Friday, February 26, 2010

Review (Audiobook) - Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

"Ah, Christmas! Gemma 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 Simon Middleton. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify - visions of three girls dressed in white, to whome 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 beloved Pippa 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 insisitng 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 friends, now Gemma's foe - Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task..." (back cover)


Rebel Angels picks up two months after A Great and Terrible Beauty leaves off, but is so beautifully written it would almost seem like you could pick up this book without having to read the first.

Again, Bailey does an excellent job of narrating the characters. Although, I will admit during the first CD, I found myself wondering if she recorded the books back to back - she almost sounded a little bored with the characters. After the first CD, however, she went right back up to the incredibly high standards I have for Josephine Bailey.

Akin to A Great and Terrible Beauty, similarities to other books and movies were easily noticible in this book - Wraiths as "trackers" (Lord of the Rings), bad guys who fancy the phrase "'ello, poppet" (also made famous by Pintel in Pirates of the Caribbean), other bad guys who like to make their name more mysterious by giving themselves a new name that is really just an anagram of their other name (I was thinking of Tom Riddle at this point, of course), and evil women being trapped inside wells (from my scariest horror movie, The Ring). After all of the similarities in this book and the first in the series, I was honestly expecting the poppy warriors to be similar to the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz.

Also comparable to the first Gemma Doyle book, Rebel Angels was predictable. I knew who the bad guy was shortly into the book, and it was making me so mad that the girls could be so stupid (especially after the fun anagram portion of the book) that I had to Google the character list just to be sure. Although, something I was expecting, didn't happen - I felt that through parts of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels, Bray was setting it up so a different girl would "die" in each book, and at the end of the third book the final two would have to battle it out for the power.

The ending was slightly disappointing, only because it seemed a shame that so many pages/discs were used to set up the story, then it took so few pages (less than a disc's worth) to "resolve" the problem; yet, we know the problem couldn't truely be resolved, or else it wouldn't be a trilogy.

Amazon recommends this book for Young Adults. While there are not as many uncomfortable Gemma/Kartik descriptions in this book, I would still be wary of recommending this book to younger teens, as there are somewhat extensive mentionings (at least I found them extensive) of a girl being sexually abused by her father. Then again, younger teens might not understand this portion, as I myself was unable to be 100% sure whether this was the kind of "abuse" being referenced for a while.

My Rating:

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