Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Ruby Red trilogy by Kirstin Gier

Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.

She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any century . . . .

Spread over three books, this tells of Gwen and her sudden ability to travel through time. There was a lot of interweaving time travel throughout the three books, for instance, a glimpse into the future in book 1 didn’t happen in the present until hallway through book 3! Also because there was so much happening, I often forgot it was set over a few days – well, I think the course of the trilogy was over about 2 weeks. It felt so long mostly because of the time travel, flitting back and forth in just a few hours, but also particularly when Gwen started travelling uncontrolled and got to grips with her new gift; there was lots of talking it over with best friend Lesley and mulling/stressing it over in her head.

Gwen felt quite young; considering she’s supposed to be 16, she was na├»ve, especially with boys and the “real world”, but she had her moments of strength and bravery. For the most part, she managed to hold her own in the clutches of the secret society, although when she got yelled at for not knowing things, I wanted to coddle her and yell back “it’s not her fault she got a normal education!” But she was pretty normal for a heroine in a science fiction book; she worried about her homework and kissing boys and annoying her younger siblings. Plus she had a very cool gift of speaking to ghosts, that was kind of random but in the end, it did make sense. I think.

As for her love interest, Gideon was all kinds of incredible. His estimation of Gwen changed depending on his mood so he was quite snarky but he knew his stuff and was very protective over her. Plus he could sword fight, who doesn’t love that quality in a man?

Prophecies, time travel, secret societies, first love, ghostly gargoyles – what didn’t this series have? This whole business with “the secret is the secret” malarkey and the impact Gwen had on the prophecy was really confusing and as we were seeing it from Gwen’s perspective, we didn’t figure it out for a long while but it was quite clever. It wasn’t rushed at the end, Gwen and the gang debated over and weighed up how to deal with the bad guy, the creepy Count before taking action. I liked that maturity and almost level-headed-ness because as Gwen’s life was at stake, there was a lot to consider. All in all, parts seemed juvenile but it was clever and funny and had great mix of action and romance.

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