Rebel Angels – Libba Bray

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2)Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gemma, Felicity and Ann are back! In Rebel Angels it is Christmas time, and the girls get to go home for the holidays. Thankfully, a good portion of that time away will be spent together, so their new mission; finding the temple and containing the magic that Gemma let loose in the realms earlier in the year, will be that much easier.

Gemma is having new, cryptic and scary visions involving three white girls and someone that cannot be trusted. Between these visions, and the discovery of a young girl who was once part of the Order but is now placed at the mental hospital that Thomas, Gemma’s brother, works at; the pieces of this mystery are slowly coming together.

I am a big fan of this book. It’s a lot better than A Great and Terrible Beauty as the adventure picks up right where the other left off, and it is wall-to-wall suspense! I loved how, with the magic loose in the realms, you could see the corruption of the garden every time the girls went back. To me, it was like a distorted version of Alice in Wonderland though even more scary. A bad dream. It really was a wonderful visual for why the magic needed to be contained and protected.

Then there are Felicity and Ann. In this book you could see the desire and longing for their own control of the magic coming out, and how it is corrupting them. While Gemma is known to use the magic for her own uses, like trying to help her father, she is trying to keep her mind focused on the task at hand. Felicity and Ann are growing increasingly jealous of her, because they are wanting to use the magic for their own self-gain and without Gemma’s; which to me is corruption in itself. I was a bit disheartened at Gemma’s inability to stand up for herself and for what she believes in. Felicity and Ann are constantly pressuring her into doing things she shouldn’t or doesn’t even want to do. I would really like to see Gemma’s character grow a backbone. This is not really the kind of role-model our teenagers need right now.

I must mention also, the very slight love triangle. I have already voiced my opinion of the ever popular love triangle fad that is running wild in all fantasy/teenagery novels….I’m not a fan. But in Rebel Angels it was done so delicately and rather appropriately. This was not an “Oh I LOVE HIM, but I also LOVE HIM,” and then there is an epic battle for who the greater man is, scenerio. This was decision made by Gemma based on who she felt was best for her. A decision that is not influenced on society or the opinions of others, but based on her own gut feeling. This is a love story that I can respect. Wonderfully done!

The dramatic conclusion was a little predictable for me (she who reads over 100 books a year), but was very good none-the-less. I loved the end, and Gemma’s one moment of “hey I do have a spine” when she stood up for what she knew was right for the moment. I really hope that The Sweet Far Thing continues with THIS Gemma!

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