I’ve been excited about this book for awhile and I’m glad that I finally took the plunge. As the first book in the series, Ruby Red does a brilliant job at laying the groundwork. Gwen is as new to the world of traveling though time as we are and it’s great learning about how the gene works as Gwen learns herself. There are some amazing characters like Lesly who is an expert at using the internet, pop culture, and has Gwen’s back no matter what to Gwen’s eccentric and possibly psychic Great Aunt Maddie. I was impressed with the wealth of detail regarding the difference between the past and present as well as some of the difficulties one might face if thew were to go back in time. Another things I loved was the insufferable Gideon – gorgeous yet obnoxious. It’s great to have a potential love interest that the heroine isn’t head over heels for the moment she meets him. There’s some bickering and frustration that I found to be fantastic.
There is alot going on in this book and by the end alot is still a mystery. Whilst it’s great at making me want to read the second book, Sapphire Blue, it meant that in terms of action, Ruby Red fell a little short. With all the descriptions and back story, there wasn’t a huge climax in terms of drama and activity in this first book. That said, and without having read the next book yet, Ruby Red is fantastic at laying the ground work. There’s so much happening – from Gwen’s inexplicable ability to talk to ghosts to a future hinted at though one of Gwen’s travels. It’s exciting and I loved being a part of the journey. The time travel is different from ones I’ve read before and I liked this particular take. The family mystery and quirky relatives are fascinating yet formidable.
Ruby Red was originally written in German and I wonder if perhaps that was a reason for why the novel read a little young for me. There were times when the book felt like it was more suitable for middle grade rather than young adult but it’s possible that some of the nuances were lost in translation.
I enjoyed this book. The main character Gwen is exciting, brave, and intelligent. The banter with Gideon is a pleasure to read and there are so many secondary characters who are both mysterious and amusing. This was a great book to read and I liked the different take on time travel.