Thursday, May 18, 2017

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW | Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Series: Edelstein-Trilogie #1
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Publication Date: November 2, 2011
Source: I got the audiobook via Overdrive
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.

An unabridged recording (8 hours, 50 minutes).

I first heard about Ruby Red a couple years ago when it became huge on booktube. After years of hype and bloggers and the like loving the book, I decided to pick it up myself on a whim. Though the premise of Ruby Red is unique, I can't say that I really liked this book. There are two distinct things that affected my reading experience. 

First, the writing was hard to get into. It's not that it was bad, but hard to listen to at times. With such an intricate world, it was hard to keep things together when the writing didn't seem natural. Of course, this book was originally foreign, and it makes sense why the writing doesn't feel as organic. Because of the writing style, I had trouble listening to the audiobook, understanding it, and giving it enough attention that I knew what was going on. This really hindered my experience. There were several times that I had to rewind the book and refocus. 

My other big complaint was the main character, Gwyneth. Gwyneth is just so...ugh. The way she thinks is so juvenile sometimes, and then snaps to being more mature. The tone of her voice was all over the place and I could never get a good grasp on her character. There were times when I just wanted her to stop talking, but that's pretty hard when the book is told in a first person perspective. I wish that Gwyneth's character remained the same. Of course I would love some character development, but the changes I saw were jerky and abrupt. The times I did like Gwyneth was whenever she was interacting with her family and her friend, Leslie. Those relationships seem genuine, and Gwyneth's obnoxious character was toned down a bit. 

A little side note about all the other characters - I like them, but none of them stand out to me except Charlotte. Gier does a great job of writing a mean spirited teenager. Gideon, the other main character, doesn't stand out to me that much, but I don't mind him. He's just kind of there. The same goes for the romance! It's all quite underwhelming for me. I'm looking forward to learning more about Paul and Lucy, their story interests me more than Gwyneth's right now! Leslie is also done pretty well, but I wish we saw more of her. All the other characters didn't leave much of an impact. 

What I did like about Ruby Red was the plot! I haven't read a novel about time travel in such a long time, and it was fun to dive back into the sub-genre. Gier also did a great job of writing in the perspective of a character who had no idea what was going on without the book being confusing. Instead of being completely lost when I was listening, I was the right level of confused. I knew the overarching ideas, just like Gwyneth, and was eager to learn the details. The plot is the main reason I continued on with the series. 

And yes, I am continuing on with the series! Right now as I'm writing this review, I am listening to the second book! I think the narrator, Marisa Calin, is doing a fantastic job. She easily handles the different characters and accents. I'm just a bit more than a quarter of the way through Sapphire Blue and enjoying that more. Here's hoping it continues to be that way! 

With that, I give this book
2.5 out of 5 Stars!

Have you read Ruby Red? What did you think?

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. I STILL need to read this one! I've heard mixed opinions on it. And I agree that because it's originally written in another language it loses something in the translation to English. Glad to hear you liked bits of it though! I really can't wait to read it either! Nice review!

    1. Thanks Jessica! I hope you like it once you pick it up. Here's hoping you like it more than I do. :)

  2. I had the same thoughts about this. I really liked the idea and everything and for the most part the plot was great. it was just the characters that felt really flat to me. I read this a couple of years ago when I didn't care so much about character development (and I don't even have a full review up!) but I'm thinking about rereading the series to document my changed feelings :) I hope you enjoy Sapphire Blue more, Genni!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I'd definitely be interested to see how your thoughts would differ now! It always interests me when bloggers do that, because everyone's reading habits and what they look for in a book change with time. I know that some of my favorite books two years ago and maybe even last year wouldn't be favorites now. Thanks for visiting Laura! :)