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.
©2011 Kerstin Gier, with a translation copyright of 2011 by Anthea Bell (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
"Humorous, romantic and suspenseful, the plot is fast-paced and impossible to put down.... The final romantic cliffhanger will leave you thirsty for the next book in this ‘jewel’ of a series." (Justine magazine)
What other reviewers said is true; Ruby Red is not a novel, just the beginning of one. It's not that it ends in a cliffhanger--it doesn't--or that it sets up a sequel too obviously. It's that nothing happens, there's no arc, just a slow build-up and then a prologue. Imagine the Hunger Games ending before Katniss stepped in the arena or when she's in but only just begun. Imagine Pride and Prejudice ending with Jane's sickness.
The time travel mystery seems overwrought so far. Gwyneth, a 16-year old time traveler, somes some spirit and intelligence, but needs the assistance and is therefore apparently bound to an organization of a bunch of sinister old men, a few women, and her fellow time-traveller, an older boy. At this point it doesn't seem like she's making many choices. This is not pure time travel. Visions, ghosts, telepathy, and apparently alchemy and magic all play parts in this world.
The reader's voice and style were metallic and mechanical to my ears, a little grating and not a great choice for a dramatic narration in the voice of a teenaged girl.
Say something about yourself!
This YA novel is the first in a trilogy about teenagers who time-travel. The audio is nicely paced and engaging and was easy for the whole family (young teens) to listen to. The story itself has a great mix of suspense and humor. The ending is a bit up in the air and therefore a bit disappointing, but oh well, it just makes us want the next one. And the narrator is perfect. She made the characters come alive and her accents were flawless. We loved it!
I spin my own wool and knit. Listening to audiobooks while I craft is one of my favorite things. I'm hooked.
I'll start by saying I didn't know this was a young adult book until after I started listening to it. I didn't really mind, but thought perhaps the blurb for the book could have been more specific about this. The book had a good premise, was fast paced and interesting, but it was not a stand alone novel. It didn't have an ending, just a stopping point that prepares you for the next book in the series. I always find this an annoying quality in a book, and for that reason I only gave the story 3 stars. I love a good series, but for me, a good series is a series of stand alone novels that all tie together in the end. Marissa Calin's narration was the high point of the book for me. She did a marvelous job with character voices, her accents sounded authentic and she added greatly to building suspense and keeping you engaged in the narrative.
I have to admit, I was so swept away with the great narrator of the audible version that it was only half way through the book that I realized it was rather stupid. What I thought would be more like Gail Carrigers' clever worldbuilding ended up being almost sexist, despite a modern setting.
Gwynneth (Gwynnie) and her vacuous but eager friend Leslie are drawn into Gwynneth's family's time traveller mysery. Though how it is a myster with everyone and their brother talking about it throughout the book, I don't know.
In the meanwhile, young Gideon,an experienced time traveller, spends most of the book looking down at the twit...er Gwynnie... and made her mad when he suggested she was one of *those* girls who go to movies, talk bad about others, and go to the bathroom in pairs. And guess what, by the time the book ended, she lived up to all those accusations. Yet we are supposed to believe an intelligent, driven, and dedicated person would fall for an airhead just because he considers her unpredictable. Unpredictable meaning she's so stupid that she just stammers dumb things instead of being 'seen and not heard' docile. Ugh.
All the female characters were either idiots or mean. There was nothing in-between. None of the women had any backbone. Gwynnie's 'surprising act of bravery' was so implausible and lame that it made me roll my eyes.
And then the book suddenly ends without anything resolving. As if the author got bored and just stuck an epilogue in there randomly so she could say she completed a book.
That said, the narrator was awesome and could almost make me have liked the book, if it wasn't so inane and sexist.
I really enjoyed this story. I didn't notice any of the problems that others found with the narration. The ending did seem a bit rushed, almost like the author forced a segue for the next book. Some parts made me laugh out loud. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of the current, popular youth fiction choices out today.
I've finished the whole series and can say that they are all quite fun, well written, and interesting. The author handles time travel in a very intelligent and unique way so you're not spending too much time in your head working out the paradoxes. The rest of the plot isn't groundbreaking, but its sense of humor and well-balanced romance make it a worthwhile listen. It's very British and the romance scenes are fairly chaste so it's a good listen for most ages.
The concept was interesting, but the execution ...
I’ll admit that the first thing that popped into my head when I read the title was a very delicious (my all time favorite) vodka called, Deep Eddy Ruby Red. She’s a cruel mistress, this ruby. Alas, though, it might have had a bearing on me deciding to start this trilogy.While I was gathering my thoughts on this one, I began to wonder if it was a “young adult” type book because the whole thing was a bit unsophisticated and the characters clearly innocent. Mind you, if the story’s good enough you don’t always care, but upon further investigation, I realized that I nailed it. Interesting concept about a family who has the time travel gene, but frankly, it’s just not that great. The end is a big cliff hanging screamer, “you’ll find out in the next book!” This one made me shrug and say, “Meh” I’m not sure I care enough to read the next one, “Emerald Green.” Though, well, I love the color green. Maybe picking books based on Vodka and colors isn’t the best choice?
Originally posted at: A Girl that Likes Books
Why I read this book
Audible has been most gracious to me this year ;) That to say that I keep seeing deals on books that were already on my wish list! In this case, the premise of time traveling was appealing to me, and so when I could get the book for a great price I got myself a copy.
What the book is about
Gwyneth Shepherd is a 16 year old that happens to be able to travel in time. In this "world" some people have the ability to travel in time, and this traveling can be controlled using a device known as the chronograph. This control turns to be essential, for otherwise, the jumps are unpredictable and can put the traveler in a very perilous situation. Similar idea than the Time Traveler's wife, with some exceptions such as the fact that person cannot travel into the future
I fell in love with the protagonist quite fast, she is clumpsy and sharp tongued. He sounded like an actual teenager, which is nice on YA, not when the author tries too hard to make the character sound young. She was genuinely likeable. The story was a bit predictable at times, but it was quite entertaining, and at least for me it was the first YA I read with time traveling.
We go back to it being a nice YA in which the story arc does not depend on the romantic ideas the main character has. There is a mystery and the story evolves around it, instead of it being around Gwyneth and a boy. Oh, there is a boy yes, and there are hints as to something forming there, but is not the main aspect of the story.
The time traveling was interesting and I didn't see a flow flaw in the premises of the travelling itself. I really liked the description of costumes, but you guys know I am a sucker for these types of descriptions. The author plants her seeds well, in which now I really want to get Sapphire Blue to continue the story. Not only for the romantic development, but mostly for the explanations that are missing, yet hinted.
The whole secret society part was interesting too, if sometimes a bit annoying with the male characters being so condescending, but considering this group was formed at a certain period, I guess is to be expected.
It is the first time I hear Marisa Calin as a narrator, but I quite like her voices. The pace was well marked and differentiation between characters if not in tone was made clear in attitude.
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