HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Rebel angels by Libba Bray
Loading...

Rebel angels (original 2008; edition 2005)

by Libba Bray

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,8671191,435 (4.02)166
Member:XxRachelxX
Title:Rebel angels
Authors:Libba Bray
Info:New York : Delacorte Press, c2005.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (2008)

  1. 41
    The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: The third and final book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 166 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
This second book is better than the first. Gemma is told not to trust anyone regarding binding the power of the realm. But she does and she puts her trust in the wrong person. I had a problem with the person she chooses to bring into the realm. The author should have found a better reason for Gemma to bring this character into the realm.
But I did like that she was mature enough to find alternatives to sharing the power and not giving it all to the Order. I may just give #3 a try. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
I really enjoyed reading the first two books, but unfortunately I won't be continuing with the last book! ( )
  jlydia | Jun 25, 2018 |
As the cover says, I have remained enthralled. Gemma's battle to understand the magic, the realms, her friends, and especially herself grew more intense through this installment. Nothing is as it seems and sometimes the truth of it is not what you would choose. Ultimately learning to trust herself, even when uncertain, Gemma finds strength, courage, and the will to do the right thing when facing unyielding opposition. I am looking forward to the third book and the final reckoning. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
(Originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com.)

Oof, this review, it’s going to be tough. It seems that “Rebel Angels” is widely believed to be the stronger book of the first two in Bray’s “Gemma Doyle” series. But man, I had some problems with this one.

But first, the good. There is no questioning Bray’s strength as a writer. The dialogue is always excellent, the descriptions of Victorian London are spot on. She includes many historical details that keep the atmosphere rich and poignant, and she’s mastered writing her action set pieces, something that was perhaps lacking in the first book. Further, the stakes have been raised in this book. Gemma, Felicity, and Anne have experienced real hardship with the death of their friend Pippa. And Circe, Gemma’s mother’s murderer, seems to circle ever nearer throughout this story. I enjoyed the expansion of both the “real world” setting, moving the story out from the walls of Spence Academy and into the social workings of London itself, as well as that of the Realms. We get to move beyond the perfectly lovely Garden and begin to see that now that the magic is released, things aren’t quite right in this magical land. Further, they might not have been right even before when the Order was in power.

So, there you go. This is a long book (a mark against it, really, since I think Bray could have used an editor to help trim this book up in places), but the writing and general plotting of the story are strong and got me through it. And considering my list of complaints to come, getting through it in a timely manner is actually a big mark in…something’s favor.

First off, the characters. As I said, there were some serious happenings in the first book. Pippa died. Felicity (and Anne in following her) did some truly awful things in the pursuit of power. It was made clear that the Realms weren’t all pretty flowers and magical powers with no strings attached. With this all, characters needed to grow! Other than mourning Pippa’s death, the threesome of girls quickly falls into the exact same pattern of behavior they exhibited in the first book as if they had learned absolutely nothing.

Felicity continues to bully Gemma into making bad decisions with the Realms, behaving as if it is still the free-for-all they had first supposed it to be, as if she hadn’t sacrificed a deer bare-handed in the previous book only to come this close to becoming a dark denizen herself. She routinely advises Gemma to ignore warnings and plays hot and cold with her friendship. You’d think that after coming through together what was experienced in the first book there would be a real foundation of friendship. Instead, we continue to see examples of a “mean girl” who only cares for Gemma when it is convenient. This doesn’t speak well to Gemma’s character either for tolerating such one-sided friendships (Anne has similar issues, siding with Felicity in all of her worst moments and never giving anything back to Gemma to justify Gemma’s continued loyalty).

Further, about half way through the story Bray introduces a dark backstory for Felicity with regards to her family. I have mixed feelings on this as I do think in many ways it was handled very well. But it was also used as a magic wand to somehow excuse Felicity’s behavior, which I don’t agree with. Further, after showing up briefly, there are many implications that are never fully addressed, which leaves the whole situation feeling all too close to a “plot convenience” which doesn’t sit well at all.

Anne has changed not at all. If anything, her character’s uselessness is doubled down upon. She has gained no bravery, no sense of self worth, and has actually actively stepped back into bad behaviors (self harm) that much time was spent on overcoming in the first book. Why was our time wasted then if she wasn’t going to improve at all here? And in this book, I can’t think of a single time when she truly aided the group. She was nothing more than dead weight throughout the entire story, and has now been given almost every negative stereotype a character like her can have, and gained none of the the strengths one would expect from a character moving beyond and through these set backs. Halfway through the book she ends up in a dangerous situation, and I was openly rooting for her to just be written out of the book. Alas, no.

And Gemma. The problems with Gemma aren’t even character problems. For the most part, I still very much like her as a leading lady. Unlike the other two, she has more sides to her that fully flesh her out and make her character arc interesting to follow. And while she does seem to grow throughout this book, there is the same problem from the previous to this: she has learned nothing! She naively believes everything that is told to her by every single person, even when she has explicitly been warned against this. Told not to trust anyone in the Realms? She immediately trusts EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHE MEETS. Oh, here’s a girl who was in the Order before and has made herself “mad” to avoid Cerci? Let’s NOT believe anything she has to say. It’s endlessly frustrating.

What’s more, the story opens with the reader witnessing a scene that explicitly makes it clear that a few characters are set against Gemma from the start. But then we have to go through an entire book watching her naively work with these characters. So not only is Gemma herself frustratingly naive to follow, making all of the wrong decisions for no good reason, but the reader is already set ahead of her, knowing more than she does from the start and yet still stuck in her ignorance. For any canny reader, the “twists” could be spotted a mile away which just makes it all the more frustrating watching Gemma and Co. struggle on. When she finally does realize things, there isn’t any breath of relief. You’re already 100 pages past that stage and simply want to smack her for not getting it earlier. Her following morose is all the more infuriating.

And lastly, the third member of the love triangle (you know it’s bad when the presence of a love triangle hasn’t even made the cut for my list of things to vent about) is essentially a date rapist and THIS IS NEVER ADDRESSED. He tries to get Gemma away from the others at a ball, and when this doesn’t work, he gets her drunk on absinthe, and then lures her to a remote part of the house and begins seducing her. They’re only interrupted by one of her visions which scares him out of it. And then the whole thing is forgotten, other than Gemma being embarrassed by her own behavior mid-vision!

There is zero discussion about this man’s intentions, the wrongness of his drugging her and attempting to seduce her, or anything. He continues to be a romantic interest! For a book, and author, that makes a big deal about talking about feminist and societal issues, I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading. I kept waiting for the admonitions to role in, for Gemma to realize what a scumbag this guy was, for anything! There was nothing. It was left as if nothing had happened, he had done no wrong, and Gemma’s only concern was the worry that her own behavior would put him off. There’s no excuse for this. For young women reading this book, they are left with a scene like this presented as ordinary, ok, and not worth revisiting other than potentially shaming the girl caught up in it for getting too drunk and putting off the potential husband.

So, it’s clear I had a lot of feelings about this book. For as many complaints as I had, I do feel compelled to finish the series, if only to see where Bray ends up leaving her characters in the end. Again, a lot happened in this book and you’d expect some character growth to come out of it, for us to have new versions of the same characters in the next book. But I had that expectation for this book and was utterly disappointed, so I’m not holding out hope. My prediction is that they will all behave the same exact way for way too many pages. I guess we’ll find out. ( )
  thelibraryladies | Sep 15, 2017 |
As enjoyable as the 1st book in this trilogy. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Libba Brayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream. --Edgar Allan Poe
Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile Stir'd up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring To set himself in Glory above his Peers, He trusted to have equal'd the most High, If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim Against the Throne and Monarchy of God Rais'd impious War in heav'n and Battel proud With vain attempt. Him the almighty Power Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie With hideous ruine and combustion down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell... O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers, That led th' imbattell'd Seraphim to Warr Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds Fearless, endanger'd Heav'n's perpetual King; And put to proof his high Supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate, Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow and foul defeat Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this might Host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences Can Perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state Here swallow'd up in endless misery.... To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th' associates and copartners of our loss Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy Mansion, or once more With rallied Arms to try what may be yet Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell? --John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1
Dedication
For Barry and Josh, of course
And for my much loved friends, proof that we somehow manage to find our own tribe

First words
Herein lies the faithful and true account of my last sixty days, by Kartik, brother of Amar, loyal son of the Rakshana, and of the strange visitation I received that has left me wary on this cold English night.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385733410, Paperback)

In this sequel to the Victorian fantasy A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma continues to pursue her role as the one destined to bind the magic of the Realms and restore it to the Order--a mysterious group who have been overthrown by a rebellion. Gemma, Felicity and Ann, (her girlfriends at Spence Academy for Young Ladies), use magical power to transport themselves on visits from their corseted world to the visionary country of the Realms, with its strange beauty and menace. There they search for the lost Temple, the key to Gemma's mission, and comfort Pippa, their friend who has been left behind in the Realms. After these visits they bring back magical power for a short time to use in their own world. Meanwhile, Gemma is torn between her attraction to the exotic Kartik, the messenger from the opposing forces of the Rakshana, and the handsome but clueless Simon, a young man of good family who is courting her. The complicated plot thickens when Gemma discovers a woman in Bedlam madhouse who knows where to find the Temple; Ann shows signs of being enamored of Gemma's loutish brother Tom, and their father's addiction to laudanum lands him in an opium den. A large part of the enjoyment of this unusual fantasy comes from the Victorian milieu and its restrictive rules about the behavior of proper young ladies, as contrasted with the unimaginable possibilities of the Realms, where Gemma has power to confront gorgons and ghosts and the responsibility to save a world. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Gemma and her friends from the Spence Academy return to the realms to defeat her foe, Circe, and to bind the magic that has been released.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.02)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 3
2 52
2.5 12
3 256
3.5 70
4 535
4.5 56
5 447

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,466,732 books! | Top bar: Always visible