25 February 2013

Ruby Red - Kerstin Gier

Well hello there, Young Adult Novel Cover. You’re looking very pretty today! Oh, what? You’ve got an interesting story between your covers?  Well don’t we all, sweetheart.  Don’t. We. All.

The way time travel works in this book is similar to the way time travel works in The Time Traveler’s Wife except for the minor difference that this book is awesome and that other book sucked. What I mean to say is that in this world, if you have the time traveling gene, you will travel in time without knowing where you’re going or when you are going there, so it makes living a regular life a wee bit difficult.

Especially when you don’t know you’re the one with the gene, and your snooty cousin has been preparing for her time travelling future for her entire life while you’ve been watching movies with your friends.

Someone at some point in time

created a chronograph that allows time travellers to  burn off their need to be in a different time in a safe place – or, y’know, in 18th century London. Whichever. But it’s powered by the blood of the time travelers, and there are mysteries, and a creepy dude with mind powers, and it’s just pretty great.

It turns out that Kerstin Gier is a big chick-lit novelist in her native Germany, and the Ruby Red trilogy is her foray into young adult literature. And foray she does, meinen damen und herren. I thoroughly enjoyed this one – enough that when my cousin [who emigrated to Germany and married a Czech guy – she’s very international (hi Paige!)] asked for book recommendations for her sister, I suggested this one without knowing about Gier’s German roots. Paige hauled off and read ALL THREE BOOKS in German, which I feel is distinctly unfair as the third book isn’t out in English until next year.

And speaking of translations, a HUGE shout-out to Anthea Bell, whose translation is utterly flawless. I tip my fan to you, madam.

8.5 out of 11 Fancy Feathered 18th Century Hats