Kerstin Gier – Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green

I’ve been reviewing a lot of well-known books and series and some recent publications, so I thought it would be time to explore some maybe not so well-known books. Being a German native speaker, I’d like to introduce you to a YA trilogy that is everything a novel for young people should be. Fun, thoughtful, engaging and equipped with beautiful covers. (And for those of you who are wondering: The name is pronounced CARE-stin GEER)

The first teaser trailer is up and you can watch it HERE.

RUBY RED
by Kerstin Gier

original title: Rubinrot
published: Henry Holt and Co. 2009
ISBN:0805092528
pages: 324

my rating: 8/10
goodreads rating: 4,14/5

first sentence: I first felt it in the school canteen on Monday morning.

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 she has inherited the time travel gene instead of Charlotte, 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.

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These books are just so much fun! Gwyneth (who is called Gwendolin in the original books) is a hilarious narrator and instantly lovable. While she is easy to identify with, she is not flawless, says really silly things sometimes and has no idea what to do with this handsome boy she has to work with now. Gideon, as the male protagonist, is seen through Gwyneth’s eyes, so the reader’s esteem for him will grow as slowly and steadily as does Gwyneth’s. But the love story is really not the main plot of this story. Although giggles and girly noises may ensue once you’re in book 2, Sapphire Blue.

Time travel and young adult books only go well together if the author trusts their readers to have brains. Who in turn are willing to use them. And Kerstin Gier clearly does. She thought up a wonderful idea of how and why time travel is possible, with its own set of rules, pros and cons. Not everything is peachy if you have to travel in time every single day due to a genetic mutation… Her language and wit makes this one of my favourite summer reads. You can just fall into these books and become a little girl again, remember your first love and kind of wish you could travel through time – though maybe in a less rigorous way.

I should warn you that while these books are sold as a trilogy, they are really one long story told over three volumes. Every book ends with a huge cliffhanger and scenes are simply cut in the middle. Lucky for those of you who hear about these books for the first time, the trilogy is completed and the mysteries are resolved. The ending, while a little overdone in parts, was highly satisfying and offers explanations for all questions raised. The epilogue even holds a little surprise that made everybody I know smirk for a long time. It’s like a goodie bag right at the end of the story. But I will say no more.

Kerstin Gier also has a knack for creating side characters that serve a certain purpose without feeling cardboardy. Xemerius is everyone’s favourite, he makes sure even the dire scenes offer some comic relief. This little talking gargoyle accidentally spurts water whenever he gets too excited. What’s not to love? Gwyneth’s best friend on the other hand is a smart girl who loves to solve riddles – and there are more than enough of those. But even random classmates who only get a couple of lines have their own personality and are, in their own way, memorable.

Gwyneth’s story takes place in modern London, a setting many authors have tackled. Kerstin Gier, as a German, has done a fantastic job of bringing the city to life in modern times as well as in the past. It’s not just wigs and fancy dresses (though there are some of those), it’s her descriptions of ballrooms and gentlemen, horse-drawn carriages and pianofortes that make for vivid surroundings. These descriptions are never too much and don’t stop the plot from moving forward with lightning speed. It’s very hard to lose attention – which is just as books for children or young adults should be.

If you read these books, you won’t find an extremely deep tale about life and death, good and evil, morals and humanity. But you will have uninterrupted fun, discover an original time travel idea, and fall in love with the cute characters. And you might even pick up some history – because light as the read is, Kerstin Gier did do her research.

There’s also a (German) movie in the making. For more infos, check out the homepage: Rubinrot, der Film.

THE GOOD: Adorable characters, a fast paced plot, great time travel ideas, suitable for young adults, highly accessible.
THE BAD: The ending was a little over the top.
THE VERDICT: The perfect gift for teenage girls, a gateway book into fantasy/sci-fi and just a fun and funny read you shouldn’t miss.

RATING: 8/10 Excellent trilogy overall (part 2 being my favourite)

The Ruby Red Trilogy:

  1. Ruby Red (also published as Girl About Time)
  2. Sapphire Blue
  3. Emerald Green

About that movie…

19th September 2012 RUBY RED MOVIE TRAILER

Yesterday I paid one of my very rare visits to the homepage for the upcoming Ruby Red movie. And there is an announcement for today at noon – when the movie trailer will be shown for the first time. I do hope we’ll get to see it right away because the few pictures you can find on the homepage look quite promising. My faith in German movie-making is not exactly overwhelming but I am starting to hope that this will actually be a good film.

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103 thoughts on “Kerstin Gier – Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green

  1. I have to read these books. There are so many good opinions and after reading Hourglass I really should try them. And I love falling in love with characters… So with this sentence you convinced me ;)

    • Hahaha, thank you. And yes, you must. They are soooo funny. That’s what I was expecting from Hourglass. A fun, light read with quirky characters, a cute love story but still a good time travel story.
      I also recommend the audiobook versions of these (even though they’re abridged).

      • I don’t like audiobooks because I am not able to listen to the voice longer than maybe 5 minutes ;) But the books really sound great! I’ve never read them because I always prefered buying and reading english books. That’s totally stupid, because it means that I miss a lot of good german books… it’s the same with Fitzek’s books ;)

  2. Hi. Do you know if there’s an english version for the 3rd book? I’m reading the second book and I’m already searching for Emerald Green. However I can find any bookstore that sells it (online).

      • Hi! I just found a post that said that the translator just got Emerald Green at Christmas (NOOOOO!!!!!), so don’t expect it very soon… I don’t know much about translating, but I’m going to optimistically say it will come out in June. Maybe I will teach myself German :)

  3. Excuse me, but where can I get these books? I have searched through the internet and could not find sapphire blue or Emerald green!! I really need help ’cause I just finished Ruby Red and now I am addicted….

    • It depends on where you live, I suppose. The second book will come out in October and can be bought over Amazon and other bookstores. Emerald Green will be published in 2013 (as far as I know).

  4. I was wondering since it’s a German movie. Will it be shown in America or the UK or in general in Europe? Thank you for posting this! I can’t wait for the movie. My sister is already freaking out :3

    • I am super curious as well. The movie is German, yes, and I have no idea if it’ll be dubbed and shown in the US. But if I read anything about it, I’ll post it here. :)
      IMDB so far only lists a release date for Germany… If I’m very unlucky, I won’t even get to see it here in Austria. So fingers crossed.

      • Let’s hope for the best! Another “question”. Will they make a seperate movie for each book? Because in the trailer some things that were shown, reminded me of the next books. Sorry for asking such stuff, I know you can’t know everything. Again, thank you in advance!

      • I hope so. This first movie tells the story of the first book. At least that’s what I’ve understood from the previews, trailers and the movie homepage. I guess it depends on the succes of Ruby Red whether they’ll make the other two movies as well. But seeing how popular the books are, I’m not too worried.

    • Hello Caro. Sapphire Blue is out and you can buy it already. Emerald Green is supposed to be published in 2013, but I can’t find any more specific date than that.

  5. I absolutely love this series! Hopefully the movie will surpress the painstaking wait of the 3rd book to come out in english..

    But I do hope, when It goes on DVD, they will publish an english version (Voice overs in english)!!! I would die if they didn’t. And I really do hate having to read subtitles while trying to watch the film…It just looks SO good, It just HAS to be in english! haha!!!

    • My fingers are crossed for you. I think it’s possible they are going to dub the movie if the books continue to be so successful. And they are just so much light-hearted fun that I don’t see how anybody can not like them.

      • it needs to come out in english! i would die too! yeah dubbing would be awesome…and if not they should make the characters the same! Gideon is exactly as hot as she describes! IT REALLY HAS TO COME OUT IN ENGLISH I MIGHT CRY IF IT DOESN’T!!

  6. I just finished re-reading Ruby Red last week in preparations for Sapphire Blue (which just finished minutes ago). I am DYING to read Emerald Green. Have you heard anymore on a release date?
    The “glass half full” side of me thinks….”well, we can all re-read Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue just before Emerald Green is released!!”
    What takes the translating so long? I remember Sapphire Blue’s release date was pushed back to October when it was originally suppose to be released in March.
    Trying to hold on with patience…. my son lived in Germany for 2 years and speaks it fluently….I’ve thought of having him read it to me translating but seriously, what 23 year old wants to read a young adult book to his mother? And I want to relish it without him…:)

    • Hahaha, that idea is adorable. Translating a book is a tough job, though and I’m sure there’s a lot of marketing strategy involved before the novel is really sent out into the wild.
      It probably won’t help but you’ll really enjoy the third one. It wraps things up nicely and all secrets are revealed. It’s worth discovering for yourself (in case you’re tempted to read spoilers on the internet). :)

  7. oh my goodness i love these books i am totally addicted i just read sapphire blue and i am hungry for the third when when is it coming out?????????????

  8. I really feel for you guys. All I can tell you is, it’s worth waiting for.
    I remember reading the first two books in German and having to wait for the third one as well. In the meantime, I listened to the audiobooks. That kind of got me over the waiting period.

  9. I live in Canada and can read German. After having read Ruby Red in English, I discovered the author had already released the other two books in German. I read all three and think they are my favorite series. I’ve been trying to convince my daughter to read the first two in English but she refuses to be left hanging like you guys and insists on waiting for the third book next fall. It’s driving me crazy that I can’t discuss them with her as we are both enthusiastic readers and love to share our thoughts on them. So, even though I’ve read them, I can’t wait for Emerald Green and hope I can pick up the German DVD when I visit in the fall.

    • I can understand anyone who wants to wait until the last part is out. After all, this isn’t really a trilogy. It’s one large story, split into three physical books. I have to say, though, I was surprised that Kerstin Gier resolved all the mysteries as well as she did. I expected there to be some kind of cheesy solution but the ending was really quite convincing. (Except for that one over-the-top thing I’m not mentioning because then all of the fans who haven’t read book 3 will lynch me :)). But I’m sure you know what I mean.

      • I´m from Germany and I thought as I heard that Gwendolyn would be Gwyneth in the English books: Oh no, the poor people ^^. Because I think the name Gwendolyn is not a modern name in Germany too, but it has this special personality a book character has to have. Gwendolyn and Gideon forever ;)

  10. love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Of course not. Thank you. :)
      I’m glad you like the review. I made sure not to spoil anything for those who are waiting for the translation. Not so much longer now…

      • Thanks. I actually read the three last books in Spanish because I couldn’t wait! I want to see the movie, so I hope they come out with the dubbed version. Otherwise, I will have to start learning a little German.

      • Hahaha. You know what? I also bought the trilogy in Spanish. I know I’ll re-read the books and it always helps when you already know the story. That’s how I practice my language skills (when I do pick up a book written in anything other than English…).

        I look forward to the movie as well. It’s coming out on March 14th, according to the movie homepage. You guys can be sure I’ll be seeing it and posting a review here. :)

      • THANK YOU!!!!!! I will definitely read Emerald Green in Spanish!!!!!!! An awesome book AND possible extra credit in class! YAY!

  11. I love this series !!! In Hungary the third book has just published few weeks ago, so I know what means is waiting of these books. Finally I’m gonna read the final book, the Emerald green this week, but the waiting for the movie is getting worse…*sigh* The problem is I don’t speak in German and the chance of the movie is gonna be in the cinemas in HU is very little :(((

    • I’m sure once the DVD is out, there will be subtitles at least. Honestly, though, these books are becoming so popular all over the world that I would not be surprised if the movies are equally successful.

  12. Yeah, I’m sure the movies are gonna be succesful because it’s not “one of the thousands american same movies”…and it can be already seen on the trailer <33

    • Hi, heres a little questin from germany: do you (and other readers) agree with the choice of the actors?
      if you want to see them “in action” you can watch some filmclips on this German Blog http://die-edelstein-trilogie.blogspot.de/search/label/Clips there are 10 clips now and they are very interestant and I cant wait to see the movie (I´ll be watching it in a few weeks *screaming* ^^)
      this blog is very informative and fun to read, there are always news

  13. Hi my name is Hannah I love these books and I have been thinking about how the series would be a great movie! But when I did find out there was going to be a movie,I was so stoked but I then heard it was only going to be in german! Do you know if they are going to translate it in English please help I am dying!!!!!!!!

    • Hannah, I totally relate to your hysteria!! I cant answer your question, but I wanted you to know you are not alone…. I too am also dying and hope the movie will be translated into English!
      Hang in there!! :)

      • same here! i almost started crying! i absolutely loved the books
        im am totally with you on the dying part

    • Good morning. Sorry for the latish reply. I assume we’re living in different time zones as your post went up at 2:30 in the morning, my time. :)

      To your question, I can’t really tell you anymore than I have. I’m not the authority on the movie, I don’t know if it’s going to be translated but I simply can’t imagine that it won’t be available in German with English subtitles. Worst case scenario, some nice person on the internet is going to write the subtitles themselves and put them online.

      As of now, I’m as eagerly awaiting the movie as you are. And there will be a post about it once I’ve seen it or find out more about its future in the English-speaking world. Pinkie swear.

  14. ENGLISH MOVIE PLEASE!!! i am dying here…i had the same problem as Hannah totally stoked out when i saw the movie part…almost started crying that it was in german…i regret not listening to my dad and not learning german now !
    but seriously though!! it NEEDS to come out in english! soon i might add!!

    • Ich ernsthaft wollen, dass die englische Version auch ich meine, ernsthaft ich weiB, ich Deutsch spreachen aber ich will es nach Amerika zu kommen! ( English Translation : I seriously want the English version too I mean seriously I know I can speak German but still I want it to come to America! ) ( Spanish Translation : en serio quieres la version en Ingles tambien quiero decir en serio que se que puedo hablar aleman, pero todavia quiero que venga a America! ) ( Sorry I have no accents on my keyboard )

  15. Hi everybody!
    I’m from Germany and I know Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue very well AND besides I know Esmerad Green.
    All I can say is WOW!
    All books are so funny, amazing, fantastic and simply wonderful.
    Esmerald Green was published on the 1st July 2012 here in Germany.
    Kerstin Gier had written it in an exiting manner and you’ll finaly know the secret behind the secret ;)
    But wait and you’ll see it is a great final of the trilogy.
    By the way…my friend told me that they’ll publish the film Ruby Red in English too, but I don’t know it exactly
    (I’m so sorry if there are spelling, word or/and gramma mistakes. My English isn’t really well ;))

  16. I’m so glad I saw this! I didn’t know they were making a film out of it. I’m always looking for family-friendly, German-original films, so I’m extra excited to see this! And meanwhile wondering if I should wait for the English, or order the German original of Emerald Green. Sometimes you want to read something Serious, like The Book Thief. But sometimes you really just need a fun adventure with pretty dresses and mysteries and races through time…

  17. I’ve read the first part – Ruby Red. I want to read the other parts too, but i have no idea where i could read it because I don’t have any money to buy it or the guts to ask my parents. :(

    • What about your school library? or your public library? Even if your library doesn’t have the book the want, you can do what is called an “inter-library” loan. This means your library ‘borrows’ the book from another library for you to read. There is usually a small charge. Our Library charges $1.00 (US) for the service. That’s an option… I hope you can get your hands on the Sapphire Blue because if you enjoyed Ruby Red, you will enjoy Sapphire Blue. Good Luck!

  18. omg! if you search up ‘rubinrot (ruby red in German) fanfictions in google, you can put it to translate and see emrald green in gideon’s p.o.v. SPOILERS

  19. Hi! I’m so glad to see that i am not the only one freaking out about the movie being in German!!! I am dying for Emerald Green to come out on the 8th of October 2013 here in Canada… I’m just trying to distract myself with plenty of other books… I did leave a message for Kerstin Gier on her Facebook ( With a poor google translation into German!) and i asked her whether she knew if the movie would eventually be available with English Subtitles and she answered that she did not know! :( Lets not despair completely yet… Ugh!!

  20. Was just wondering if you would know if this movie would be out in Australia? We have to do a book assignment and as we got to choose which book we could read, I chose Ruby red but I didn’t realise it was a series so now I have to go find the other two! Now after watching a trailor (in German unfortunatley) I would like to watch the movie but in my own language haha, get back to me when you can, :)

    • I had hoped it to, us german actors Aren’t as grest as the english or American. So i hope that they take their owen movie and Not. translate or subbtitle it. When they Do it, maybe it give Not so much differences between book and movie

  21. I like the original Name from gwyneth, gwendoly in the german Version more. I hate it if Names were changed while the translating. If you read the Same book and a Person has a other Name, it is a completly other person

    • I don’t think Gwen would be a different person just because her name changes. But then again, I don’t understand the decision to name her Gwyneth… After all, Xemerius calls her Gwennie a few times, much to her chagrin. :)
      But as long as her character stays the same, it doesn’t really matter if it’s Gwendolyn or Gwyneth.

  22. Hi guys, I’m trying to find Emerald Green in internet because it’s not published in my country yet. Can you help me with that, I’m really keen on these books :)

    • It’s not out in English yet. But if you can read German, you can order it from amazon.de. (I think it’s in Spanish and Czech as well, so you can look to the relevant amazon/online bookstores if either of those languages suit you better.) I think it comes out in the US in October; not sure about other countries.

  23. GOD!!!! I live in India. N i hv just read ruby red until now. Can’t wait 4 d other 2 books 2 come too. It really is pure torture…

  24. Hahaha, I have to admit, my first thought when I read this post was “But the third book hasn’t come out yet…oh my gosh, she’s a time traveler!” Okay, cheesy I know, but I just finished the first two so my mind is a little loopy at the moment :). Oh gosh, you have no idea how tempted I am to just go for it and try to learn German in tone for the movie release, not to mention I’d get the chance to read the third book :)

    I love what you’re doing with this blog–you and I have very similar book tastes, so this is like a little treasure cove for me!!

    Sorry for the long comment, just sharing my excitement…whoops :)

    • I wouldn’t mind being a time-traveller, though not necessarily Gwen’s kind. The explanation is rather less exciting. I’d say waiting for the translation to come out is waaaaay easier than learning German. :) But I understand your excitement. Enjoy the last book (should be out very soon, right?).

  25. I’ve heard something about a new book of the series (bersteingold), but can’t find it! But I’m sure it exists, because i saw it’s cover and found every chapter in German, but I don’t know German at all… Am I the only one who has seen that book online?

      • Yeah I’ve read the last one and it’s really amazing!! I never imagined it would be sooo awesome!! And yeah just a few minutes ago, i realized it was just a fan made story… The only problem is it’s in German and not everyone is able to understand what it says (like me)… It’s my favorite trilogy anyway!! And the movie seems to be very cool too!!

      • Oh, sorry. I am such an idiot sometimes. The fan title “Bernsteingold” translates to “Amber Gold”. :)
        I like that somebody went to the trouble to paint a fan cover that actually fools you when you don’t look too closely.

  26. i loved the books i read them twice and i still love them.!!!These books amayzing ….i cant stop reading them i hope all 3 books will be a movie soon…..

  27. HELLO :) i just want to know if this trilogy book is on sale here in the asia, specifically in philippines… i’ve seen the movie…it is dubbed in english and i really do love it… im so excited to read the book and cant wait to watch them all…

  28. Dear everybody who has been wondering: Yes, the DVD and BluRay contains a fully dubbed English version of the movie.

    Thanks to Dominik for the info ;)

    • Like other people said, yes, it’s fully dubbed in English. The dubbing is…kind of horrible. The translation is very clunky and it’s in an AMERICAN accent–what the heck??! Much better to watch it with the English subtitles–that way you get the actors’ actual voices (MUCH better acting than the dubbing) and can still get the meaning.

    • Order from amazon.de. Use a credit card like you would from amazon.com and it will translate into Euros automatically. (It comes out to around $17 USD, including shipping.) Mine came in a week, which is faster than amazon.com! The only thing to be aware of is that it’s going to be in I think Region 2 format (the US is Region 1). You’ll need a program that will let you read any format (like the free VLC Client program). (I think computers will switch back and forth, but there used to be a limited time you could do that before they would settle on one region or another.)

      • I loved it! The casting was done well–there was great chemistry between the characters (not just Gwen/Gideon, but with Lesley and Charlotte as well)–they just all played off each other perfectly. Maria Ehrich makes an awesome Gwen. Gideon is SO arrogant in the beginning, but he comes around. :) Aunt Maddy is appropriately nutty. Some people have complained that Lesley doesn’t have freckles, but man, to me, she IS Lesley. Even though it’s only a small part, I really liked the scene where Paul and Lucy meet Gwen–especially Paul. They changed around the order of some scenes (meeting Paul and Lucy/meeting the count) and added a bunch of things to the end that aren’t in any of the books (although once you read all of them, you can sort of see where they got the ideas). Because they didn’t know how well it would do and if they’d be able to make the other films, they felt they had to give the ending more of an arc so it would be satisfying to viewers if they only got to see one book filmed. (Luckily, they sold enough tickets and are filming the second one right now, I understand.) If you can’t like a movie unless it’s a rigidly literal version of the book, then you might be annoyed, but I felt like it held true to the heart of the book (despite mixing some events around from the whole series) and translated well to the big screen. Hope you enjoy it! :)

      • One more thing–if you order the DVD and don’t speak German, I suggest watching it with English subtitles and NOT with the dubbing–the dubbing is awkwardly translated, comes out rather wooden, and is in AMERICAN. Ack! The subtitles are a lot more natural, plus then you get to hear the much better intonations of the actors, even if you can’t understand the words themselves.

  29. Are they making a second movie? Because I got my hands on all of the books and I am in the middle of sapphire blue. I also saw the movie and loved it. I was wondering if they would make a second movie because I have become very interested in this series and the ending of the movie was so suspensful. I also think they should make a book after emerald green or 9 books after that each one for each time traveler

    • Yes–I think they just finished the filming, but it will be a while before it comes out (because of editing, etc.–filming is only a small part of making a movie!). I really liked what they did with the first one, and I’m looking forward to the second!

  30. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I feel I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me.
    I’m having a look forward in your next post, I’ll try to get the hold of it!

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