Some might say this is a slow book, but i think it is great. This a great addition to sci-fi books. It has everything a reader good want. I think this a great new additon to fantasy books, and really has me wanting more. Ok, i'll be honest the best part of this book is the drug use (opium), and the romance. It also great because it talks about a specific time period. And the indian talk was cool.
This book is incredibly engrossing but is not without its flaws. There are some great twists that you can't expect. Unfortunately the characters are somewhat annoying and unlikeable. Sometimes even the reader feels dislike toward the main character Gemma.
Even so I recommend this book simply because it's a book you can keep reading and it's entertaining.
A Great and Terrible Beauty: The Best Oxymoron Youll Ever Read
Reader reviewed by Janelle
Since Ive never lived in a Victorian boarding school in London, England in 1895, it is often hard to imagine what it would be like, but author Libba Bray creates an environment thats so real, it makes you forget its the year 2006!
This is the story of an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl, Gemma Doyle of Bombay, India, whos sent off to boarding school in London after tragedy strikes her family. Upon arriving at Spence Academy, she realizes that shes different from the other girls. She does not enjoy taking lessons on manners or devoting her life to England, which the English girls succumb to willingly.
Gemmas true difference is her spooky visions of the future, which have a disturbing way of coming true, for example the death of someone close to her. Another important character is the mysterious boy, Kartik, who has been following Gemma, constantly warning her to close her mind to these visions. &He loosens his hold, lets me go. My eyes water. I rub at my throat. Who? Who wants me? The Order. He spits out the name. Circe. Circe.
Gemma is not the type of heroine who lives her life not caring whether or not she fits in. She tries to get the more powerful girls, Pippa and Felicity, to like her by doing their crazy initiation, which ends up with her being locked in an abandoned church. Despite this initial turmoil, when they begin to read Gemmas mothers diary, a sort of friendship forms between them. Within this diary unfolds a story about a mysterious group called, The Order, and two girls named Mary Dowd and Sarah Rees-Toome, who were killed in a fire at Spence years ago. Soon, the girls are sent on a wild goose chase to save a world called The Realms from the evil Circe who is out to kill Gemma. Can Gemma and her friends fight the evil in the Realms and preserve the Order? Youll have to pick up your own copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty to find out!
I gave this book five stars because the writing is incredible! This novel is filled with suspense, including the cliff hanger at the end which sets up the sequel, Rebel Angels. Author Libba Bray creates two worlds within her novel which both seem realistic. Her writing makes you feel like you are frolicking with the girls in the Realms. Gemma Doyle is such a complex character and Bray makes her seem like one of your very best friends. At the end of the novel you find yourself attached to her, wondering what trouble shes going to get herself into in the sequel. I recommend this book to any girl who wishes that she could be anything but ordinary. They might be able to live vicariously through Gemma, because this novel is nothing short of extraordinary.
This book was amazing. It had slow parts, but if you didnt pay attention to them it didnt add up to the end. I couldnt imagine what it was like to lose someone like Gemma lost her mom. Then to have some stranger tell you you have powers? Over all the book was great and i couldnt wait to start another.
A Great And Terrible Beauty, the first of a trilogy by Libba Bray, was certainly great rather than terrible. It's the beginning of the story of Gemma Doyle, who, after the unusual death of her mother in India, is sent off to an English boarding school. Gemma's experiences at Spence Academy, however, are not typical of the Victorian boarding school environment that she has been shoved into.
There's a bit of a supernatural twist on things, and it all began long before her mother's mysterious death in India. Gemma is pulled into a story of secret societies, other worlds, and mysterious old diaries, and the reader is pulled along with her.
You will be immediately drawn into this book, with its brilliantly created characters, fascinating setting in Victorian England, and amazingly original plot. It is most certainly worth the time it would take to read it, as you'll find. You will, in fact, want to read it over and over! This book is sure to become a favorite for teens for years to come.
16 year old Gemma Ward never thought that she had the gift to see "visions" her mothers death which came in the first vision she had. Gemma is then sent off to a boarding where she forms a group of girls who help her to find the creature that kiled her mother along with the help of an indian boy who has been following her. Creative, mysterious and romantic. A sure pleasure to anyone who reads it.
With an intriguing title, A Great and Terrible Beauty captures the reader within its pages instantly. However, as the chapters progress, you will realise that the book with attention-grabbing title, is also in possession of a swiftly-moving plot, sharply etched characters, historic setting, gripping style combined with a supernatural twist.
So, what exactly is A Great and Terrible Beauty about?
Gemma Doyle isnt your ordinary sixteen year old of the 1800s. For one thing she lived all her life in India. Secondly, she isnt refined and elegant like the other young ladies of her age. Thirdly, she has the gift of visions; foggy photographs of the future. This is how the story unfolds, an argument with her mother concerning moving to London, a temper tantrum, stalking stranger and cruel and blood-curdling dream and&the death of her mother. However, it was no ordinary death-it was suicide.
Gemmas wishes are granted, she travels to London to become Spence Academys newest student. Strange, mysterious events evolve there as her visions grow more vivid, a diary is discovered, the realms are opened and ultimately, a sacrifice is made.
A Great and Terrible Beauty is a thick, transfixing fantasy with a different twist that most would enjoy. Although, interestingly written, I feel the novel lacks in originality. Some of the ideas seem used and dont hold the same appeal as unique idea. Still, I liked the usage of the different time period, which gives the story an extra edge.
Nonetheless, A Great and Terrible Beauty was a thoroughly satisfying read. I recommend it to girls who enjoy supernaturalistic fantasies with hints of romance and mystery.
A Great and Terrible Beauty follows the experiences of Gemma Doyle, who gets sent to the Spencer Academy for Girls.
There she meets Felicity, Pippa, and Ann. Ann is her roommate, and while she is not a very strong character, everyone can relate to her feelings of invisiblity.
On a night trip to a cave, Gemma realizes that she has magic powers, given to her by her mother who had disappeared some years ago.
Gemma is the key to unlocking the realms, and Karsh is determined to keep the two worlds separated. But Gemma wants to see her mother, even if it means braving Circe, and the horror of unleashing an unearthly power.
This book is really good. It took me a while to understand some parts of it, but overall it is good. I especially like the way Gemma sometimes can't tell if Felicity is her real friend or not. I won't tell if she is or not though, just in case you decide to read it.