Friends. I have a confession to make. I totally judged a book by its cover. I saw the cover for Ruby Red and immediately HAD to have it. Turns out it was a great judgement, because the book was AWESOME. Ruby Red is the first book in Kerstin Gier’s Edelstein Trilogie, which was originally published in Germany.
As the plot is a bit complex (time traveling!!), I’ll let Goodreads guide you through it:
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 am honestly so surprised that I haven’t come across more people who have read this series. This book hooked me from start to finish. It had time-traveling, secret societies, intrigue, visions of the dead, secret signet rings, mystery, sword fights and so much more. There is an incredible amount of story packed into this book. The time traveling element allowed for great variety of time periods to be visited, which helped set a fast pace. Since Gwen was never prepared to be a time traveler, her quick lessons in how to time travel, as well as the history of The Guardians society (the secret society helping the time travelers), led to some great comedic moments. There were times where I felt these moments felt stilted, which I think is mainly due to the translation (the books were originally published in German). Other than that I think the translation is excellently done. Gwen’s voice totally draws you in to the story and describes the woes of her life as a teenage time traveler perfectly.
Ruby Red definitely sets up what is sure to be a phenomenal trilogy. I’m interested in seeing how Gwen and Gideon grow from here. They’re both in their teens, yet thrust into extraordinary circumstances far beyond what 16 and 17 year-olds should have to deal with. We’re not given too much depth with their characters, but I’d expect that to change as we travel through time with them in the second and third books. I know that I keep talking about the future of the series and I’ll explain why. Having already read book two, Sapphire Blue, I know it picks up quite literally after the last sentence of Ruby Red. I think when Emerald Green (book three) comes out it’ll be more apparent that the story is one long story split up through three books. The development of the characters will happen gradually throughout the three books since it’s one massive conflict that is trying to be resolved. I’m usually not a fan of series’ written like this, but surprisingly the good outweighs the bad here. Ruby Red was just too damn fun! Gwen and Gideon are, to put it simply, hilarious.
My goal before Emerald Green is released in October is to get the word out about this series. It’s seriously one you don’t want to miss. I hope that those of you who choose to read it out there decide to share it with your friends! This is a series that definitely needs to be shared more.
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my fourth completed review for the Color Coded Challenge
This is my second completed review for the Book to Movie Challenge
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Henry Holt and Co (2011)
Hardcover: 336 pages