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In this thrilling sequel, Gemma continues to pursue her destiny to bind the magic of the Realms and restore it to the Order. Gemma and her friends from Spence use magical power to transport themselves on visits from their corseted world of Victorian London (at the height of the Christmas season), 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.
This is the second book in Libba Bray's engrossing trilogy, set in a time of strict morality and barely repressed sensuality, about a girl who saw another way.
Published: Simon & Schuster UK on Jul 1, 2009
ISBN: 9781847387172
List price: $10.99
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I really enjoyed this book better than the 1st. I can't wait to start the 3rd. =)read more
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Gemma, Felicity, and Ann spend their Christmas holidays in London, mixing society balls and dinners with trips to the Realms, in search of the Temple, the source of magic, in order to bind the magic and keep it from Circe. Gemma also must balance her father’s opiate addiction, interest from high-society Simon, and her feelings for her helper/ assassin Kartik. Minor profanity, mild sexual feelings, violence, including several deaths, and brief discussion of Felicity’s sexual abuse by her father. Ages 14+.read more
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So much better then the first of the seriesread more
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Rebel Angels is the sequal to a Great and Terrible Beauty. It starts at Spence Academy for Girls. Mrs. Nightwing has hired a new teacher to replace Mrs. Moore. the new teacher is much stricter than Mrs. Moore, and seems to dislike Gemma. Over Christmas break, Gemma starts seeing the image of three girls in white dresses. They bring her visions of another school in Wales. a woman, who's face is not seen, walks three girls to a cliff, and calls up a horrible monster from the sea. It consumes three girls, the spirits, leaving behind only one, Nell Hawkins. Gemma finds Nell, in an asylum. Gemma finds herself entering the realms once more, and trying to find a mysterious temple which is said to be the source of all the magic. She must find the temple before Circe, or all the realms will be overtaken by the Winterlands and the corrupted spirits that go with it. I like this book because I was kept on the edge of my seat, or in this case, couch. I kept trying to guess what was going to happen next, but the book kept taking unexpected turns. For instance, the disappearance, and unexpected reappearance of Ms. Moore had me wondering if it was possible that Gemma was blaming the wrong person for what was happening. I also enjoyed learning more about the realms and the creatures that lived there. I definately enjoyed the book, and I can't wait to read the next one.read more
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very goood if u like book that are not totally of romanceread more
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Second in the Gemma Doyle trilogy.When she held Circe at bay and destroyed the runes at the end of A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma loosed the power of the realms and made the magic available to anyone in the realms.Now she has been given the task to find the Temple and bind the magic. Kartik and the Order have their own plans for the magic of the realm and Gemma finds herself caught between them. Meanwhile, Circe is still on the loose and Pippa refuses to pass as she should. Dark things are awakening within the realms and fighting to control the magic. As Gemma struggles to set things right, she has only the ravings of a mad girl to guide her.Set against the backdrop of Victorian society, this gothic tale combines historical fiction with fantasy. Readers will be riveted by this well-paced mystery filled with authentic details of Victorian life.read more
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This book is the sequel to "A Great and Terrible Beauty." It's Xmas, and all the grrls are in London, causing trouble, using magic, attending fabulous balls and operas, and FINALLY, having big fat crushes. Gemma develops a fuller understanding of her friends- the fierce Felicity and plain Anne- as full individuals with strengths and weaknesses. Gemma herself also starts to question who she is as a person. She has quasi-sexual fantasies about Kartak, the Indian dude who stalks her and warns her to avoid the realms and magic altogether, and Simon Middleton, a super rich cutie who could provide for her and finally make her feel accepted in the social structure of Victorian England. I got the feeling this one wasn't the last in the series, so not all subplots are wrapped up at the end of this installment, but it's okay. I'll read the next one, too. This one really should only be read after "A Great and Terrible Beauty," but I liked the London setting better than boarding school, so this one's better.read more
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Probably my favorite book in the trilogy. I like how the realms and its inhabitants are explained and explored, and the real world plot really sweeps me in. Gemma’s frustration with society really shines through, as well as Felicity and Anne’s situation. I also liked how they all struggle with Pippa’s continued existence, even though Gemma knows she should leave. Some of the plot twists seem a little too convenient, but I highly enjoyed this book and really wanted to know what was going to happen next.read more
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In the second volume of this trilogy, we get out of Spence Academy and into the streets (well, the wealthy houses) of Victorian London. Gemma and her friends have a task before them: re-bind the magic Gemma accidentally loosed before Circe can bind it for herself.

Rebel Angels hits the supernatural elements harder than the first volume--this one is more a fantasy with historical elements than the other way around. Still, it's good, and I'll be starting the third volume once I catch up on some of my audio backlog. (The reader for this, Josephine Baily I think, is very good, and I'm happy to stick with her through the end of the series.)read more
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Great addition to Gemma's story, beautiful and suspenseful!read more
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Fascinating. Brilliantly paced, just enough terror to keep things fresh, and layers upon layers to sift through with regards to the trio of main characters. Love.read more
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Sequel to Great and Terrible Beauty!! Another fantastic piece!read more
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As wonderful as the first.read more
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Rebel Angels is the second book in the Gemma Doyle series and takes Gemma and her friends out of their boarding school and out on to the streets of London. When she's not in the Realms battling water nymphs or in London vying for the attention of Simon Middleton Gemma finds herself visiting a very mad girl named Nell Hawkins. Nell is a patient at a local institution where Gemma's brother is employed. I found the loss of the boarding school setting did not do this continuation any favors, a certain feeling was lost along with the school and its creaking floor boards and closed down wings, but the institution was a welcome change from the fantasy of the Realms and put a very interesting spin on Gemma's adventures. For me this book did not meet the expectations that I had for the series after finishing A Great and Terrible Beauty but it was still enjoyable. Gemma Doyle continues to be a refreshing YA series full of clever characters and unexpected twists and turns.read more
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Blech. This is quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. The major plot twist is completely obvious about halfway through, and the rest of the book just drags on forever while the characters do stupid things.I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, but this one was a huge disappointment.read more
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"Rebel Angels" definitely doesn't suffer for 'sophomore slump". The book jumps off right where the first book left off. Gemma and her friends from Spence Academy are leaving school for home for the Christmas holiday. Bray cooks up a reasonable way for the three friends, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann to travel in the same circles over the holidays, and the girls easily can still partake in their travels to the magical realms. Bray also takes this chance to allow the readers a better glimpse into the family lives of these girls away from school. We see Gemma dealing in ways she shouldn't have to, with her father's drug abuse. We see a different,more appealing, and more understandable side of Gemma's brother Tom. We also learn what has shaped Felicity's life and why she is so hungry for power. Gemma is also courted by a noble gentleman, Simon Middleton, and she wonders at what her life would be like if she was 'normal', while at the same time her relationship to Kartik grows and changes. All of these plotlines were intriguing in their own right but much adventure and changes are found in the trips to the Realms as well. The girls are now tasked with finding the Temple, which is the cemter of magic in the Realms now and where they must go for Gemma to bind the magic. The end of the first book left with them winning a battle, but left the magic open to mis-abuse. There the see their lost friend Pippa, who is now scarily different. In fact, the beautiful place of the Realms from the past is slowly changing into a place much more sinister. The girls also get closer to finding out who Circe is and it may not be as obvious as it seems. The Order and the Rakshana are both after Gemma still too for their own purposes. There truly is not a boring page is to be found anywhere. The five hundred plus pages seemed to fly by. I found myself rooting even more for Gemma, I've come to really like her. Felicity keeps scaring me at time, I am not really sure if I trust her. Both her story and Ann's had me near tears because these girls have truly been through a lot. For a world so many years removed from us now, this series does a great job of nailing down the emotions and struggles of modern teenage girls. There is enough magic and paranormal to keep me intrigued but this is a series that wouldn't be nearly as unforgettable if the author hasn't done such an amazing job at fleshing out her characters.read more
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Wonderful, wonderful book! Such a great sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. I love how Libba Bray continues to develop her characters, including the Realm, even after we think we know all there is too know!read more
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The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is my favorite series. This book does not disappoint those those who have finished the first book and crave more of Gemma Doyle's adventures. The first book did not give me a chance to understand Gemma's character but this book remedies that. We learn all about Gemma's hardships.The book's setting is not at Spence and instead various houses around London. We also learn much more about Felicity's character and home life. From Ann, who doesn't really have a home life, we begin understanding a little more about her personality and insecurities. The only problem I had with character development is Felicity's attitude. Sure, she seems like a great girl sometimes and I have sympathy for her troubles, but sometimes she has such an attitude toward her friends I wonder why Gemma and Ann put up with it. Maybe Libba is building up to something. I hope so.This book is constant heart-pounding action. Every page is filled with adventure and suspense. There wasn't a minute that something dull happened. A great read, and a real page-turner!read more
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It had me dying for more!read more
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This is my favourite series at the moment. I can't wait for the sequel to come out in December of this year. While not quite as much of a page-turner as A Great and Terrible Beauty this was pretty close. This book combines all my favourite genres into one : Victorian, fantasy, historical fiction and Gothic mystery. I am so intrigued with the fantasy world Bray has created. I find myself wanting to visit the Realms along with the characters. I'm really pleased with how the plot developed in this volume although I did figure out the surprise ending fairly early on. There is a satisfying sense of conclusion in this book but also the set up for conflict in the next book leaves me wanting more. Recommended!read more
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Surprisingly, I liked the sequel better than book 1 of the series. The plot turns darker and more intense leading to a fast paced read.
Gemma and the girls don't lose any of their wittiness or cattiness as they learn more about the Realms and the magic they've come upon. The characters actually become more developed as they have to battle both outer and inner demons. Again, this one is not for the faint of heart as the issues in this one become deeper and more intense.read more
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This really should get a variable star rating - two stars if sober, three stars if you find yourself in the hospital on a morphine drip. It really improves the story.read more
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I found the second installment in Gemma's story just as engaging as the first. Though I had already figured out the major plot twist, it was still intriguing to watch the characters unravel the mystery. As Gemma grows, she has more social challenges to deal with as well as her own special gift and that really humanizes her. It makes you wonder, how would I deal with living that double life? I can't wait to read the third and final (to my knowledge) book and see how it is all going to end.read more
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As in the first book, I loved the strong heroine. She’s reserved but strong-willed and the exciting but not over-the-top narration is perfect for her character. The beginning of the book dragged a little more than the first one, although I’m not sure if it was really slower or if I was just impatient to get to the awesome I knew was ahead. I liked that more of the world (both supernatural and real) was revealed as the book progressed. However, the author’s habit of having people speak cryptically when clearer speech would have given them time to explain everything up became frustrating. This book also fell a little more into the typical YA plot device of characters causing their own problems through stupid decisions. That said, it was still a fun read with a supernatural realm nicely complementing the Victorian era setting.read more
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It is strongly recommended that you read A Great and Terrible Beauty first as it introduces you to the characters and the actual start of the big picture. I really enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one as I had so many unanswered questions left when I finished it which is why I rushed like mad to find Rebel Angels. It does a good job giving you more information on The Order and the Rakshana and their little magic world that's just behind "that door". So now with that good amount of information the plot in this book goes very smooth and combined with the action and mystery, it makes for a very good Victorian Gothic style book to read. There is enough mystery and intrigue in this book to keep you guessing who's really the "bad guy" here and when you finally do figure it out you might probably feel a bit of shock at first because you thought you knew all along or you may not be surprised at all. It's hard to say. I had quite a few guesses but my first initial guess was wrong so I suppose it was a pleasant surprise for me. If I was right it would have been predictable and perhaps boring. However I liked how you were given options on who might be behind it all so chances are maybe it's meant to be written that way so it won't be so predictable. Gemma is extremely more likable every time she opens her mouth or has a witty thought. If you liked her in the first book, you'll like her even more here. I liked her sense of independence and she did have this extra spark in her personality which made her stand out against the rest of the other characters. Speaking of wit, despite the real serious dark tones in the novel, there's little bits of comedy here and there that made me chuckle several times. I think it was because you can also hear what Gemma is thinking and some of the things that run in her head is actually quite funny (especially when Felicity and Ann decide to pick at her and laugh)The ending of the novel leaves you with wanting more. You know that the fight isn't even over. They're just taking a break before the big one begins. If you have ever seen Lord of the Rings The Two Towers remember the ending? yeah, it feels like that. You know there's something big that's going to happen in the grand finale. I'm really looking forward to how this ends.read more
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I liked this more than the first book, although I still wanted to smack Gemma repeatedly for being so, so blind. But seeing her home life made me a bit more sympathetic. And I didn't find as many anachronisms poking me in the eyeballs. Again I enjoyed the reading very much. Some bits were deliciously scary, indeed.read more
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Author: Libba BrayPages: 592Source: Purchased by Barnes and NobleSeries or Standalone?: 2nd in seriesGemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain. The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls' great joy, their belovedPippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship. But all is not well in the realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .* * *I actually read this series out of order, with Rebel Angels being the first one I read. I don’t exactly remember why I did it, but I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t realize this was a sequel until after about 50 pages in and I was sitting there going “Whaat the fuuuuuhhhh?” So I bought AGTB, read it, and then reread Rebel Angels.What I love about Libba Bray, is she writes with this certain… je ne sais quoi. She wrote through the mind of a teenage girl in the Victorian Era, who was going through many traumas, and pulled it off seamlessly. I was really into the story, and all throughout I could definitely picture Victorian England around me, along with the Gothic structure of Spence Academy. The Realms are delved into much further than in the first book, and are opened up to us through Bray’s flawless writing. Now we see the darker side of The Realms- -and Pippa.Ah, Pippa. Let me just come out and say it: Pippa is one creepy bitch. I wasn’t getting good vibes from her the entire time she was present in any scene, and there were so many little nuances that all is not well in Pippaland. I think she’s gone off the deep end.The plot in this book was well-thought out, and really caught me by surprise. I had no idea who Circe would be, and I still have all these questions that I’m hoping will be answered in The Sweet Far Thing. The romance between Gemma and Kartik was much more tangible here, but still teasingly uneventful. Kartik drops several hints, as does Gemma, but at the same time, she’s being courted by Simon Middleton, a wealthy and handsome Englishman, which really gets Kartik’s knickers in a bunch. I’m reeeaaally looking forward to seeing their romance progress.Gemma and her friends pack quite an adventure, and this novel definitely did not disappoint fans of the first one. If you haven’t read A Great and Terrible Beauty yet, go buy it now!Other books in this series:1st-A Great and Terrible Beauty (click for my review)3rd-The Sweet Far ThingOther books by this author:Going BovinePlot: 4/5Cover: 5/5Writing: 4.5/5Uniqueness: 4.5/5Characters: 3/5read more
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Something to read over and over!read more
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"A Great and Terrible Beauty" was amazing... and I wasn't so sure about a sequel being able to live up to how much I loved it. But, to my surprise, "Rebel Angels" was even better!The climax toward the end, startling, clever plot twists, and character development make this book fantastic.Powerfully and beautifully written... This book is amazing.I can't wait to read the final book in the trilogy as soon as I can!read more
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Another great book! Wasn't as good as the first or third books in the series, but it was fun and if you read the first you have to read the entire series with this book! Fun and fast writing style! I loved it!read more
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I really enjoyed this book better than the 1st. I can't wait to start the 3rd. =)
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Gemma, Felicity, and Ann spend their Christmas holidays in London, mixing society balls and dinners with trips to the Realms, in search of the Temple, the source of magic, in order to bind the magic and keep it from Circe. Gemma also must balance her father’s opiate addiction, interest from high-society Simon, and her feelings for her helper/ assassin Kartik. Minor profanity, mild sexual feelings, violence, including several deaths, and brief discussion of Felicity’s sexual abuse by her father. Ages 14+.
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So much better then the first of the series
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Rebel Angels is the sequal to a Great and Terrible Beauty. It starts at Spence Academy for Girls. Mrs. Nightwing has hired a new teacher to replace Mrs. Moore. the new teacher is much stricter than Mrs. Moore, and seems to dislike Gemma. Over Christmas break, Gemma starts seeing the image of three girls in white dresses. They bring her visions of another school in Wales. a woman, who's face is not seen, walks three girls to a cliff, and calls up a horrible monster from the sea. It consumes three girls, the spirits, leaving behind only one, Nell Hawkins. Gemma finds Nell, in an asylum. Gemma finds herself entering the realms once more, and trying to find a mysterious temple which is said to be the source of all the magic. She must find the temple before Circe, or all the realms will be overtaken by the Winterlands and the corrupted spirits that go with it. I like this book because I was kept on the edge of my seat, or in this case, couch. I kept trying to guess what was going to happen next, but the book kept taking unexpected turns. For instance, the disappearance, and unexpected reappearance of Ms. Moore had me wondering if it was possible that Gemma was blaming the wrong person for what was happening. I also enjoyed learning more about the realms and the creatures that lived there. I definately enjoyed the book, and I can't wait to read the next one.
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very goood if u like book that are not totally of romance
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Second in the Gemma Doyle trilogy.When she held Circe at bay and destroyed the runes at the end of A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma loosed the power of the realms and made the magic available to anyone in the realms.Now she has been given the task to find the Temple and bind the magic. Kartik and the Order have their own plans for the magic of the realm and Gemma finds herself caught between them. Meanwhile, Circe is still on the loose and Pippa refuses to pass as she should. Dark things are awakening within the realms and fighting to control the magic. As Gemma struggles to set things right, she has only the ravings of a mad girl to guide her.Set against the backdrop of Victorian society, this gothic tale combines historical fiction with fantasy. Readers will be riveted by this well-paced mystery filled with authentic details of Victorian life.
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This book is the sequel to "A Great and Terrible Beauty." It's Xmas, and all the grrls are in London, causing trouble, using magic, attending fabulous balls and operas, and FINALLY, having big fat crushes. Gemma develops a fuller understanding of her friends- the fierce Felicity and plain Anne- as full individuals with strengths and weaknesses. Gemma herself also starts to question who she is as a person. She has quasi-sexual fantasies about Kartak, the Indian dude who stalks her and warns her to avoid the realms and magic altogether, and Simon Middleton, a super rich cutie who could provide for her and finally make her feel accepted in the social structure of Victorian England. I got the feeling this one wasn't the last in the series, so not all subplots are wrapped up at the end of this installment, but it's okay. I'll read the next one, too. This one really should only be read after "A Great and Terrible Beauty," but I liked the London setting better than boarding school, so this one's better.
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Probably my favorite book in the trilogy. I like how the realms and its inhabitants are explained and explored, and the real world plot really sweeps me in. Gemma’s frustration with society really shines through, as well as Felicity and Anne’s situation. I also liked how they all struggle with Pippa’s continued existence, even though Gemma knows she should leave. Some of the plot twists seem a little too convenient, but I highly enjoyed this book and really wanted to know what was going to happen next.
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In the second volume of this trilogy, we get out of Spence Academy and into the streets (well, the wealthy houses) of Victorian London. Gemma and her friends have a task before them: re-bind the magic Gemma accidentally loosed before Circe can bind it for herself.

Rebel Angels hits the supernatural elements harder than the first volume--this one is more a fantasy with historical elements than the other way around. Still, it's good, and I'll be starting the third volume once I catch up on some of my audio backlog. (The reader for this, Josephine Baily I think, is very good, and I'm happy to stick with her through the end of the series.)
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Great addition to Gemma's story, beautiful and suspenseful!
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Fascinating. Brilliantly paced, just enough terror to keep things fresh, and layers upon layers to sift through with regards to the trio of main characters. Love.
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Sequel to Great and Terrible Beauty!! Another fantastic piece!
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As wonderful as the first.
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Rebel Angels is the second book in the Gemma Doyle series and takes Gemma and her friends out of their boarding school and out on to the streets of London. When she's not in the Realms battling water nymphs or in London vying for the attention of Simon Middleton Gemma finds herself visiting a very mad girl named Nell Hawkins. Nell is a patient at a local institution where Gemma's brother is employed. I found the loss of the boarding school setting did not do this continuation any favors, a certain feeling was lost along with the school and its creaking floor boards and closed down wings, but the institution was a welcome change from the fantasy of the Realms and put a very interesting spin on Gemma's adventures. For me this book did not meet the expectations that I had for the series after finishing A Great and Terrible Beauty but it was still enjoyable. Gemma Doyle continues to be a refreshing YA series full of clever characters and unexpected twists and turns.
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Blech. This is quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. The major plot twist is completely obvious about halfway through, and the rest of the book just drags on forever while the characters do stupid things.I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, but this one was a huge disappointment.
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"Rebel Angels" definitely doesn't suffer for 'sophomore slump". The book jumps off right where the first book left off. Gemma and her friends from Spence Academy are leaving school for home for the Christmas holiday. Bray cooks up a reasonable way for the three friends, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann to travel in the same circles over the holidays, and the girls easily can still partake in their travels to the magical realms. Bray also takes this chance to allow the readers a better glimpse into the family lives of these girls away from school. We see Gemma dealing in ways she shouldn't have to, with her father's drug abuse. We see a different,more appealing, and more understandable side of Gemma's brother Tom. We also learn what has shaped Felicity's life and why she is so hungry for power. Gemma is also courted by a noble gentleman, Simon Middleton, and she wonders at what her life would be like if she was 'normal', while at the same time her relationship to Kartik grows and changes. All of these plotlines were intriguing in their own right but much adventure and changes are found in the trips to the Realms as well. The girls are now tasked with finding the Temple, which is the cemter of magic in the Realms now and where they must go for Gemma to bind the magic. The end of the first book left with them winning a battle, but left the magic open to mis-abuse. There the see their lost friend Pippa, who is now scarily different. In fact, the beautiful place of the Realms from the past is slowly changing into a place much more sinister. The girls also get closer to finding out who Circe is and it may not be as obvious as it seems. The Order and the Rakshana are both after Gemma still too for their own purposes. There truly is not a boring page is to be found anywhere. The five hundred plus pages seemed to fly by. I found myself rooting even more for Gemma, I've come to really like her. Felicity keeps scaring me at time, I am not really sure if I trust her. Both her story and Ann's had me near tears because these girls have truly been through a lot. For a world so many years removed from us now, this series does a great job of nailing down the emotions and struggles of modern teenage girls. There is enough magic and paranormal to keep me intrigued but this is a series that wouldn't be nearly as unforgettable if the author hasn't done such an amazing job at fleshing out her characters.
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Wonderful, wonderful book! Such a great sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. I love how Libba Bray continues to develop her characters, including the Realm, even after we think we know all there is too know!
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The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is my favorite series. This book does not disappoint those those who have finished the first book and crave more of Gemma Doyle's adventures. The first book did not give me a chance to understand Gemma's character but this book remedies that. We learn all about Gemma's hardships.The book's setting is not at Spence and instead various houses around London. We also learn much more about Felicity's character and home life. From Ann, who doesn't really have a home life, we begin understanding a little more about her personality and insecurities. The only problem I had with character development is Felicity's attitude. Sure, she seems like a great girl sometimes and I have sympathy for her troubles, but sometimes she has such an attitude toward her friends I wonder why Gemma and Ann put up with it. Maybe Libba is building up to something. I hope so.This book is constant heart-pounding action. Every page is filled with adventure and suspense. There wasn't a minute that something dull happened. A great read, and a real page-turner!
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It had me dying for more!
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This is my favourite series at the moment. I can't wait for the sequel to come out in December of this year. While not quite as much of a page-turner as A Great and Terrible Beauty this was pretty close. This book combines all my favourite genres into one : Victorian, fantasy, historical fiction and Gothic mystery. I am so intrigued with the fantasy world Bray has created. I find myself wanting to visit the Realms along with the characters. I'm really pleased with how the plot developed in this volume although I did figure out the surprise ending fairly early on. There is a satisfying sense of conclusion in this book but also the set up for conflict in the next book leaves me wanting more. Recommended!
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Surprisingly, I liked the sequel better than book 1 of the series. The plot turns darker and more intense leading to a fast paced read.
Gemma and the girls don't lose any of their wittiness or cattiness as they learn more about the Realms and the magic they've come upon. The characters actually become more developed as they have to battle both outer and inner demons. Again, this one is not for the faint of heart as the issues in this one become deeper and more intense.
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This really should get a variable star rating - two stars if sober, three stars if you find yourself in the hospital on a morphine drip. It really improves the story.
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I found the second installment in Gemma's story just as engaging as the first. Though I had already figured out the major plot twist, it was still intriguing to watch the characters unravel the mystery. As Gemma grows, she has more social challenges to deal with as well as her own special gift and that really humanizes her. It makes you wonder, how would I deal with living that double life? I can't wait to read the third and final (to my knowledge) book and see how it is all going to end.
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As in the first book, I loved the strong heroine. She’s reserved but strong-willed and the exciting but not over-the-top narration is perfect for her character. The beginning of the book dragged a little more than the first one, although I’m not sure if it was really slower or if I was just impatient to get to the awesome I knew was ahead. I liked that more of the world (both supernatural and real) was revealed as the book progressed. However, the author’s habit of having people speak cryptically when clearer speech would have given them time to explain everything up became frustrating. This book also fell a little more into the typical YA plot device of characters causing their own problems through stupid decisions. That said, it was still a fun read with a supernatural realm nicely complementing the Victorian era setting.
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It is strongly recommended that you read A Great and Terrible Beauty first as it introduces you to the characters and the actual start of the big picture. I really enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one as I had so many unanswered questions left when I finished it which is why I rushed like mad to find Rebel Angels. It does a good job giving you more information on The Order and the Rakshana and their little magic world that's just behind "that door". So now with that good amount of information the plot in this book goes very smooth and combined with the action and mystery, it makes for a very good Victorian Gothic style book to read. There is enough mystery and intrigue in this book to keep you guessing who's really the "bad guy" here and when you finally do figure it out you might probably feel a bit of shock at first because you thought you knew all along or you may not be surprised at all. It's hard to say. I had quite a few guesses but my first initial guess was wrong so I suppose it was a pleasant surprise for me. If I was right it would have been predictable and perhaps boring. However I liked how you were given options on who might be behind it all so chances are maybe it's meant to be written that way so it won't be so predictable. Gemma is extremely more likable every time she opens her mouth or has a witty thought. If you liked her in the first book, you'll like her even more here. I liked her sense of independence and she did have this extra spark in her personality which made her stand out against the rest of the other characters. Speaking of wit, despite the real serious dark tones in the novel, there's little bits of comedy here and there that made me chuckle several times. I think it was because you can also hear what Gemma is thinking and some of the things that run in her head is actually quite funny (especially when Felicity and Ann decide to pick at her and laugh)The ending of the novel leaves you with wanting more. You know that the fight isn't even over. They're just taking a break before the big one begins. If you have ever seen Lord of the Rings The Two Towers remember the ending? yeah, it feels like that. You know there's something big that's going to happen in the grand finale. I'm really looking forward to how this ends.
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I liked this more than the first book, although I still wanted to smack Gemma repeatedly for being so, so blind. But seeing her home life made me a bit more sympathetic. And I didn't find as many anachronisms poking me in the eyeballs. Again I enjoyed the reading very much. Some bits were deliciously scary, indeed.
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Author: Libba BrayPages: 592Source: Purchased by Barnes and NobleSeries or Standalone?: 2nd in seriesGemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain. The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls' great joy, their belovedPippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship. But all is not well in the realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .* * *I actually read this series out of order, with Rebel Angels being the first one I read. I don’t exactly remember why I did it, but I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t realize this was a sequel until after about 50 pages in and I was sitting there going “Whaat the fuuuuuhhhh?” So I bought AGTB, read it, and then reread Rebel Angels.What I love about Libba Bray, is she writes with this certain… je ne sais quoi. She wrote through the mind of a teenage girl in the Victorian Era, who was going through many traumas, and pulled it off seamlessly. I was really into the story, and all throughout I could definitely picture Victorian England around me, along with the Gothic structure of Spence Academy. The Realms are delved into much further than in the first book, and are opened up to us through Bray’s flawless writing. Now we see the darker side of The Realms- -and Pippa.Ah, Pippa. Let me just come out and say it: Pippa is one creepy bitch. I wasn’t getting good vibes from her the entire time she was present in any scene, and there were so many little nuances that all is not well in Pippaland. I think she’s gone off the deep end.The plot in this book was well-thought out, and really caught me by surprise. I had no idea who Circe would be, and I still have all these questions that I’m hoping will be answered in The Sweet Far Thing. The romance between Gemma and Kartik was much more tangible here, but still teasingly uneventful. Kartik drops several hints, as does Gemma, but at the same time, she’s being courted by Simon Middleton, a wealthy and handsome Englishman, which really gets Kartik’s knickers in a bunch. I’m reeeaaally looking forward to seeing their romance progress.Gemma and her friends pack quite an adventure, and this novel definitely did not disappoint fans of the first one. If you haven’t read A Great and Terrible Beauty yet, go buy it now!Other books in this series:1st-A Great and Terrible Beauty (click for my review)3rd-The Sweet Far ThingOther books by this author:Going BovinePlot: 4/5Cover: 5/5Writing: 4.5/5Uniqueness: 4.5/5Characters: 3/5
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Something to read over and over!
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"A Great and Terrible Beauty" was amazing... and I wasn't so sure about a sequel being able to live up to how much I loved it. But, to my surprise, "Rebel Angels" was even better!The climax toward the end, startling, clever plot twists, and character development make this book fantastic.Powerfully and beautifully written... This book is amazing.I can't wait to read the final book in the trilogy as soon as I can!
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Another great book! Wasn't as good as the first or third books in the series, but it was fun and if you read the first you have to read the entire series with this book! Fun and fast writing style! I loved it!
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