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Rebel Angels

Review

Rebel Angels

When we last saw 16-year-old Gemma Doyle in A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, she was coming to grips with the supernatural murder of her mother and developing her own magical ability to visit the Realms, a beautiful and dangerous world where anything can happen. Now it's Christmas, 1895, and the young ladies of Spence Academy are preparing for a London season of balls, handsome young noblemen, and, for Gemma and her friends Ann and Felicity, more mysteries to solve and dangers to overcome.

Kartik --- Gemma's secret friend, protector and crush --- has returned with a warning. As a result of Gemma's recent actions, the magic of the Realms is now loose and wreaking havoc. So Gemma must find the elusive Temple and bind the magic, thus restoring order to the Realms. But with free power comes power-hungry people, and everyone from Kartik's secret organization Rakshana to Gemma's disguised enemy Circe is desperate to gain control of the power before Gemma can bind it. Once again Gemma must decide whom she can trust and who would rather see her and her friends destroyed in the name of power. And she must do all this while navigating the almost-as-dangerous terrain of London's high society.

As in her previous book, Libba Bray adds depth to this supernatural story with Gemma's insights into the plight of women in Victorian England. The choice for them is harsh: be married off by their families to the first appropriate suitor, or suffer a life as a lonely spinster, teaching in a school like Spence Academy. The girls' feelings of powerlessness and dependency fuel this story where people will go to any length to achieve their own personal sense of power.

Like its predecessor, REBEL ANGELS is an intelligent page-turner that keeps the reader guessing about secret identities, prophecies and risky alliances. It's also a tender coming-of-age tale about first love. But the story isn't over yet. Libba Bray's third novel in the trilogy is highly anticipated.

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Reviewed by Emily Shaffer on October 18, 2011

Rebel Angels
by Libba Bray

  • Publication Date: August 23, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Literary, Suspense
  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385730292
  • ISBN-13: 9780385730297