Monday, March 3, 2014

(sorta) Series Review: The Ruby Red trilogy (Books 1-2)

17254055Author: Kerstin Gier
PublisherHenry Holt
Genre(s): YA Fantasy/ Historical Fiction
*Books 1-2 of series*

*That cover! It's so pretty!*

The Ruby Red trilogy is about a girl who finds out she can time travel, and she goes on adventures to unlock the secret of the Circle. 

*I wasn’t going to make this a series review because I felt that reading 2 out of the 3 wasn’t enough, but as I was writing the reviews for both books, I found that they were pretty similar, so I just combined them.*

I found about this series browsing through the Lost in Translation section, so I guess Ms. Christie indirectly recommended it to me lol.  Thank you! ^_^

So I started off liking Ruby Red (and the series in general), and then two things happened: it ended, and it went into the occult. (Not in that order, of course)

I did like a part of the world-building and the whole set up of time traveling. A lot of questions about the world were answered in the first book, and Gwen was pretty funny. She was snarky and sarcastic- not overly so- and she was really smart.  She caught onto things fairly quickly.  The book flowed so smoothly, I often forgot that this was actually a translation. All fine there.

And then the book ended.

It wasn’t a cliffhanger; the entire book was just building and building and building, and just when things were beginning to pick up and something was going to happen, the book ended.  I also felt like the book went off on tangents.  Even though everything was supposedly leading up to the revealing of the big secret, the adventures (which were few and small) the characters had didn't really relate to revealing that secret.   Also, the building of the plot and the small adventures seemed like filler to me. I assume it'll all come together at the end, but I'm still a bit confused as to how everything that happened in the book (besides the world building) was important.

But to get back to the building (for the plot that is):  all that building did make me curious, so against my better judgment, I picked up the second book.   In Sapphire Blue, we found out a little more about the world, and there were a few complications thrown in, but I still felt like we were building and climbing up that hill (or at least struggling up the hill) for the grand finale. So, while the overall story was interesting, nothing major happened (again, it seemed like filler), and the important questions (not the little details about the world) still weren't answered. 

And the romance?  It was a mess! (Okay hyperbole, but it was still pretty messy.)   To sum it up: there was sort of an insta-love on both parties, they kissed, he got mad, he acted like everything was normal, she got mad, and he does a fake out.  Yea, not fun, but I wasn't really invested into this romance.  Besides the fact that there was insta-love, Gwen sounded/acted really young (oh maybe 10-13 years old; it varied)- not in a bad way, just her mannerisms and way of speaking was much younger than I expected for someone of her age.  So, whenever she mentioned anything that had to do with romance, I always cringed before remembering that she was actually 16 and a half.  (Yep, she said that).  But then again, this was a translation, and I have a sneaky feeling that that was the main reason for her sounding so young.  That doesn't mean the translation wasn't awesome though.  It was; if no one had told me, then I would have never known this was originally written in German.  

The other thing that made me not like the series was that it went into the occult (Freemason/Knights Templar). I didn’t initially know, but it came up fairly quickly.   I don't usually read books that have anything to do with the occult (like the real stuff, not the fantasy stuff)- I actually avoid them like the plague-but I felt I could handle it (lol nope) this time around, so I read on.  As far as I've read, the series doesn't go too deep into it, but it went in far enough.   I also DID NOT like how they advocated Freemasonry as a "cool thing" (it's NOT cool at all).  This is definitely something to be wary about, and I felt they were just going to go deeper into this stuff in the third book ( I've only read the synopsis, so I can't make any solid judgment calls here, but based on what's happened so far, I think it's safe to assume), so I've  decided to stop here.   

Final thoughts?  I won’t keep climbing this hill for that finale; I'm moving onto shorter (and safer!) hills.

Thanks for reading!


Jaclyn Canada said...

Oh my, I love the final thoughts sentence. I haven't read these, but I can see how not ever reaching anything big is a disappointment. I've definitely read my fair share like that as well. The romance also doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Great review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

Kyendwarrior said...

Thank you :)
and Thank you for stopping by!!:)