RUBY RED (Ruby Red Trilogy #1)
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
Gwen's been having dizzy spells for days. If she didn't know better, she might assume they were a symptom of her family's time travel gene, but that gene is prophesied to fall to her cousin Charlotte who is due to make her first leap in time any day now.
Because everyone in her family is fussing over Charlotte's impending journey into history, no one notices when Gwen suddenly finds herself making multiple spontaneous trips to the past. When she finally works up the nerve to tell them she causes quite a stir, and no one is happy about the new revelation. Perhaps least enthused is Gideon, a young man also in possession of the time travel gene who has been working with Charlotte for months on an important mission.
Now stuck with arrogant, infuriating Gideon as a time travel partner, Gwen finds herself a member of an elite group–one of only twelve people throughout history with such an ability–and part of a mystery that's bigger than any one person or time period. The more Gwen and Gideon learn about the past and the importance of Gwen completing the circle of twelve, the more complex things become until Gwen doesn't know who to trust, what to believe, or where she will end up next.
Ruby Red is a story that instantly captivates us and sparks our imaginations to roaring life as we read on in wonder at the possibilities a time travel gene presents, thinking of all the extraordinary sights and events such a biological improbability would place at our fingertips. While the plausibility of organized time travel sends our minds spinning, we are also given a heavy dose of reality with this extraordinary notion, a complicated century-spanning mystery rising to the forefront to illuminate the dangers of such an activity when any one person's minute actions could greatly affect the outcome of events both past and future. Such an ability also raises some intriguing questions for us as readers–can we trust what we're seeing and experiencing in the present with Gwen, or are things unfolding according the the plans of others who have defied the time barrier before her, orchestrating and manipulating things to see their desired outcome achieved? We find ourselves willingly drawn into the splendid chaos with Gwen, breaching the fictional plane to lock minds with her as we attempt to shed the bonds of normalcy to which we are so accustomed and embrace the impossible.
Gwen is a strong young heroine, left almost entirely in the dark about matters concerning her family's unique gift, but we are eternally grateful for her bewilderment when she's suddenly propelled into the inner circle of those who are already familiar with time travel, taking comfort in the fact that we will learn the ropes with her as we go. She has the amusing ability to shock a laugh out of us, seeming fairly quiet and reserved as she digests the scope of her new ability, only to suddenly think or speak a thought aloud that catches us off-guard with its humor and wit. We find ourselves enchanted by a girl who can create levity and inspire laughter amidst the strangeness of her circumstance, and we can't help but hang on every word just waiting to see what she'll let slip next.
Gideon, dark, arrogant and oh-so irritatingly attractive, keeps us on our toes emotionally, his initial coolness toward Gwen raising our hackles since we are already fully connected to her by the time he decides to grace us with his presence. While his frosty demeanor begins to melt under the formidable weight of Gwen's understated charm, the thaw does not fully extend to us and we remain wary of his motives, becoming increasingly curious as to how much he knows about what will happen when the circle of twelve is finally closed. Is his slowly developing interest in Gwen genuine, or has he, having years of experience with time travel behind him, been instructed to play a certain part? The uncertainty with regard to his intentions, as well as those of everyone else involved both in the past and present, keeps us hypervigilant while reading, constantly hypothesizing and questioning motives and actions while hoping Gideon is as he appears to be–a pawn like Gwen in a larger game we can't wait to understand better.
Because this is part one in a trilogy, we are left with quite a few questions we know will constantly needle us until the release of books two and three. There is so much about the world of time travel Gwen, and therefore we, don't know even at the conclusion of this tale, and we can only hope we will find the answers moving forward. Ms. Gier certainly has piqued my curiosity and I am now anxiously awaiting the release of Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green.