Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 22nd 2012
Series: Precious Stone Trilogy #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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, Lesly. 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 centrury . . . .
I’ve been wanting to read a book about time travel for too long. So it’s not hard to believe I was pretty excited when RUBY RED was chosen to be this months YABBC read and delved into it as soon as I possibly could (though didn’t get around to writing this review immediately after finishing…)
The story of Gwen and her family’s time travel genes unfolds fairly slowly. A lot of time is spent explaining and showing which I both appreciated and hated. It was good because it made sure we had a firm understanding of the world and the time travel and the rules. Bad because I wanted more time travel! The time’s Gwen visited were often times that I like my historical fiction to be set and I wanted to spend more time in the past worlds, where there was intrigue and danger and investigation. No proper prolonged time travel was done until at least three quarters in, so the story dragged a little until then, but after that it was quite exciting. Until it ends in the middle of a book. Or what feels like it. I have so many unanswered questions that have me frustrated because I don’t have SAPPHIRE BLUE in my hands this very moment…
Despite the abrupt ending and plot developing slower than I’d like, this is an enjoyable, light read. The writing style makes me think this might be targeted toward a younger YA audience (though some part of this may have something to do with the translation). It reminded me of HEX HALL–humourous and quick and just easy to read. It was refreshing.
Gwen was a good main character for the most part. She has a lot of quirks and could be a bit oblivious at times. The many side characters all had their own charms and I wish we could have learnt more about some of them. Gideon is the love interest and intrigues me, though I need to see more of him before I really make up my mind. There was a fair amount of time spent by Gwen admiring his good looks or making remarks about his… unpleasant personality (the typical YA romance really, where the guy seemed like a jerk but does actually have an incredibly nice side). I am not sure where the romance was supposed to be going in RUBY RED, the characters only having just met and all, so there’s not really any development and at the same time I am confused because of reasons…
Anyway, this was supposed to be a brief review and I rambled. Basically, I quite enjoyed RUBY RED. It’s nice and light and easy to read and my only real complaint is that it feels like half a book. I think fans of books like HEX HALL will enjoy the writing in this.