Rebel Angels

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5.0
 
4.2 (38)
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Rebel Angels
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 23, 2005
ISBN
0385730292
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Editor review

1 review
Libba Bray does it again
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Rebel Angels was one of the most anticipated sequels to come out this year (just behind Paolini's Eldest and, of course, Harry Potter). I'm happy to say that it doesn't disappoint at all. In fact, it may even be better than A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Gemma and her friends Ann and Felicity are back, whiling away their time at the Spence Academy. What Gemma doesn't know is that the Rakshana don't necessarily have her best interests at heart and Kartik is caught right in the middle. Will he betray her or the Rakshana?

What is definite is that Gemma must go back to the Realms. When she broke the stones to free her mother in the last book, she unleashed the magic and who knows what might happen now. An unexpected surprise awaits her there her dear friend Pippa. But is Pippa the same beautiful girl she was&or is she something else?

Poor Gemma won't know quite who to trust throughout the book and this keeps readers on their toes. Not to mention a certain Simon Middleton, a Viscount's son and a dapper romantic interest for our heroine.

I love a good period tale and Ms. Bray captures the sense of Victorian England very well, from the rosewater mouthwash to the dressing gowns. Throw in magic, scheming friends and enemies, and a bit of romance and you've got yourself an engrossing read.

I recommend this book for readers aged 12 and up. It will primarily appeal to girls, but the subtle humor should satisfy readers of any age.

And don't forget to enter to win a copy of the book in September 2005's giveaway!
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User reviews

38 reviews
 
63%
 
21%
 
13%
 
3%
1 star
 
0%
Overall rating
 
4.2
Plot
 
4.5(38)
Characters
 
4.0(2)
Writing Style
 
4.0(2)
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Excellent, but a little disappointing
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Taken on its own merit, Rebel Angels is a very good book. The paranormal aspect is extremely compelling and unique, Libba Bray’s prose is lush and atmospheric, the characters, while hard to understand and not easy to like, are interesting at the very least. Where my problems came in was that, as far as series continuity goes, this book didn’t work well with its prequel. It was really like embarking on an entirely different adventure, unrelated from the events in A Great and Terrible Beauty.

For example, the character of Kartik saw a nearly 180-degree shift from who Bray presented in the first book. Instead of being withdrawn, mysterious, and slightly rude to Gemma, the Kartik in Rebel Angels was suave, childishly eager to please, humorous, and apparently besotted. Say what? But then, when it suited the author’s purposes, Kartik would revert back to his other self. In this book he was a complete yo-yo character, and I felt that he was just this shallow name on paper that had no point. This novel is strong enough without a romantic interest, so Kartik’s little thing with Gemma felt like a badly done add-on.

Other than the Kartik issue, my problem with this book was characterization in general. Outwardly, Gemma and the gang are complex, intricate character. But really, on closer observation I feel like they have no substance. Their actions are entertaining and engrossing, but I don’t feel that these people are real. I could never meet Gemma in real life, and Ann and Felicity wouldn’t work out, either. Honestly, if you took the Mean Girls crew and put them in Victorian England with some magic, you’d have the characters in this book.

I didn’t hate the characters, though. I just wanted more from them. There’s a difference.

But boy, oh boy was the magic really awesome in Rebel Angels. Probably my biggest complaint from A Great and Terrible Beauty was that the realms played so teensy of a role. The concept was so amazing, but Bray hardly explored it. In this book, at least half was spent inside the realms, and it was fabulous. This series is such a standout compared to all other piece of paranormal fiction; I have seriously never read (or heard of) anything like this. I love the raw, unconstrained magic—it’s just so cool, seriously.

And though I’m not wholly impressed with characters, I do love that Gemma and Company are dealing with things besides just magic. Libba Bray isn’t afraid to bring up important issues like child abuse and self-harm outside of a realistic fiction novel. It added another facet to this piece.

Altogether, I thought Rebel Angels was better all around than A Great and Terrible Beauty. In fact it was so good and so different that it didn’t really fit with the pre-existing trend. So it looks like Libba Bray outclassed herself too much here, almost.
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Great book!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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! The ways in which she slowly divulges the back story belonging to Gemma and her friends is a wonderful lure that pulls you through the book.

The only negative aspect that I found in this novel is that, sometimes, Bray spends too much time describing things that feel trivial. For example, at this point, her long descriptions of the realm make the story drag as do the constant reminders of the unpleasant aspects of her family and their habits and attitudes.
I enjoyed the addition of Lord Denby to the story, even though I didn’t find him overly likeable. In addition, although I know the secondary story about Ann and the theater are intended to make you like Ann more and understand her plight and woes, it mostly just annoyed me.

The mystery surrounding Circe unfolded in a way that I did not expect and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t figure it out until the main characters did.
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Wonderful, wonderful book!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Emily H.

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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Gemma is back!
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lia

Gemma is back with her friends, Felicity and Ann to uncover who Circe is and stop her before she tries to take over the realms. We are joined with Kartik, and a new character, Simon  Middleton.

This book was a satisfying sequel. I like this series and reccommend it to people who like fantasy and historical fiction. The character development is done very well. I love Gemma, she's a very relatable character. The plot has a huge twist, just when you think you've figured out everything. This series is worth reading.

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mum is the word...
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by ash

mum is the word that in this second installment in the 'a great and terrible beauty' trilogy, rebel angles, pippa has come back! after losing one of her closest friends--in the dour, secretive private boarding school that gemma doyle was sent to to become a propper lady--gemma goes back to the realms with felecity and ann only to find pippa waiting for them! but what happens if pippa doesnt want to leave her friends and pass on? and what is gemma supposed o do about the secretive indian man who keeps aunting her dreams? on the bright side... it's christmas in the late 17th century london, and gemma is being courted by the handsome and rich men. but do they have other motives? ad what is gemma supposed to do about the little problem of ghosts stalking her? find out in REBEL ANGELS! 
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Another Delve Into The Realms.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Manda Kay

This second installment of the Gemma Doyle Series, by Libba Bray, is just as great, if not better, than the first.  Having already become enthralled by her writing, Bray has astounded me once again.  In Rebel Angels, Gemma continues on her quest to find the Temple and bind the magic in the Realms.  She also is looking for the woman known as Circe.  Will she find the Temple and protect the magic? Will she find and conquer Circe?  Will everything not be what it seems?  These are all questions that will be answered when you read Rebel Angels for yourself.  If you read A Great and Terrible Beauty and loved it, you will love Rebel Angels even more.  Bray continues this series with another amazing installment.  You will again feel what Gemma is feeling and be enthralled by the good and the bad that ensues.  There is romance, betrayal, and even action and suspense that will keep you riveted. I can officially say, after reading Rebel Angels, I am impressed with Libba Bray and I can't wait for to read the next installment in this series. 

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Rebel Angels
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Misty

I was a little leery of reading this. I didn't really like the first
book all that much, though I thought it had potential. But I am taking
part in a summer YA reading challenge, so I thought I'd give this a
shot.


But first:

Rebel Angels continues the story of Gemma Doyle, a 16 year old girl at Spence, an English boarding school. In A Great and Terrible Beauty
Gemma discovers she is a very powerful girl, daughter of a member of a
group called the Order, and able to enter "the Realms" and use magic.
She also learns that all is not well in the Realms, and bad people
would like to harness the magic for evil. In Rebel Angels, Gemma
continues to secure the Realms and learn to manage the magic. The lines
between good and bad blur a little more, and Gemma finds herself facing
a number of difficult choices, among them who to trust and even who to
love.



I did think it was an improvement over the first, though some of the things that bothered me about A Great and Terrible Beauty
are still present in this, though to a lesser degree. In #1 I felt that
the characters were flat and the story predictable, and I feel Bray has
improved that here, though there is still room for further improvement.
The dialogue, too, wasn't as cheesy in this one (I only rolled my eyes
a few times). But I felt the relationship with Simon was underdeveloped
(they meet each other a handful of times and he's one of the most
wealthy, handsome and eligible bachelors in the country, and he's
already hinting at marriage? Seems a bit much). Bray's handling of this
is fairly indicative of her writing style in general. Rather than layer
and develop things fully, she tosses them in in an exciting way, and
then lets them fade or drags them out, but never really makes them feel
authentic. She comes closer in this book, but still...

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Rich and intricate fantasy
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Holly

Rebel Angels, the second book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy is about Gemma journey to save the realm from Circe. Shocking realisations lead  to scandal. This book is a great mix of romance, fantasy, the victorian era, and much more. I thought this book was really awesome and the details wre great you could almost picture yourself in the realm. This book sete up the last book in the series perfectly. I also love the relationship between gemma and katrik. A great read but make sure you pay attention or you will get lost.

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Alright
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by lulabell0513

I thought that the book was alright. Libba Bray has great writing style, but I think that she could have toned down the fantasy and made someething that her readers could relate to a little more. I love the idea of four girls finding a secret magical world, then one getting trapped there, the others thinking that she's dead, then finding out that their teacher is evil is a pretty good story, but she needs to add some reality to it so that her readers can relate to it.
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Rebel Angels is a great sequal!
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Chey

Rebel Angels is the second book of the Gemma Doyle triliogy. It continues with the same witty sarcasm Libba Bray intruduces in the first book. This book gets slightly darker and we get to see Gemma develop an even closer friendship with Ann and Felicity and we see her family struggles as well. This book will have you aching for book 3, A Sweet Far Thing to see what finally happens in this saga. The only down side was that I feel as though not much really happened in Rebel Angels, and all the loose ends are left to for the third book.
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