Friday, May 4, 2012

Rebel Angels

Title/Author: Rebel Angels by Libbra Bray.

Narrated by: Josephine Bailey.

Genre: YA/Supernatural/Fantasy.

Publisher: Listening Library.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Felicity and Gemma.

All in all: Fast, fun, action packed, mysterious.

Cover: Pretty.  It fits the time period.

SynopsisAh, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain. . . .

The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship. 

But all is not well in the realms–or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous

My thoughts:
In the midst of reading Rebel Angels, the second installment of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, I realized that it is as much fantasy as it is supernatural and it actually reminded me of the Harry Potter books.  Not that I'm complaining.  There are definitely supernatural and scary elements in it and I enjoyed it very much.

As in the first book, I love the setting of the story.  This time, the characters are on Christmas Break  and the Victorian Era in London as seen through the eyes of these girls is delightful.  The courtly hand kisses, people tipping their hat, the language and traditions.  I felt as if I was there and I was able to experience carriage rides, dances, teas and social calls.

Although Gemma is a very powerful magic holder/user, she is also a typical teenager at times, which I appreciated.  She is swept away by Simon Middleton, a Viscount's son, but gets jealous when Kartik gives his attention to another girl.   She still wants to have her cake and eat it too.   The plot includes threads of Gemma dealing with decisions about relationships and her future and she does so with grace.

However, she has more than boy problems to contend with.  She has to fix the magic that she's been accessing, all the while trying to determine who exactly is friend and who is foe.  There are definite twists that I thought were going to come to pass in the first book.  So in a way I felt safe, but then the author surprised me. 

Again, my favorite characters besides Gemma are Felicity and Miss Moore.  Felicity is so calm, cool and collected and Miss Moore makes sensible comments among all the magic talk and hysteria.  I did also enjoy Gemma and her brother Tom's relationship.  Like most siblings, they tolerate each other, but I also love that they come together more in this book in the task of helping their father. 

The story also touches upon destiny, making your own choices and being accountable for your own actions.  Gemma realizes actions have certain consequences and in turn hesitates at times.  She makes mistakes and poor choices, which I love and you will have to read this to see if she can handle the reins of responsibility. 

There are a few clues in the story which are very obvious that the character is not catching onto, making me, as a reader, think the main character is being obtuse, but they lent themselves well when the reveal was in position. 

I wish I could write like Libba Bray.  Her prose is as beautiful as a running stream because it is so lovely to listen to.  Just when you think she is done with a sentence or description she takes it a tiny step further for elaboration. 

I absolutely adored the narrator.  She is fantastic.  Each voice is represented so well and she makes it believable, from scullery maids, to evil creatures, to males, to crazy inmates.  I really wonder if I had read this book instead of listened to it if I would have enjoyed it as much. 

If you like a good mystery, fantasy I highly recommend this series.

Other editions:



Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I read this series several years ago, and while I liked it I didn't love it because I wasn't a big fan of Gemma. But I agree, Libba Bray is amazing, and I really need to get to some of her other books!

Anonymous said...

I read the first book, A Great and Terrible Beauty, waaaayy back in high school. I loved it. But I never got my hands on the 2nd or 3rd novel. Thanks to your review, I am going to pick them up again! :-)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this series. It's one of my favorites. Now I'm feeling the urge for a reread!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Oh I missed the first book..i am so glad you reviewed this..i adore a good mystery and your comment about it being as much fantasy as supernatural appeals to i love the time period..going to check out book one..awesome review!

Karen said...

This doesn't really sound like a book I would be interested in but you almost convinced me anyway with your lovely review.
You do make it sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

It does sound interesting... I do love the cover :) said...
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