Review of Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier

Posted June 12, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 13 Comments

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Pages: 324
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: I own a copy of this book.




Blurb: 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.


Review: First of all, that cover! It’s gorgeous. I can assure you it is even MORE gorgeous in person since I own a hardback of this book. But guess what? They re-did the cover and now it’s just a girl in a pretty dress!! And the sequel, Sapphire Blue, I don’t even think they are publishing in hardback. Can you imagine this gorgeous cover in blue? I. AM. DISAPPOINT. But that has nothing to do with the contents, and so we move on to the actual review. But the cover!! *cries*


Ruby Red started out terribly for me. There was so much telling. All dialogue, and it was clunky and awkward. No sensory language whatsoever. The opening chapter did nothing to hook the reader and nothing happened.  I didn’t care for the writing style at all. I kind of felt like I was being talked down to. So it was a good thing I stuck with it. After about three chapters, the book all of a sudden got good. At some point I became loath to put it down. It felt like it was written by a completely different author. There was still more telling than I would have liked, and the writing style was a little odd, but the story was absolutely riveting and so unique. 


Gwyneth was a brilliant protagonist. She was sassy, intelligent, and stuck up for herself when she needed to. Not at first, but she grew into her personality and that made her grow in my eyes. In the beginning, she was easily intimidated by everyone around her. But as the story progressed, she finally started standing up for herself and grew a backbone. I’m not saying I started out hating her, but I did think it was annoying how she let everyone, even her own family members, walk all over her. I look forward to reading the next book when she hopefully stands up to the rest of these buttheads and proves herself. There is one particular character I am thinking of, and I want her to get what is coming to her so badly. No spoilers. It’s hard because I want to spill it all!! 


I wouldn’t say it’s a slowly paced book, but it does take a little while to get going. So you need a little patience with this one. After Gwyneth time-travels for the first time, things start to pick up. And yet, I don’t think this is a book for everyone. You can tell by reading that it has a long story arc. And this book was only just the beginning. I’m not even sure how many books are in this series. So if you like a book with a beginning, middle, and end, I can assure you that this book is not for you. But it’s definitely worth reading if you like a longer, more epic type of storyline. 


I’ve never been a fan of time travel books. I can now say that I don’t think I’ve given them a fair shake. This book was utterly fabulous. If anyone has any great time travel stories to recommend me, I’d be happy to hear your recommendations. I’m not saying this will ever be a favorite genre (I didn’t even like Back to the Future that much), but I’m willing to try since I really liked Ruby Red. I’d like to leave you with a quote that is a testament to Gwyneth’s awesomeness. 


“Gwyneth, we have to get moving! Breathe deeply, and it’ll pass.”


I stopped dead. This was too much. 


“Oh, so it’ll pass?” I made myself speak very slowly and distinctly, although I really felt like screeching. “And so if I’ve just killed a man, will that pass, too? My entire life has been turned upside down today–will that pass? Will the fact that an arrogant, long-haired, violin-playing creep in silk stockings can’t think of anything better to do than order me about, even though I’ve just saved his stupid life, will that disappear as well? If you ask me, it’s not surprising that I feel like puking. And just in case you’re wondering, you make me want to throw up too!”


FYI. This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Not an evil one, but it’s still there. 


13 responses to “Review of Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier

  1. I picked this one up the other day at WalMart because it was super cheap, didn’t read anything about it first because well, it was pretty (even the softcover is really pretty IMO, but the hardcover looks gorgeous.) So, I’m really happy to read a review of it. I’ve read one time travel book and it was meh, but Donnie Darko is one of my all time favorite movies so I am always very intrigued by the subject. I really can’t wait to read this one now, I love the quote and think I would really like the MC. Great review love!

    • I hope you really like it! Yes, the softcover IS pretty, I’m just tired of them always defaulting to the girl-in-a-dress cover. They had a good thing with the original. I’m bummed I won’t get to see it in blue. Let me know that you think of it when you read it!

  2. Amy

    I haven’t heard of this one before, but it sounds interesting. I haven’t read many time travel books, but the concept is intriguing to me. I really enjoyed Tempest by Julie Cross. That was the most recent time travel book I read. Or actually listened to since I had the audiobook. This cover is gorgeous!! It’s a shame that they aren’t going to be printing the next book in Hardcover and that they changed the cover of this one to the cliche girl in a dress. Great review!!

  3. I won a copy of this right before it came out last year in the US and I really loved it! I hate that is ends on a cliffhanger but at least it was not a very torturous one! I am excited to read the rest of the series! Glad to see that you liked it too!

    • I loved it! I’m dying to read the next one. Most people hate cliffhangers, but sometimes I actually like them. I’m masochistic that way. Book 2 will be out soon. The wait is ALMOST over.

    • Confession: I really like the new covers… I know that pretty dresses have been overdone, but I love them. I like this one too, at least mostly. My issue with it is the little image of the girl. I would prefer if it were merely the red background with ornate silver on it.

      I’ve been really wanting to read this, especially when I learned what the second one was called. I’ve always loved sapphires (my birthstone).

    • I don’t particularly like the small photo of the girl either but I really love the rest of it. Especially the gear at the bottom.

      Read them. They are quick reads and a lot of fun!

  4. This one sounds fabulous! It’s always awesome to encounter those books that surprise us in a GOOD way, that start off rather meh but turn into something completely fantastic. It’s a shame that they changed the insanely gorgeous cover, but I think I’ll still have to pick up a copy. Wonderful review!

  5. First off, I googled the covers and boo to the new one, I am so sick of girls in big dresses, especially when the orig. cover is so beautiful!

    And secondly, this sounds great! I’m not really a fan of time-travelly books, not that I’ve read many, but I like the sound of this, especially Gwyn!

  6. I love the original cover as well, this is what caught my eye about Ruby Red in the first place. This is one of the few time travel books I have read and I definitely can’t wait to continue this series.

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