, and indeed he is a problem for her because their families have been hhmm not enemies but not exactly friends either since one member of each family disappeared in time together and betrayed the society so things are tense to put it clearly.

OVERALL: The book is hilarious by the way, Gwen struggles with everything which makes her the target for Gideon who's a bit arrogant and cocky but Gwen always finds a way to sass him out during their time travels together. The plot has many twists and can be confusing, nothing is clear until the end of the trilogy where almost everything is explained but that only makes you read faster. I liked the formatting of the book where in between chapters there are "entries" from the society's book which was written by the Count of St. Germain (remember that!) and basically explains that there are only 12 time travellers divided in two families: the Montrose (Gwen's family) and De Villiers (Gideon's family) and each time traveller is represented by a gem stone with their very own prophecy. The prophecies are all poems and become very important once they are introduced.
I definitely recommend the trilogy to anyone who wants to have a good laugh and enjoy fast-paced, adventurous type of books.

EXTRA: I emailed Kerstin to let her know how much I enjoyed her books and also to congratulate her for the new book she had coming! Silber was a very good book and I will be reviewing it sometime in the next few months. I just love when the authors reply to your messages.


EXPECTATIONS: I am not sure if I originally heard of this book from Laura first or saw the German edition on the shelves. In case you are not familiar Ruby Red is originally written in German and the English one is a translation. I for some reason own an English edition so that is what I read. 

THE WORLD: I would say there are any worlds in this book as it is about time travel. In main world we are in today's time so nothing really fancy. But then we get to travel back in time as our characters are trying to collect blood samples of other travelers. I liked the idea a lot even tho it is not that super original but I still wish there was more of old worlds. Somehow after reading Firebird trilogy no traveling to different times is good enough for me anymore. 

CHARACTERS: There are two main characters Gwen and Gideon. Alright alright maybe Gwen is a main one and Gideon is just her traveling partner. I kinda wish tho that they shared the spotlight more. So Gwen is just an ordinary girl, there can be only one time traveler in family and she was not born on the right day. Other girl called Charlotte is the chosen one and therefore is well educated in all manners and pretty much ready to start her time traveling. But of course what story it would be if Gwen suddenly becomes the chosen one. She has no idea what should be done how she should act etc etc. But don't mind that, Gwen is actually a pretty okay character. I for some reason can totally see her being German. She is reserved, smart and adapts super well, characteristics I see on daily basis in people that surround me. 

ROMANCE: At some point as in all YA books there seems to start romance between Gwen and Gideon but that is not a center at all. This book is not about romance but strictly about time traveling and intrigues.

GOOD: I think I am really starting to fall for time traveling books. The whole idea of modern person finding herself/himself stuck in old time is fascinating. 

BAD: There was something lacking for me that made me not necessary want to pick next book in the series. Unfortunately I cannot seem to be able to point my finger at what exactly is causing this. 

OVERALL: It was a solid YA book and I am really happy a German author got well known due to it. But am I reading next book? I don't know, maybe I will pick up original story instead of translated one. 

What do you think about RUBY RED?



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