Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Although I had never seen him before, I recognized him immediately. I'd have known his voice anywhere. This was the guy I'd seen on my last journey back in time.

Or more precisely, the one who'd kissed my doppelganger while I was hiding behind the curtain in disbelief.

Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesly. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.

She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any centrury . . .
(Picture and Summary from Goodreads)
"It was nothing serious," he said.  "Love affairs between the de Villiers and Montrose families never work out.  You could say they were doomed to fail from the start."
"I'd call that an entirely superfluous warning, Uncle Falk," said Gideon, crossing his arms.  "She's definitely not my type."
By she he meant me. 
It was a second or maybe two before the insult sank in.  My first instinct was to say something like "Well, thank God for that!  I'm not too keen on arrogant show-offs, myself." But I kept quiet.
Okay, so I wasn't his type.  So what?  If I wasn't, I wasn't.
As if I cared.
(Excerpt from Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier)
Oh dear me!  What did I just do to myself! 
When I read the overview of this book, I just knew I would love it; however when I started reading I had doubts about whether I still felt that way.  The book starts off slow which is probably due to the fact that the author had to give us a lot of information and backstory into the world of time travelers (gene carriers).  I was really impressed with how much Kerstin developed the backstory, not very many authors take the time to do it, but it did take up a big portion of the book.  Things started to pick up in the last half and it wasn't long before I was anxiously turning the pages and biting my nails.  Sadly though, when things started to get really interesting, the book ended.  I mean, I was completely unprepared.  I finished a chapter, turned the page, and BAM epilogue.  There are cliff hangers and then there are "I'm going to kill the reader by just stopping the book here, they'll never recover! Bwahaha".  Yeah it's one of those.  Luckily the next book is already out so I only have to wait till it gets here and make time to read it.
A unique twist for me is that the book is read with a British accent.  It has slang and everything which I found completely fun and it turns out my imaginary voice does a pretty decent british accent (or maybe it was Rose from Doctor Who that was reading to me..).  Buuut I almost couldn't stand Gwen, she is just so immature.  She really read more like a preteen compared to the 16yr old that she is.  Don't get me wrong,  I know 16yr olds can be very immature, there was just something about her that made me keep checking to make sure I had read her age right.  She has an awesome best friend Lesly, who I kind of feel bad for but at the same time love!  She does a lot of sleuthing to help Gwen get the facts about people and places from the past.  She's also an awesome support system for Gwen who gets no help from her family when they discover that she is the gene carrier instead of her cousin Charlotte.  There is some tension that we don't completely understand between Gwen's mom and the rest of the family, something to do with the past.  Of course they have no choice but to accept that Gwen is the carrier and move on, not that they are happy about it.  Then there is Gideon.  I can't really tell you how I feel about him, I'm still confused myself.  At the end of the book, when some characters make a surprise appearance, he has me thinking he may not be what I thought at all.  Hopefully the next book will help sway my decision, I really want to be pro-Gidean.
Once you get past all the information downloads the book is really very good.  I really expect the next book to be full of action and suspense since that was where the end of Ruby Red was heading.  I am disappointed that over half the book was used for background information and even more disappointed in how the ending just cut off but I still loved it and will definitely be reading the next book. 

Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy, #1)

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