Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red is the first in a YA time travel trilogy by German author Kerstin Gier. The story is set in present day London and features a likable teen heroine who never expected to inherit the time travel gene. That honour was supposed to go to Gwen's cousin, Charlotte. Instead, Gwen is thrown into a dangerous adventure that has her crisscrossing back and forth in time, unsure of who she can trust. She isn't at all prepared, but Gwen's common sense and her love of period films helps her to roll with it.

I read an American edition of the English translation, which keeps some of the British terminology (loo, not toilet; tablet, not pill) but not all (cookies, not biscuits, for example.) It was a little disconcerting, but nothing compared to what Gwen had to negotiate... like climbing through a tight spot while dressed in a hoop skirt. Oh, and by the way, Gwen can also converse with ghosts and gargoyles who are invisible to everyone else. It's a lot of fun.

Imagine a mash-up of To Say Nothing of the Dog (Connie Willis), Grave Mercy (Robin LeFevers), Dreamhunter (Elizabeth Knox), The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) and The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde). Adventure, humour, fancy costumes and a cliffhanger of an ending. Sapphire Blue is the second volume and Emerald Green will be released on October 8, 2013.

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