Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Publisher: Gyldendal ( Publishes the book in Norwegian)
Pages: 340
Source: My own copy

"Ruby Red
tells the story of 16-year-old Gwendolyn, who lives with her mother and her extended—and rather eccentric—family in an exclusive London neighborhood. Gwen finds it a real pain living with such a strange family that is so full of secrets. That is until one day when Gwen finds herself randomly transported through time to the turn of the last century. Then it suddenly dawns on her what her family's greatest secret might be. But what isn't made clear to her is that one mustn't fall in love across the ages—that makes things exceedingly complicated!"

Kerstin Gier began to write in 1995, when she didn't have a job. And she has experienced a enormous success in Germany. Her debutnovel have been made into a movie, and her books have appeared in the bestsellerlists in Germany. "Ruby Red" has also been on the bestsellerlists and is the first book in a planned trilogy. Holt Children's has bought the US right for the series.

The story:
Gwendolyn's family is not like any other family. In every generation a child is born, a child that has a gene that makes it possible to travel back in time. Everybody has presumed that Gwendolyn's cousin Charlotte has inherited this gene, and she has been prepped for timetravel from an early age. But it soon turns out that it is actually Gwen that has this gene, and not everyone in the family is happy about this. Ancient secrets and hostility is brought to the surface. Gwen also meets Gideon, who accompanies her on the timetravels.

Main character:
Gwendolyn, or Gwen as she is mostly called, is 16 years old and leads a pretty ordinary life. She attends school at Saint Lennox with her best friend Leslie. But Gwen is not quite that ordinary. She can actually see ghosts and certain demons ( apart from having the ability to travel in time). Gwen is a feisty heroine, she has a lot of humour and doesn't take herself all that seriously. But she has a hard time adapting to the fact that she can travel in time. She does not want to be special. I liked her very much, and am looking forward to reading more about her in future books.

The book:
I have not read a lot of books about timetravel, that's why I wanted to read Ruby Red. The book is full of mystery and suspense: a secret order called The Guardians have guarded Gwen's family secret and the mysterious machine that makes timetravel to specific periods possible. The Guardians is situated at many places, some as teachers at Gwen's school.

Rudy Red has a great beginning that makes me want to read ahead. The book is full of humour and Gwen is a great protagonist. It takes some time to get fully emerged in the book, but ones that happens the pages turn almost on their own.

I especially liked the scenes where Gwen is visiting the past, and the author is describing this so well that I actually felt like this was a person really travelling in time, that it was possible.

I also had the feeling that this book was written by a British author, not a German one. Gier has done a great job capturing Great Britain and englishmen. I think this is going to be a huge trilogy. Read it when it comes out in English, you will not regret that. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Other reviews:
Escape in a Book


Amelie said...

YAY! Ruby Red travelling the world ^^
I've read it in German, the whole trilogy, and it IS amazing! And I liked your review and I do agree on the "huge thing" part. They are even turning this into a movie ;) A German movie (which usually suck), but still ;)

Italia said...

Ruby Red and I fell madly in love and are currently planning our honeymoon to 1890 (my favorite time period ever). With this book I've discovered my love of time travel. Sure, I liked the concept, I enjoyed it immensely in books like Timeless and Warped, but now I truly love it. And Ruby Red really makes you think about all that goes into it, makes you see how much thought and care go into the whole thing. It's not as easy as just flying back in time with nothing but the clothes on your back. Oh, no. If you intend to make a visit into the past, you have to be conscientious of clothing, speak, skills, etc.

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