I cheated with this book. I watch the movie but I can’t understand much from the wacky American dubbing it had and it turns out the translation in this novel doesn’t go far with the stunted weird lines, cliched phrasings and adverbs.
Ruby Red is about a 16 years old girl named Gwendolyn (or Gwyneth as in this American English version) Shepherd who live with her mother’s family in a mansion in England. Apparently her family was into secret society and everything seemed converge around her beautiful cousin Charlotte who had bouts of fainting episodes due to her being the chosen one with the time travelling gene. But then on the day her cousin’s birthday, she started to have her own fainting symptoms but suddenly she was flung into the past and back again. Turns out she was the one with the time traveling gene and the last of the twelve time travelers from her family line. Her mother had falsified her birth date hoping to prevent the secret society from brainwashing her like Charlotte who was taught in fencing, art, literature and history for a decade with Gideon de Villiers, another older teenage time traveler. Now Gwendolyn was forced to pick up where Gideon left off with his mission to complete the circle of twelve on a time travelling machine called Chronograph. There were two Chronograph but the first one was stolen from the order by Gwendolyn’s cousin, Lucy Montrose and Paul de Villiers who were both time travelers and want to keep the circle from being completed.
Personally, I don’t think I was the right age to read this book. I really like the cool time travelling CGIs in the movie but the book is too formulaic and obviously targeted to pre-teen girl audience. It does look like a miss match of several plot merging into one. The one with talking gargoyle who is a demon seem like a scene from Lauren Kate’s Fallen series.
It doesn’t help that the author called the time travelers as gene carriers. From the promotion of wikipedia in both book and movie versions, I wonder if the author realize that ALL of the two male lines and female lines are gene carriers while the time travelers are actually with the genetic disease. If you want to use genetic key terms, at least don’t mislead your readers with faulty genetics terms because chances are, in real life, they will be confused with their biology test.
But I read the book mostly because the movie leave off a lot of things on cliffhanger and I really want to read the second book now but as a whole, its not really a bad story. Too generic and cliched but the movie is fun and cute. Even Gwendolyn is likable and a bit realistic to a degree. The part where the whole book being set in London is simply too far-fetched even for a German novel as with the idea of a secret society being sustained into the story by barely there worldbuilding.