Review: Rebel Angels by Libba Bray


Rebel Angels
(Gemma Doyle #2)

Author: Libba Bray
Hardbound, 576 pages

officialsynopAh, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain…

The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring 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. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.


I am, yet again, spellbound by Libba Bray. And I couldn’t get Gemma Doyle nor Circe out of my system. This series is devastatingly great!

It’s the holidays, and Gemma wants out of Spence Academy, at least during Christmastime. Together with Felicity and Ann, Gemma enjoys life outside the school and loves spending their nights in London. Then she meets Simon Middleton who happens to like her too. Too bad, the boy isn’t really as appealing as he looks.

Gemma once again has visions of three ghostly girls telling her about an urgency in the magical world. Now that they’re able to travel within Realms, Gemma and Felicity and Ann reluctantly grab the chance to visit their dead loved ones. Pippa was terribly missed at the end of book 1 and seeing her again with Gemma and Felicity in the realms is one of the highlights in book 2.

Kartik is also back and he’s got news for Gemma. She must bind the magic of the Realms so balance between worlds can be achieved. To do this, she must find the Lost Temple, and must act fast and wise.

“What if evil doesn’t really exist? What if evil is something dreamed up by man, and there is nothing to struggle against except out own limitations? The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?”

Turns out, wherever Gemma’s vision and feet lead her, death is imminent and dark creaturs will go vying for the power she possessed. The Gorgon, the forbidden Cave of Sighs, the sirens who want their youth, these were just some of the few that the girls encounter as they continue their quest for the Temple. And as they say, the more you spend time with your friends, the more you discover about them, secrets and lies and all.

rebelI was way overwhelmed with the pacing and twisted plot of Rebel Angels. This book is darker, fiercer and more sinister. I thought Libba Bray created a newer and more dynamic world as the reader explored more of the Realms. Kartik, as always, is a mystery. I don’t know why I’m always drawn to him even though he’s not the best character there is.
I am glad with the addition of Simon though. He was like a breath of fresh air. I liked how he could make Gemma more interesting and intriguing. And of course, there was Circe. Again. The daunting and seemingly mad Circe. She definitely made this sequel really more engaging.

Libba Bray’s writing once again mesmerized me. The way she depicted Gemma and the rest of the characters was elegant, blithe and poignant, three adjectives you wouldn’t imagine would go together in one sentence. Is my review coherent enough? Oh well, I think I am losing my mind right now. Better read the last book so all my questions will be answered. Yay!

My Rating: 



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