You’d think by now I’d have learned not to judge a book by its cover. I don’t know what it is about this cover, but it made me have about zero desire to read “Ruby Red.” But then I finally did anyway, and I was reminded for the billionth time why I need to stop judging books by their covers. Because I totally loved this book.
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.
I think the thing that drew me in the most was the narrative voice. Gwyneth just tells her story in such an engaging and charismatic way. And she’s pretty dang funny as well. I think I would’ve enjoyed the plot no matter what, but the way it was told put it over the top for me. This book was originally written in German, I think, so kudos to the author for writing a book that could carry over so well into another language. And serious kudos to the translator for making the English version feel so natural. Pretty much, I just want to spend this review going on and on about how much I love Gwyneth as a main character. I basically adored the fact that although Gwyneth ends up being able to travel through time, other than that, she’s so completely normal that you can’t help but relate to her.
But maybe you might want to hear about some of the other characters too? Gideon, I really enjoyed for about 99 percent of the book. He and Gwyneth have that “I hate you but I’m secretly attracted to you” thing going on, and they pull it off well. I did think, though, that Gideon acted a bit out of character at the very end, so we’ll see if that carries over into the next books in the series. The other secondary characters were pretty great, especially Leslie, Gwyneth’s best friend. I do wish, however, that we could’ve gotten a little deeper look at Charlotte, Gwyneth’s cousin. But again, maybe in the next books.
Plot-wise, I thought that it seemed maybe a little light. Like, there could’ve been another 50 pages or something. But I guess I’d rather that than a series that tries to tackle too much in the first book. And really, handling the plot that way made me really eager to read the next books, so it was pretty effective in that way.
Overall, an amusing book with an interesting plot and a main character that I really loved. The other two books in the series are already out, and I’ll be reading them for sure.
Rating: 4.5 / 5