Published: May 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Copy: Received for Review
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.
What can I tell you about Ruby Red, the first in a series by Kerstin Gier? When you're dealing with the past anything can happen - and probably already has!
Take a mysterious Count; doppelgangers; a ditsy, prophecy spouting aunt; cold, unfeeling grandmother; secretive, but loving mother; labyrinthian headquarters of a strange secret society - put them all together with a couple of time-travelling teenagers and you have a recipe for thrills and excitement. Don't forget strange prophecies and secret powers as well, along with sword fights and carriage chases, just to stir things up a bit.
A routine trip to the past for Gywneth and Gideon results in a surprising ambush, and so the mystery begins. Who is trying to kill them and why, and how did anyone know they were going to be where they were at that time? I must admit, I still have no idea, and I just have to hope that I'll find out in #2.
I loved all the characters, Gwyneth, with her no-nonsense attitude; her bff Leslie, boy crazy, but there for her when needed - particularly with a computer; Gideon, too good-looking by far - I'd like to know what is going on with him and Charlotte please; and of course Charlotte, who should be time-travelling, but isn't. There are also creepy characters wandering around the corridors of the society, missing relatives and secrets galore. Oh and I forgot to mention, Gwyneth can see ghosts! And the costumes - I could picture all the beautifully described clothes in my mind so clearly - the hard part was trying to imagine todays kids looking so elegant. If only!
Ruby Red was so much fun to read, I powered through it and now I'm waiting with baited breath for Sapphire Blue (Spring 2012) and Emerald Green (?) Well done Ms Gier, now I know why it has been translated into 17 languages.