Monday, July 4, 2011

Ruby Red

We've all been told we inherited something.  Maybe its our mother's eyes or our father's love for reading.  But what if there was more?  What if our genes could also determine those out of this world abilities we've all dreamed about?  What if time travel didn't require a machine, but instead it required a gene?  Sound crazy?  Well, its been identified, people.  Reference this very scientific illustration for confirmation. 

OK, well, it may not be that simple.  However, this is the premise for Ruby Red by Kerstin GierRuby Red (watch a cool trailer here) ,which was first published in German in 2009, has been gathering fans all over the globe.  The 2011 United States edition was "Translated from the German" (I love that it says that) by Anthea Bell. 

In this first installment of a time travel trilogy, Gwyneth Shepard has inherited the time traveling gene, despite everyone in her entire family (including Gwyneth herself) spending the last sixteen years thinking her cousin Charlotte inherited the gene instead.  The Guardians who seem to be the stewards of the two families who possess the time travel gene prepare time travelers for what they might encounter in their travels back in time.  Since no one thought Gwyneth had inherited the gene, she is not prepared to meet the dangers she confronts in the past.  However, the Guardians seem to be more than kind caretakers of time.  Gwyneth's mother is very skeptical of their practices and warns Gwyneth not to trust anyone.  As she moves into the past more often, she begins to question who and what she can believe. 

The Guardians have a way of keeping track of the travelers which assigns each a gem.  Since the ruby is Gwyneth's gem, I hope Sapphire Blue (available in the U.S. in the Spring 2012) will explain the tale of Gwyneth's rebel cousin Lucy.  The final installment is entitled Emerald Green.  If my gem theory is accurate, this should give readers the details of the mysterious and dangerous Count Saint-Germain.  Scary!

I really like the way the time travel and suspense is sprinkled with funny scenes.  For example, Gwyneth's friend Lesley is amazing.  She is always preparing files Gwyneth can use to prepare herself.  Also, the fact that Gwyneth's whole family is so mad at her for stealing Charlotte's gene cracks me up as well.  How dare she?  I mean, really.  Gene stealer.

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