Published: June 29, 2012
Source: TBG ARC Tours
Add it/Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
During the Salem witch hunts, an evil witch named Natasha Sullivan tricks a demon into confining himself inside an enchanted music box. She casts a spell that foretells that the demon will emerge in an unknown time in future after the birth of a child known as the Lumen Child.
This child’s destiny is to bring light to the planet and Natasha knows that if he is killed then darkness will prevail. Natasha’s identical twin Sarah, discovers what her sister has done. Although she cannot break the spell she casts her own prophecy. It states that three witches known as the Triple Enchantresses will be born in the same time as the Lumen Child and they will be his supernatural protectors. The girls are not sisters, yet they will share a common destiny.
Ruby is the story of the first witch and how she very nearly dies before discovering her true identity. Having grown up unaware of her powers, she is rescued by her loving grandmother who is also a white witch and taken back to the family estate where she learns everything she can about what her future holds.
Ruby is a coming-of-age story that, despite its various flaws, still managed to entertain me. Author Amanda Burke brings a new twist on witchcraft to YA literature, in a debut that has potential, yet never fully delivers. While I enjoyed the paranormal elements and the exploration of family bonds in this novel, the writing was very immature, which tells me that Burke has a lot of growing to do as an author.
Character wise, Ruby offers a few gems, such as Ruby's grandmother, Esther, who I grew fond of. I absolutely adored the whimsical Walter, a delightful side character. However, there were several characters who were in the book for such a short time that I didn't really get to know them, or their motivations to me were unclear. I felt like there wasn't enough time devoted to the villains - I got that they were bad, but I needed to know WHY they were bad and so forth. They never REALLY scared or worried me.
Ruby's transformation happened a bit too quickly for my taste. She went from innocent young girl to powerful witch without much of a transition in between the two. The pacing was choppy during those changes, and I think Ruby would have benefited from a few more scenes developing Ruby's understanding of witchcraft and her powers.
I didn't like the romance in Ruby. The love interest is a likeable enough guy, but he pulls the continual "hot-then-cold" act that SO many guys in YA novels tend to come with, as if it's a package deal for their existence. There was a small amount of development between Ruby and Blaine, but no indication that they'd ever really gotten to know one another before things progressed. I despise insta-love as a plot device, and that's exactly what this was. If we'd had a few touching scenes between Ruby and Blaine, I could have supported them, but nothing like that was even attempted. Instead, the attempt at romance felt very childish.
Although Ruby didn't impress me, if you're a fan of lighter reads, then you might enjoy this book. The end does offer some hope for the sequels, but even that is abrupt, and too much is wrapped up in the final pages for my liking. However, there's nothing too heavy in it, so it is definitely a YA book that will probably please younger teens!
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