Next we have Lauren from Love is Not a Triangle. She selected The Ruby Red series as her gust post focus.
Why I love Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red trilogy
By Lauren @ Love is not a triangle
I’m excited to tell you all about why I love the Ruby Red trilogy today. These books feature an extremely well crafted time travel plot, but the story and characters are also so much fun. Major elements happen in different time periods, and author Kerstin Gier did an amazing job fitting all the parts together, without making the story overly confusing. If time travel books scare you with their complicated storylines, don’t be afraid of this series! At the same time, these books have some really great twisty surprises in them. When you reach to the final book, it’s thrilling to see past and present collide as the story comes full circle.
What is the Ruby Red series about?
Gwendolyn Shepherd is just a normal teenage girl who goes to school in London and likes celebrities and movies more than historical facts or schoolwork. Gwen is thankful that it is her cousin Charlotte (and not Gwen) who carries the family’s time travel gene, and has to spend time learning to dance, fence, walk and talk so that she’ll be able to blend into various time periods. Except that Gwen is the one who actually starts time traveling. All of a sudden everyone realizes they’ve made a mistake, and Gwen is thrust into a world and a secret time travel society that she knows nothing about.
5 reasons I think you should read this series:
- Gwen is hilarious, and I love her distinct voice. I was surprised at how much I grew to love Gwen, especially because she started off sounding a bit young for me in the first book. Gwen is silly and flighty at times – not an overachieving Hermione Granger type – and she is completely unprepared when she starts time traveling. But she’s also sharp and quite effectively uses to her advantage the fact that people underestimate her. Everyone tries to keep Gwen in the dark about the rules of the time travel society, but instead of moping, Gwen decides that she’s going to do things her way.
Gwen’s words of wisdom from book 2, Sapphire Blue:
“If no one could be bothered to explain any of these rules to me, or the reasons for them, they couldn’t really be surprised if I didn’t keep them.”
“If you were lying, you had to come up with confusing details that wouldn’t interest anyone.“
- One of my favorite aspects of these books is how seriously these characters take their time traveling. From their costumes and hair to how they smile and curtsey, it is quite complicated to travel back in time and blend into the society. Poor Gwen has not spent years studying this like her cousin Charlotte, so she’s very much out of her element, and it’s amusing to see her try and navigate social situations in different time periods. I’m a huge history fan and I love all the details of historical clothing and customs that played into this story.
- Gwen has the best best friend ever. Lesley is Gwen’s best friend and she is just as funny as Gwen is, but also acts as the brains and voice of reason for Gwen. She’s not personally involved in the time traveling world, but is always doing research for Gwen, and Lesley supports Gwen 100%. This girl goes on my top ten best book friends list, for sure. We all need friends like Lesley.
- Yes, there’s a boy. Of course we can’t forget the infuriating and swooworthy Gideon de Villers. Gideon is a few years older than Gwen and another time traveler. Gwen and he time travel a lot together, so thankfully for Gwen, he’s easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, Gwen is afraid she can’t trust him. Neither was I at times. I actually loved all the angst in the series over whether Gideon was trustworthy or not. It was a fun part of the plot, instead of stressful (I don’t say that lightly, as I’m generally anti-angst). I really like the way that the romance worked itself out throughout the series. It starts a little quickly and becomes a tad dramatic, but I thought its development made sense for the plot, and fit with the characters. Also, no love triangle!
- The series was originally written in German. Ok, this isn’t necessarily a reason that you should read this series, but I think it’s an interesting fact. Often books are written in English first and then translated to other languages, but this time the opposite happened. Though the series is fully published in English now, when I read the first book, all three were already written in German, but I had to wait for the translation to read them. On a practical level, there are a few awkward words and phrases that seem to be the result of the language shift. As well as an over abundance of exclamation points! Both of these elements are present in the entire series, but not something that hugely affected my reading experience.
Bonus! Maybe the movie trailer will convince you…although it’s in German, of course. Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue have both been released in Germany; the first is in DVD now. I have yet to watch this film, but I will once I figure out how to access a copy without paying a fortune. I like that the mood of it seems a little more serious and darker than the first book came across in print (though I love the tone of the books too).
Conclusion – The Ruby Red series is fast paced and so much fun! The books are smartly plotted quick reads with action that takes place in both the past and present and include gorgeous costumes, crazy hairstyles, ghosts, swords, secrets, romance, pop culture and lots of intrigue. Ruby Red is one of those series that is one overarching, connecting storyline spread over three books. Although each book has its own climax and excitement, they read very well close together. What are you waiting for?