Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt (US)
Published: May 10, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! 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.
"Ruby Red with G major, the magic of the raven, brings the circle of Twelve home into safe haven."
16-year old Gwyneth "Gwen" Shepherd lives a relatively boring life with her extended family including her aunt, cousin, and grandmother knowing that the time traveling gene has passed her by. Or did it? Even though her cousin Charlotte has been trained for the day when her initiation journey kicks in, and has worked with another fellow time traveler in Gideon, it is Gwen who suddenly finds herself thrust into the spotlight when she journeys back in time and discovers an entirely new world.
In spite of the fact that Gwen is as toothless as a new born baby when it comes to understanding history, fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart, or her own mother's secrets that she keeps bundled up tightly, Gwen learns that she is the Ruby, or the Twelfth member of the Circle. It is up to Gwen to help Gideon in his work to collect the blood from all Twelve time travelers for a group known as the Guardians.
Gwen is such a fun character to read about. She holds nothing back when it comes to standing up for herself. She can apparently see ghosts, and demon gargoyles. Although apparently not as smart as her cousin Charlotte, she doesn't allow herself to wallow in self-pity. I adore her best friend Lesley. Their relationship is fun, and adorable, and Lesley isn't jealous of her best friends success, but joins her in doing important research so that Gwen can get caught up quickly.
Then there is Gideon. Oh, Gideon how I loathe you with every breath I take. I know you are the supposed love interest, but you are obnoxious, arrogant, loud mouthed, and just plain rude! You cut people down with words, and expect them to just fall all over themselves to love you and adore you and put you up on a pedestal. Yeah, I totally don't see the attraction, but once again, I might be in the minority on this issue.
Really, really didn't like Count Saint-Germain, but that just means that the writer did her job in grabbing my attention, and holding it. He's a dangerous man, who is about as secretive as they come. He's nasty, and a manipulative bastard who holds sway over people like the Devil over his demons. So many secrets surrounding this man, that I am definitely eager to see where Gier takes his story from here.
Didn't quite care for the spoiled Charlotte who is as smart as she is beautiful. When, along with your mother who truly believes the world owes her a favor, you blame your own cousin for subterfuge and ruining your life, you show your true colors, and they really weren't all that pretty. I'm still trying to put my mind around Charlotte's relationship with Gideon, but I'm sure all will be explained shortly.
Ruby Red is an amazing start to the Precious Stone Trilogy, a trilogy that I have been wanting to read for years. The story is filled with mysteries, humor, and yes, romance. The relationships between several of the characters like Lucy, Paul, Grace & Gwen, has me searching for answers, but I am sure that the author will eventually tie up any loose ends by the end of this trilogy, if not sooner. I am patiently waiting for my hold request from the library to be fulfilled. Once it is, I shall move on to the next book called Sapphire Blue!