Monday, July 6, 2015
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Most time travel stories involve a device of some sort. A few stories, a very few, allow the time traveler to wander up and down the timeline by an inherited ability. The Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier involves both methods.
Gwyneth and Charlotte are cousins, both born on the same day - although Gwyneth thinks she was born one day after Charlotte. This particular day had been calculated to be the birthday of the last time traveler in a cycle of twelve who inherit a certain genetic trait. Charlotte trains for time travel her whole life. She learns how to dance the minuet, fence, play piano, and have the appropriate manners for well-born ladies in the 1700's. Gwyneth gets none of this training. Yet the genes happened to fall on Gwyneth's side, leaving her traveling through time with none of the necessary training for it.
She has to be taken to the headquarters of the Society that handles the business of these time travelers. If Gwen doesn't spend a few hours a day in the past under controlled circumstances, she will be flung backwards in time to a situation possibly/probably unexpected and dangerous.
There are also planned trips into the past to meet certain people and perform certain tasks. The only other current traveler in this group of 12 is a young man named Gideon who is quite handsome and as carefully trained as Gwen's cousin had been. Some missions require both of them to fulfill. Gideon turns his attentions from Charlotte to Gwen when it becomes obvious that Charlotte won't be traveling to the past, which confuses both girls and makes their home life difficult.
No one will tell Gwen the rules or the reasons for their missions, leaving her to guess and to poke around. To complicate things even more, someone or some group is trying to kill her and Gideon. Gwen can't decide who to trust except her best friend and the demon of a gargoyle that only she can see.