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Backshelf Book Reviews: The Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier

This is the first Backshelf Book Review! You all voted on what book you haven’t read but want me to read for you (because who has time to read ALL the books, right?).

Thanks to @tweetybugshouse‘s top suggestion, I read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. BUT, the book was so good, I went ahead and read the whole series. Cuz can’t stop, won’t stop reading good books!

Scroll to the bottom to vote on the next Backshelf Book pick!!

Backshelf Book Reviews: The Ruby Red Trilogy

Backshelf Book Reviews is an RBR original feature that asks YOU my lovely readers what books you’ve been meaning to read for like EVER but never have. Then I will read that book for you and report back on whether you should bother giving that book your time.

backshelf book reviews read breathe relax new feature


Ruby Red

Because I’ll be reviewing all three books here, I’m going to make do my best to keep things short and sweet while still telling you the essential info!

ruby red by kerstin gier book review

Title & Author: Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction

Release Date: May 10, 2011

Series: Ruby Red #1

“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.”

Quick Thoughts:

I was blown away by Ruby Red! The whole concept is fantastic: Gwyneth has inherited the family gene that enables her to travel back in time…the only problem is everyone thought her cousin Charlotte was the gene carrier. Now Gwen is in trouble because she hasn’t been trained (there are so many rules!) and she’s paired up with THE most arrogant boy around, Gideon.

There’s everything to love about this book. Gwen is hilarious and has a great and similarly funny bestie Lesley. I adored their friendship and Gwen’s odd family – complete with crazy aunts and grandmas, which I love in a book.

Then, the whole concept of time travel is one of the best represented I’ve seen in a book. It made sense and Gier does a fantastic job of not forcing all the action into one book. She lets readers dangle a bit on how everything fits together. And that reminded me of the Harry Potter series, and I think we all know there is no higher compliment.

I was hooked immediately, and so so thankful I picked up Ruby Red. What a beautiful start to a series.

Sapphire Blue

sapphire blue by kerstin gier book review

Title & Author: Sapphire Blue (The Ruby Red Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

Release Date: October 30, 2012

Series: Ruby Red #2

“Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.”

Quick Thoughts:

Upon finishing Ruby Red, I immediately downloaded Sapphire Blue. It was like I wasn’t in control of my body. I had to know what happened (there’s a bit of a cliffhanger).

I was not disappointed either – what a solid sequel. More secrets are reveled and bombs dropped, so all excitement that the first book brought was re-upped with new, interesting information. For me, second books are make-it-or-break-it. If it doesn’t wow me, then I don’t care about the last or remaining sequels.

There is a bit of romantic back and forth in this book because boys can be well, confusing. It was played well, though, and added to the overall storyline instead of detracting from it.

The best part? Gwen gets even more time traveling back in time, complete with hilarious mess-ups and killer dresses. I liked that there was more actual time-traveling in this book and a bigger understanding of what the purpose is behind it and the Circle of Twelve in general.

Again, another great book that kept my attention and had me turning pages like a mad fiend.

Emerald Green

emerald green by kerstin gier book review

Title & Author: Emerald Green (The Ruby Red Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Series: Ruby Red #3

“Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.”

Quick Thoughts:

Here we are. The finale. Emerald Green wrapped up this stand-out series phenomenally.

Things that I wondered about in the first and second books are reveled in this story, and I marveled at Gier’s storytelling ability and foresight. There are very few books that I think are “perfect” series enders, but I really think Emerald Green makes the cut.

One of my favorite things about the series is Gwen’s curiosity and determination. She doesn’t let weird prophesies undermine her willpower, and she does it with an amazing sense of humor that had me laughing out loud (and attracting unwanted looks at the gym).

Emerald Green wrapped everything up so nicely and had me swooning = the ideal situation.

SERIES OVERALL:

All I have to say is “Wow.” I’ll be telling everyone about this series. What an incredible reading journey that’s rewarding, fun and thoughtful. The fantasy is stellar and well thought out. I have treasured this reading experience. I cannot recommend The Ruby Red Trilogy enough!

Next Up: YA Dystopia

A lot of readers got overwhelmed with all the dystopians that have ruled the YA market the last few years. What dystopia book have you had your eye but haven’t gotten a chance to read yet??

For this to work, please do these things:

1. Comment below with your suggestions
2. Or tweet me (@LisaMParkin) with ideas
3. Upvote others’ suggestions you like too (the little up arrow under the comment text)

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Emily Peterson

    I really loved these reviews! I’ve always been tempted to pick these up, but now I might have to swipe Ruby Red from work tomorrow! Dystopias have been so popular lately, it’s crazy. I haven’t actually gotten around to Marie Lu’s Legend series yet, and I’ve heard lots of mixed things.

  • http://mybookishlife.com/ Ramona Wray

    How did I missed this series! Adding in to GR right NOW :) I can’r answer your question … there are so many books I want to read and can’t find the time! Beautiful reviews, thanks for sharing this trilogy! :)

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      You’ll be glad you did! Thanks so much, Ramona!

  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I was just gifted Ruby Red, and now I’m actually kind of excited to read it! I didn’t read your reviews for books two or three, but your review for book one was enough to convince me that I need to make it a bit higher on my reading list 😀

  • Brittany Welsh

    I am doing Ruby Red on audiobook right now and it was a good decision!

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Yay, I’m so glad you’re liking it so far!