This is book three of the Ruby Red Trilogy. It is a young adult book about a group of time travelers, of whom the two newest are 18-year-old Gideon and 16-year-old Gwyneth.
Gywneth is the twelfth and last of the foretold time travelers, and a number of legends are written about her that no one quite understands, with the possible exception of members of The Guild. This is a very secretive and not always pleasant group which manages the time travel process.
Gwen and Gideon must travel back to the past for a couple of hours every day, or they will “elapse” into the past at unexpected times and places. So the Guild arranges for them to visit an empty room in the past everyday to do homework, or to meet other time travelers. The Guild also wants the two of them to help further their mission of fulfilling a cryptic prophecy. Gwen and Gideon have no choice but to do their bidding, even if they don’t understand the implications of what they are being sent to do.
The back story about the time traveling, the secret agenda, and the Guild management is very complicated, and I don’t think I ever got entirely straight who was who at any one point in history. But it didn’t matter all that much. One can easily focus on the romance between Gwen and Gideon, and their exploits going back and forth through time (and dressing to look the part for whatever era they will be entering). There are also a number of side characters in Gwen’s life who keep the story interesting. It happens that Gwen has another talent, one even unique among the time travelers: she can also see and talk to ghosts. So she has a couple of companions who are dead, and a best (living) friend Lesley, who is fun and endearing.
This last book answers some of the mysteries of the previous books, and wraps up the story in a way that will satisfy readers.
Evaluation: One can’t look too deeply into the philosophical issues and contradictions of time travel with this series, but it makes for fun, light reading nevertheless. (I would not recommend these books as standalones.) Gwen and Lesley are both strong female protagonists.
Published in the U.S. by Henry Holt, 2013