Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ruby Red

A friend of mine gave me some books recently.  Among them were Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier, but not the first book in the trilogy, Ruby Red.  Luckily the library had it though, so I picked it up yesterday.  I started reading it in the evening after work...and nearly finished it last night (I had about twenty pages left to go, but decided sleep was a better plan at 3:30am rather than finishing it).  So today during my lunch break I finished it off. :)

Ruby Red is about Gwen, who moved with her immediate family into her extended family's house.  Everyone in the house knows that Charlotte, Gwen's cousin, has the time-travel gene and so is destined to be a time traveller.  So Charlotte is trained in history, languages, dancing, fencing and anything else she might need once her time-travelling gene kicks in around age sixteen or seventeen.  Gwen, being normal, is left out of all of the mystery.  But then on her way to the store, Gwen suddenly fades out of our time and finds herself in the past.  Suddenly she is forced into a life she is completely unprepared for (while her cousin is thrust out of the one she has been preparing for her whole life).

I liked the premise of Ruby Red, but at the same time I will admit it's a little odd.  Gwen's family knew that the time traveller would be born on a certain date (the date Charlotte was born on); Gwen's mother admits Gwen was actually born on that day too, but had the midwife switch the dates in the hopes that Gwen could have a normal life away from all of the family mysteries.  So when Gwen starts time travelling, Gwen is wholly unprepared for everything (beyond knowing the basics because she's overheard what is supposed to happen to her cousin).  Gwen's mother says she wanted Gwen away from the secret society that their family is part of, but everyone thinks it's weird that her mom didn't prepare her AT ALL for the possibility that she might start time travelling. And I agree, it does seem pretty weird, especially since her mom was super quick to get her over to the secret society as soon as she knew Gwen had started time travelling.  But whatever.  I'm pretty sure there are *reasons* beyond that as to why she didn't prepare Gwen (just like I heavily suspect Gwen's mother is not her *real* mother...)

Beyond that weird plot hole, Ruby Red is a pretty fun book.  Gwen gets partnered with Gideon, who thinks she's going to slow him down on his mission (and so is a bit of a stuck up ass to her at the beginning).  Their relationship sort of reminded me of the one between Agnieszka and the Dragon in Uprooted, which I also found rather fun.  Gideon himself seems to be a lot more than Gwen gives him credit for (just as Gideon admits at the end of the book that Gwen is not at all "normal," which he accused her of being at the beginning of the book - normal being boring and vapid, and not at all a compliment).

So after powering through Ruby Red, I'm quite excited to see where the story takes us in Sapphire Blue!

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