Sunday, December 15, 2013
Running Around in History: Ruby Red
Henry Holt, 2009
This is one of those great cases when I've had a book around for a while, finally read it, kick myself for not having read it sooner, then am a little bit grateful that I waited because the entire series is out so I can read the whole thing without waiting for releases!
Gwyneth Shepard has always been pretty unremarkable in the eyes of her family. Sure this London teen can see and talk to the occasional ghost, but that's nothing compared to her sophisticated cousin Charlotte who was born with a genetic alteration that means she can travel in time and fulfill a centuries-old prophecy. Except, apparently she wasn't because Gwyneth is the one who finds herself being flung into the past with absolutely no training about what to do or idea what this means. Now Gwen must fill her cousin's shoes on a quest, navigate an old and secretive order, and work with Gideon, another time traveler who is insufferable and insanely handsome.
This book is a great example of modern sci-fi fun. It has a little bit of everything I like. A great central friendship between Gwen and her BFF Lesley. Some fun paranormal aspects with ghosts and of course time travel. A dash of family drama. A swoony and complicated boy in Gideon. A mystery that has been around for hundreds of years. In the wrong hands, this could be an overwhelming and cliche-wrought story, but luckily for readers, Gwen has an attitude that you can't help but root for and Gier has crafted a world that you want to learn more about.
Once I started, I couldn't stop, and I immediately checked out the two sequels Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green so I can finish out the trilogy as soon as possible! Also, major props to translator Anthea Bell. These books were originally written and published in German, and the translation is fantastically done in that nothing feels lost or words misguided. I even hope to someday read this book in the original German (if I can last that long in Duolingo!).
If you're in the mood for a fun series that takes on history with a dash of fantasy/paranormal with a fun protagonist, learn from my mistake and don't let this book sit on your shelf any longer!
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!