Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review: Rebel Angels

Rebel Angels

by Libba Bray
Book 2 of the Gemma Doyle trilogy

~ Goodreads ~

Rating: 3.0 Stars

*Side note on 4/3/2016:  The following review has been slightly edited after a thorough reread by myself revealed some typos, grammar errors, and a very un-PC opinion that my current self is not comfortable seeing myself present.

For some more brief personal thoughts about this trilogy that I have at present, see the first Gemma Doyle review here.

My Review:
Not bad for book two of this trilogy where we get to start seeing a much darker side to the entire magical aspect of Gemma's adventure with her friends. I don't really have much to say about this particular book except that I really enjoyed how the story is progressing. Of course, there are a LOT of things that made me stop and wonder, such as the naivete of the girls for too easily trusting the wrong people, or so easily turning against one another in tantrums brought out by their own insecurities. There is still that annoying "every woman for herself" selfishness in each of our characters, and yet at the same time, they wish to have a deeper friendship filled with trust and love. It's hard for people to fully trust or receive trust if they can so readily arm themselves against an attack that hasn't happened yet.

But enough about that--as far as story goes, the progression and the "surprise" twists really weren't as surprising as some might have expected. It wasn't hard to figure out who the true enemy was by the time the first book ended and this is only coming from dozens and dozens of story line progression strategies that you become aware of after reading so many books. Ms. Libba Bray DOES paint very good images and has written the book rather well in terms of style; it's a lot better than a lot of other books I've read lately, so it's a pleasant reprieve from the many books I'm being told to pick up and read with the moniker "Best Book Ever" or "excellent writing style" tacked on by people who also add the all too overused "I don't really read much, but I absolutely loved this book!" disclaimer.

I have my own personal issues with those words, because it turns out that I have yet to love a book when it is recommended to me following that very sentence.

Anyway, back to this book.

While at first, in book one of this trilogy, I wasn't really enjoying it, I'm glad that things have picked up and I have hopes that the final book will prove that I didn't stick with the trilogy for nothing. For the most part, the good writing kept me going, the interesting descriptions and word usage had me hoping, and at present, Gemma's development is actually pretty nice to see. Moving onto the third book now and ready to finish up this adventure.

The Victorian era is a world that I understand little about, but if it's anything like it is spelled out in Gemma Doyle's world, then I hope I never have to endure something like that in my own life, like, ever--makes me glad my time is so much more free and NOT built so much on reputations and the like. It sounds exhausting, but it was kind of amusing to watch the character go through all of those traditional activities of the uppity-up high society wealth and their snobbery of lifestyles. Amusing, not that I liked it, but it was fun nonetheless.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in March 2012.

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