Posted on August 15, 2017 in Reviews / 15 Comments

Ruby Red – #AudiobookReview

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Digital Audiobook narrated by Marisa Calin

Published by Macmillan Audio on November 1st 2011
Series: Ruby Red #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Romance, Historical, Historical Fiction
Length: 322 pages or 8 hours, 50 minutes
Source: Overdrive

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound


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.


I simply LOVED this book.

Ruby Red was such a lot of fun.  Gwyneth Shepard’s family has too many secrets.  One of these is that her cousin, Charlotte, has inherited the time travel gene and she must keep an eye to see if Charlotte gets dizzy and, very importantly, draw a chalk circle where she disappears.  Only, it isn’t Charlotte who disappears – it’s Gwyneth!  Completely uninitiated, poor Gwennie is thrust into her family’s grand conspiracy theory, and has to decide who to trust, and who is trying to kill her.

This audiobook was one of the ones I listened to in all my spare moments.  On the way to the auto shop.  In the shower.  Before bed.  It was a delight.

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Characters

❤︎

Gwyneth is real and funny and wonderful.  She goes with the flow of things, asks loads of questions, acts instinctively, and has such a strong, silly personality.  I delighted in listening to her babble on.  There’s a whole scene where she’s trying to clear her mind and she’s singing “God Save the Queen” over and over again and honest to goodness, she just cracked me up.

Gideon and Charlotte were both great in their transcendent world of “I have the time travel gene and therefore I am better than you”.  Aunt Maddie was nutty and funny, and Lesley was cool and smart and likable as a best friend.  You even get to liking Gordon and Doctor White.  And you want more of their stories… which I imagine we’ll see later in the trilogy.

World

❤︎

This story takes place primarily in modern London, but it finds its strength in the moments of time travel.  I did not have the best sense of modern London outside of the school, but I got an excellent sense of the 1800s and early 1900s.  I particularly loved the scene where she jumped at school.  I found that particular scene vivid and wonderful.

You get a great sense of time from the clothing, which “must be authentic” and adds a lot to the feel.  The wigs and hats and leggings and dresses are all described wonderful and they were fun scenes.

Story

❤︎

I demand an explanation about Aunt Maddie’s vision.  AND ABOUT THE FLASHBACK WITH HER KISSING GIDEON WHAT HAPPENED.  I feel like there are so many things that have not been properly answered at the end of this book and I must know.  I adore stories that leave me with a lot of questions and a tantalizing promise to answer them later.  Maybe.

We aren’t completely left on a cliff at the end of this book.  Some things are starting to come to light.  But there is definitely no closure.

Writing / Narration

❤︎

I have difficulties with translations… especially for some reason German > English translations?  This translation was glorious.  Nothing felt dull or over-described or disjointed.

Additionally, I cannot recommend the audiobook version enough.  There are delicious accents and the silliness and frustration in Gwennie comes off sooo well and it is marvelous.

Personal Thoughts

❤︎

I have so much love for this book it is jumping PROMPTLY on my “To Buy” list.  I adore any book that makes me laugh out loud and I found myself chuckling even as I picked out some of the quotes to feature below.  Beyond that, I really did like the concept of the “time travel gene” and I want to know exactly how the ghosts will play in at the end….  ALL THE STARS. <3

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The Breakdown
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Setting
Cover
Narrator
Personal Enjoyment
Overall:

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First Sentence

“As she fell to her knees and burst into tears, he looked all around the park.”

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Favorite Quotes

“You were talking to that niche in the wall again, Gwyneth. I saw you.”

“Yes, but it’s my favorite bit of wall, Gordon. I’d hurt its feelings if I didn’t stop and talk to it.

“The others can’t see me,” said the little ghost.

“I know,” I said. “My name’s Gwyneth. What’s yours?”

“Dr. White to you,” said Dr. White.

“I’m Robert,” said the ghost.

“That’s a very nice name,” I said.

“Thank you,” said Dr. White. “I’ll return the compliment by saying you have very nice veins.”

“Friends of yours, eh? I think one of them’s about to faint.”

Oh, my god. “That’s Chloe Dale,” I said without turning around. “She suffers from high estrogen levels. I can introduce you if you like.”

“I have a headache too,” said Mum.  “But that doesn’t mean I’m about to start traveling in time.”

“You’re not ordinary, Gwyneth,” he whispered as he began stroking my hair. “You’re totally, absolutely extraordinary. You don’t need the magic of any raven to be special to me.” He leaned as close as he could get, with his head and arms through the opening of the confessional window, and when his lips touched my mouth, I shut my eyes. Okay. So now I was going to faint.”

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My Photos

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Books I’d Recommend

This book was such a delight and there are far too few time travel books on my shelf.  That said, I don’t have many time travel books to recommend.  But I would recommend this book to people who like:

  • Silly But Funny Female Protagonists.
  • London at Different Periods in History.
  • Science Fiction Stories With Secret Societies.
  • Fans of the TV Show Timeless.
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About Kerstin Gier

Kerstin Gier is the bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, as well as several popular novels for adults. She lives in Germany.

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15 responses to “Ruby Red – #AudiobookReview

    • Aw, thanks! I’m not consistent with the goodies but the 5-star books tend to get some love. The first sentence is the hook! I want to draw people into reading the books I really like. XD

  1. I’ve read this entire series a few years ago, and I enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t think it was a very common read, so it was a delight to read a review of the first book. I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m greatly enjoying its content!

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    • Hi Breeny! I’ve actually been watching your blog! 🙂

      This is going to be long, beware!

      While my blog has been around since… erg… 2011 I think? I haven’t been active in it until this year. So that would be TIP #1 – Be consistent and be active. It doesn’t mean you need to post every day, but don’t take four month (or three year) hiatuses. :). I lose all my followers every time and it’s a rough road going back up.

      The second thing I would say is: be active on social media. Pick your platform! :). I get a bunch of clicks from Twitter.

      Third, BE YOURSELF. There are a LOT of book blogs out there, and you want to make yours unapologetically your own. Let your personality shine through. Choose the colors YOU like and the books YOU like and like minded people will follow. 🙂

      There are a few really good blogs with awesome tips about maintaining and growing your brand and that sort of thing… my personal favorite is Cait @ Paperfury (http://www.paperfury.com). She JUST did a post last week actually about getting followers and being a blogger, and I thought it was fabulous. 🙂

      For reviewing, just be honest. Some people do really well throwing GIFs in all their reviews, others are angry and hateful (in a good, hilarious way) and others are very… sunshine and butterflies? All of these things stand out because people COMMIT to them. As for getting ARCs… ugh. Still figuring that out myself. My understanding is that you need a fairly high following and viewship rate to have a relationship with major publishers. Right now, I’m working on my TBR and I request ARCs for review through LibraryThing, which is an alternate to Goodreads. I’ve gotten one every time I’ve requested. The downside here is that these are mostly smaller publishers… but a couple books I’ve gotten have been quite good and things I would never have picked up otherwise.

      And thanks for the compliment on the aesthetics! I change up my blog all the time, but I really like this layout and I think I’ll keep it for awhile! 😀

      • Thank you so much for all of the tips and advice! It’s so awesome that you’ve been running your blog since 201! I really admire that. In terms of ARCS, I’ll definitely have to check out LibraryThing. Have you checked out NetGalley? I don’t get improved for all the books that I request, but I have gotten the chance to read and review some pretty awesome ARCs via NetGalley. Have a wonderful day!

        • I have heard about NetGalley! Unfortunately, I’m a dinosaur and I abhor audiobooks, so I haven’t used them. They are a good place to get eARCs though!

  2. I just found this book while doing my Book Titles Tag! Now I am seeing it everywhere and trying desperately to read some of the books I’ve been wanting to read/listen to forever so that I can make room for it! (AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!)

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