Monday, October 25, 2010

Book review:Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

I devoured Ruby Red in 24 hours, which, if you already haven't guessed, means that I liked it very much. This is an entertaining and refreshing YA novel about time traveling and family secrets.

On the back of the Norwegian cover references are made to Twilights super couple Edward and Bella and Hamlet's Romeo and Juliet. A good marketing strategy, which hopefully will get this novel lots of readers, but this novel can stand on its own to feet without references like that. This is an exiting first book in a trilogy, no cliffhanger ending but I'm still pining for the second installment and I want to read it now.

My summary:Gwendolyn is 16,5 years old and up until this point in her life she has lived like any normal kids, well except that Gwen sees things other people can't see.Gwen lives in a big, old house in London with the rest of her family, this family is not normal every once in a while a person who can jump back in time is born into it. Gwen's cousin, Charlotte, is born with the time traveler gene and everyone is eagerly anticipating her first jump in time. Gwen is so grateful that she isn't the one jumping in time, it must be so scary. Think of all the dangerous situations you can, literally, fall into.

My thoughts:Ruby Red is like a breath of fresh air in YA, which have lately been overflowing with vampires, werewolves and angels, not that I mind as long as the story is a good one but it was delightful to read a YA about time traveling. There are some paranormal creatures, not your everyday fantastical creatures by the way, in this story as well but they're just in the background. In Ruby Red some of the important ingredients are dangerous missions, secrecy and sword fighting.

Gwen is both a likable and a credible heroine, she worries about things that can be potentially harmful and dangerous but when she is smack in the middle of things she can stand up for herself. Gwen has never been the adventurous kind but all of the sudden she is forced to go on adventures; someone in her family has been keeping a very important secret that has a huge impact on Gwen life. If it was up to Gwen to decide what to do she would have loved to go to school like a normal 16 year old with her friends and enjoyed the evenings in company with her best friend, Leslie.

Now that I've mentioned Leslie I have to say that she is the best written best friend character I've read in a long time. The trend in YA these days seem to be bad best friends, Leslie is a true friend who supports and advices Gwen whenever she needs it.

I mustn't forget, there's a boy, Gideon, but there is not much romance between Gwen and him. There is more of a mutual dislike between them, Gideon is handsome but he is such a jerk who thinks he is better than everyone else. Unfortunately for Gwen she has to spend quite a lot of time with this guy.

Ruby red was an excellent read about time traveling and I thought it was very interesting to read about the chronograph that was used for time traveling and how that worked. I also loved the way Gier described the time periods by describing the current fashions, buildings etc.

The cover:
I really like the cover and I would have picked the book off the shelf based on cover lust alone. 

My rating of this book:
4.5 stars out of 5 - great!

Want to know more?
Ruby Red will be released in English in May 2011 by Henry Holt Company. Gier is a very successful German author, she writes for young adults and adults.

Full disclosure:
For honest review from the Norwegian publisher Gyldendal.