Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier: Review

Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1)Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier 
Publisher: Square Fish
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesly. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.
She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any centrury . . . .(Goodreads summary)


I don't know why I had such high expectations when I started Ruby Red, but I did. I think it's because it has such a high average rating on Goodreads, is praised a lot around the blogosphere and it's also been recommended to me quite a lot. I ended up being highly surprised by what I got, and not in a good way.

Everything about Ruby Red fell really flat for me, from the general story, to the setting, to the characters. It all felt very one dimensional, like there wasn't much to anything at all. This is a book that's translated from the original German, so maybe some things just got lost in translation. But, personally, this wasn't a good book and nor was it a very good start to a series. I finished it and had absolutely no desire to continue.


My main issue was the characters, none of them felt unique or that they had any real personality. Part of me believes a lot was lost in translation here, but maybe it just isn't a well written book in general. The characters all seem to talk and act the same, none of them really had a personality and I therefore couldn't connect to them. They were all quite dull and boring, and seemed so similar that I found it really hard to differentiate one from the other.

Rather more accurate! 
The dialogue didn't flow, it felt very forced instead of feeling natural. The characters are supposed to live in London but they talk as you would expect someone who wasn't from England might expect a Londoner to talk, but it doesn't work. It doesn't seem real or authentic, it just kept reminding me of that scene in forgetting Sarah Marshal. The author seemed to be trying too hard to make them sound British that they never ended up sounding very British at all. Other than to mention Selfridge's five to a million times. I'm surprised they weren't constantly mentioning tea as well, you know, 'cause us British people are just all obsessed with tea!

It also has the issue of being quite a slow paced and drawn out book, where I never really felt like much really happens. It's like one big info dump book, like it's just setting the scene for the next one rather than being a story of it's own. It has the issue of being a book that is part of a series that is clearly one main story drawn out over three boos. It doesn't have a main storyline of it's own that is wrapped up, with an ending that leads to a sequel. Nope, it's one story that just sort of cuts off and leaves me frustrated because it' left me with no desire to continue the series.

I was excited to get the London setting, but that turned out to be just as dull as the dialogue. I never really felt the London vibe from this book, it could have been set anywhere really. I just found that it was lacking, it didn't feel like London. Maybe that is played on more in the next books but, like I've said, I won't be reading them to find out.

Me whilst trying to read this book.
There is no romance in this but it definitely alludes to there being one in the next book. But, eh, it's just... no! There just isn't anything there, if I am honest. That's another reason I gave up on the series, I know that this isn't a romance that is going to interest me at all. I wouldn't really be rooting for these characters to get together or anything.

I have had quite a few people mention that the series gets better and that the third is the best of them all. But, I don't think that is really worth me getting to. I have absolutely no connection to these characters or their story, I don't even really have much of an interest in finding out what happens to them. The time travel aspect was a little boring in this and didn't excite me the way I thought it would. I just felt very let down by the whole book, it wasn't what I was expecting at all.


2/5 Butterflies

I can't even try to find any positives to this read, for me it was just terrible. It took me from being in a reading slump to being in a coma. Everything was lacking - from storyline, to character development, to the setting. I have heard people say this is just one big story cut into three books, which is why it probably feels drawn out and a bit dull. I just didn't connect to any aspect of this story and I won't be continuing this series. 

18 comments:

  1. Ack! I have high expectations for this one as well, I think for the same reasons you did. Now I am not so sure if I want to read this one. Yours is the second low rating I have seen for this in the past month. I just might end up passing on it.

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    1. I just thought it didn't have anything to do, it was just a meh read for me. I was left feeling pretty disappointing, I returned the last two books to the library and won't be continuing.

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  2. It's too bad you didn't like this book. I love the cover though!

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    1. It's a gorgeous cover, just wasn't a fan of the story.

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  3. So sorry you didn't like this book, I actually loved it! I completely agree with you about it being one book divided into three, which was annoying. I thought it was cute, but I love time travel books. ~Pam

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    1. I just hated the whole thing, haha! It should have just been one book, not dragged out to three.

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  4. You werent lying when you said you didn't like it! Wowzer. I had been considering this series because of Nitzan, but now I'm not sure, we have such similar taste, so I might avoid it actually. Sorry this didn't help your reading, but hey, we're getting there, you'll get out of this slump, I know! :)

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    1. I HOPE SO! This slump needs to just go away now! I wasn't a fan at all, I barely found one aspect that I liked. Actually, I didn't find any aspect I liked, the whole thing bugged me.

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  5. Whewboy! That's really unfortunate. I'd not seen this one yet but was kinda taken by the cover. Thanks for the warnings!

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    1. The cover is gorgeous, which is why it's such a shame that it's not that great.

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  6. Sorry you didn’t like this one. I hate it when a book I have high expectations for disappoints me. Through reading the blurb and seeing the cover I can understand why your expectations were high. It sounds like an interesting read. But if you really didn’t like it I can understand that you don’t want to read the next one. Why make it harder on yourself right?!

    Still, I enjoyed your review! :D

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    1. Thank you! I had seen a lot of praise for this book, so I was really disappointed when I didn't end up loving it. Definitely won't be continuing this series, I don't think I could get through them, haha.

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  7. I read this one a while ago and was underwhelmed. I read the sequel and couldn't stand it, for many of the reasons you mentioned. The depth is really not there in this series, and I thought the characterization was awful. I'm not one of those people that thinks the series improves because I quit it after the second. Sorry you didn't like it. It sucks when expectations are killed.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. Well, I am just happy to find that I am not the only person who didn't like this one. I am also pleased to hear it doesn't get better, haha. Very happy I decided to just quit after the first book. I completely agree that the characterization was just AWFUL!

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  8. That's too bad that this series didn't work for you! I agree with others, the series does improve as you go, but I totally understand your desire not to continue if this one left such a bad taste in your mouth. Life's too short to spend time on series you don't actually want to read! Better luck with your next one. Hope it breaks you out of your slump.

    -Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon

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    1. I need out of this slump, this did not help at all. I won't continue, I don't think I could deal with the terrible characters for three whole books.

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  9. I have read the entire series in Dutch, and I really loved the books! I do have to say that most of the action seems to happen in the third book and that the first book kind of is the most boring book of the series though! In the Dutch version the characters do have very strong personalities, so I guess something went wrong in the translation. Also the conversations didn't seem forced at all to me. I really encourage you to read the two sequels, because the story will get better and I though it was really exciting! Also, in the beginning of the second book a new character, Xemerius, is introduced and he just spices things up with his jokes! In the last book are some major plot twists and after I finished reading Emerald Green, the last book, I immediately started in Ruby Red again, just so that I could read the last book again. So, I really hope that you'll decide to read the sequels, because I promise it will get better!

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    1. I have heard the books are just like one book that's been split into 3, I just don't have the patience to get through the other two. If it can't grip me in book one or peak my interest then I don't see the point in continuing. I definitely feel like something got lost in translation, the conversations felt very forced.

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