Laura Martinelli's Reviews > Ruby Red

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
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May 24, 11

bookshelves: ebook, young-adult, own
Read from May 20 to 24, 2011

After spending some time waffling back and forth on reading this, I finally gave in and got a Kindle copy. I did enjoy it, and look forward to the English release of Sapphire Blue. Gwyneth feels like a natural narrator- she has a down-to-earth personality, and you can tell that she's confused about what's going. I also liked how she reacts to the idea of time travel, and that one of her biggest concerns is that going back in time isn't all about fancy dresses and balls, but things that will probably kill you. (Although the way the book went, I feel that events may stay with fancy dresses instead of dangerous.) She's also a slight subversion of the "normal but secretly special" YA heroine: despite her "normalcy," Gwyneth's family sets her apart from a lot of her friends. Speaking of, I loved Lesley. The fact that she's in on the big secrets from the beginning was a nice touch and her constant researching on historical characters and events was a big boost to the overall book.

Although I did enjoy reading this, and plan to read the rest of the series, there are major problems. I really didn't like any of the de Villiers men, it just seems like they do a lot of mustache-twirling behind the scenes. At least Gideon doesn't feel like the normal YA love interest in the beginning; however, he and Gwyneth fall into the "slap slap kiss" trope. The pop culture references Gwyneth drops did feel a little natural in the beginning, but as I got toward the end, they started to grate on me. Also, I didn't really see why she also has the ability to see ghosts and gargoyles. I have a theory about it being tied into the time travel gene, but I'm holding off on it until I read the sequels.

The biggest problem I have is one that I've been seeing all too frequently in a lot of series/trilogies. The book ends just has the story's getting started. I felt that I wasn't reading a book, but the first part of a larger novel. The ending is a cliffhanger after having nothing explained to the reader. I'm sorry, but those endings feel like a cheap cash-in to generate interest in the next books. The reason why stuff like The Hunger Games works so well is that it tells a complete story and leaves me wanting to know what's going to happen to the characters in future. It's a little insulting to see that I'm near the end of a book and have nothing except a set-up happen. Series tend to have an overreaching arc, and if a book's plot can be told in only one or two books, DON'T CHOP IT UP INTO MULTIPLE VOLUMES. I can't remember where I read it, but there was a bit of advice to people writing trilogies/series that the first volume should be read as a standalone book. This is advice best taken by both authors and publishers in the future.
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Reading Progress

05/20/2011
10.0%
05/24/2011
48.0% "Really liking this book so far."
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Laura Martinelli Why is the paperback cover for this a girl in a pretty dress? BORING. And they're changing the next two books' covers augh.


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