Tatiana's Reviews > Rebel Angels

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
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's review
Dec 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2006, historical
Read in November, 2009

I enjoyed "Rebel Angels" just as much as I did its predecessor - "A Great and Terrible Beauty."

In this book Bray continues exploring constraints of Victorian society, and their suffocating effects on young women's lives. This time we go beyond the borders of the finishing school - Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are in London for their Christmas holidays. We accompany them to opera, ball, and various social events. To add to already dark Gothic atmosphere of the story, we visit an insane asylum and an opium den - both creepy and exciting adventures. There is also a greater emphasis on romance element - Gemma has a new suitor of high stature and wealth, but, of course, things are complicated by Kartik's presence. Another great quality of Bray's storytelling is her ability to introduce modern dark themes into the old-fashioned setting. I am not sure if Victorian girls were really that well aware of matters of drugs, sex, and child molesting, but these elements are weaved into the story very skillfully.

In spite of the many enjoyable elements of book, there were some that are quite bothersome. For one, the friendship between the girls seems not to be a friendship at all. Rather, it's a sick, very often destructive relationship, in which Felicity always gets what she wants, Ann sides with the strongest in any argument, and Gemma acts against her better judgment under pressure from her so-called friends. Another thing, while the world of Realms is very imaginative, it's getting more and more complex, with numerous new supernatural players, whose motivations are very often hard to follow. And finally, I am yet to understand the appeal of both Realms and magic. Gemma powers don't really help her in any way in real life, as for magic in the Realms, girls still do not go beyond making themselves pretty and conjuring gems out of leaves.

Hopefully, these aspects of the story will be explored better in the final chapter of this quite enchanting trilogy.

Reading challenge: #14 - 2 of 4
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Reading Progress

11/10/2009 page 6

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather How are you liking this one so far? I liked it the best I think.

Tatiana I like it OK. I met Simon finally. Waiting for some snogging, but unfortunately this is not that kind of book:)

message 3: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Nope, sure isn't, well not until book 3 and then all sorts of craziness makes itself known....

Tatiana There is already some craziness in realms that I am struggling to follow...

message 5: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Yeah, it gets worse :)I'll try to answer questions if you have any...

Tatiana Ok, if I understand it well enough to be able to formulate questions:)

message 7: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Liked your review and I agree with all of your points especially about the allure of the realms and the so called friendship among the girls.

Tatiana Thanks.

I read some reviews and people are complaining that Kartik is being objectified in these books. I find it funny, I love objectifying hot guys:)

message 9: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Me too :) It is our divine right after centuries of it being the other way around...

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