Old Reviews

Novel Review: Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Series: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2

Teen ∴ Historical Urban Fantasy > Paranormal ∴ Romance
Published December 26th 2006 by Ember (first published August 23rd 2005)
Paperback ∴ 548 pages

Amazon Barnes & Noble ∴ B.A.M. ∴ Goodreads

Ah, 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 task.

I love this book. I love this series. I’m so happy to be rereading it again. It’s been so long since I actually read the books, I usually listen to them. So much so, that I hear the narrator, Josephine Bailey, in my head while I’m reading it.

Some of my favorite things about rereading this series is seeing all the foreshadowing. Just little hints here and there that I know are important later, but seem like nothing in the moment. Since I’m doing a buddy-read, I don’t want to spoil it for my friend, so I just yell that there’s foreshadowing and she’s just confused.

There’s a lot of character development in this one. More so for Felicity than Gemma. We learn about Felicity’s tragic childhood and finally understand the contempt she has for her mother. Unfortunately, her mother’s life decisions have shed negative light on the whole Worthington family, and Felicity gets the brunt of the shame.

It really sucks that I know the next book is really slow and has a lot of plot filler. The reason Rebel Angels is my favorite is because it’s in the middle of the story, there’s not a lot of filler, and there’s some good spooks and action throughout. I can’t wait to experience the ending again. I’m so excited!

I also like that there are subtle reminders that Gemma is a KID. She’s not an adult, she doesn’t know how to function alone in society, and she still has a lot of work to do before she’s ready to face the world. All of the older characters have such high expectations for her, but then you’re reminded that she has teenage insecurities and fears that she has to deal with, along with learning to be a “proper lady.”

I feel like I should have more to say, but it would be really plot-heavy and I don’t like spoilers, so I guess that’s all I have to say. I think we’re finishing the series in the new year, and I can’t wait!

∴ 3* stars ∴

*for potential problematic things in the series. basically slurs (common for time period). it’ll always be 5 stars in my heart

Find the rest of the series:
A Great and Terrible Beauty ∴ The Sweet Far Thing

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Book ClubGoodreads ∴ Instagram ∴ Twitter


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