Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ruby Red: An International Bestseller Making it's Way to the U.S.

Never before have I so thoroughly wished that I kept up with my German. Three years of classes and the most I can read are simple instructions (namely how much and where is the bathroom). Yet now, after having the opportunity to read the first book in Kerstin Gier’s internationally bestselling Ruby Red trilogy, I was tempted to go online and order the next two books (Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green) in their original German, just so I could keep reading. Alas, I’m afraid to say that my German skills are just not up to par, so I’ll have to wait along with everyone else for the English translations.

In both the adult and young adult book world, paranormal, dystopia, fallen angels, vampires, and werewolves rule the shelves, which can make sifting through the masses a little difficult. When I came across Ruby Red, a novel that seems to sit in it’s own genre—not quite paranormal, not quite historical—but definitely full of time travel, something about it just drew me in. In short, the plot revolves around 16 year old Gwen, a girl whose family has a time traveling gene. Gwen’s cousin Charlotte has been trained since birth to be the family time traveler, fulfilling a centuries old prophecy, only when the time comes, Charlotte doesn’t travel, Gwen does. What ensues is an introduction to an ancient society filled with dark and compelling characters, a handsome and dangerous fellow traveler, assassins, and the discovery of a family secret that will forever change Gwen’s identity. The story is not exactly complex—it’s only about 300 pages and moves very quickly, but it is captivating. In this first book Gier does preliminary character set-up, but does not delve (outside of Gwen) into motivations and allegiances. Many of Gier’s characters are shadowed, their natures and motives unclear, while others are so dark they seem to swallow you whole. The reader really doesn’t know what to think about many of the supporting characters—will they work with or against Gwen—and it is this that helps to draw you toward the sequels (that and a cliffhanger ending).

This is an easy book to read. Not because it is simple and juvenile (which it is not), but because it’s good. Good characters, original concept, and fun storyline; these all come together to create a fun and entertaining read. I eagerly anticipate the next books in this trilogy.

I wonder how long it would take me to brush up my German??

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