Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
(translated from German by Anthea Bell)
Published by Henry Holt on May 10, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction
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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.
Ruby Red puts a new twist on time travel. Not only is the ability to travel carried in a gene, but the travelers are all predetermined by their date of birth and a poem. As weird as it sounds, the book does a great job of explaining it.
The tone of the book is very entertaining. There is a lightness about it that makes it a very quick read, without feeling too short. Every character in the book is unique and interesting; even the background characters.
Gwyneth, along with having the time travel gene, has the ability to see ghosts. She regularly talks to a ghost in her school from the 18th century and Dr. White’s (the doctor in the time travel secret society) son who drown in a pool when he was 7. At first I didn’t see the point of her having these abilities. Was it just so the other characters would think she was weird?
Then her great-aunt Maddie starts having a vision of Gwyn on a clock tower, and a raven hatching from a sapphire egg. At that point I had no idea what was going on. Was it a book about time travel or not? But when the prophesy is introduced, you see that these are not just random events. Gwyn is prophesized to have the magic of the raven, which I assume is her ability to see ghosts.
Overall I really enjoyed the book. So much so that I bought the second one as soon as I finished. It’s sitting in my kindle library right now waiting to be read.
I’m going to give Ruby Red four out of five hearts.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I definitely recommend reading this book.