Series: Gemma Doyle
Author: Libba Bray
Page Count: 576
Published: December 26th, 2006
4 Stars ★★★★
Gemma is going home for the Christmas holidays, and she's happy to know that her friends will be in the same city, so they can spend time together. This time is spent exploring the realms once again, seeing their dear friend Pippa once more, and eventually, searching for the Temple. The Temple must be used to bind the magic of the realms, and while Gemma agrees with this idea, others do not.
Gemma must deal with magical conflicts, family issues, and a young man named Simon for whom she might be developing feelings. Of course, nothing can be so simple when it comes to the realms and Gemma's life itself, so she has to face the dangers of London and shocking revelations.
This sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty was very enjoyable, as with the first book I loved the mix of magic, bits of romance, and the historical setting. Returning to Gemma's world, and the realms, proved to be a magical experience once again.
The introduction of a new love interest created a new situation for Gemma, and it seemed to bring a love triangle, adding to her tensions with Kartik. As a fan of love triangles, I certainly approved, and I think the ways that both Kartik and Simon were so different from each other really added to Gemma's romantic struggles.
Of course, I can't forget to mention Gemma's friendship with Ann, Felicity, and the now deceased Pippa. It continues in Rebel Angels, and the girls work through differences of opinion, uncertainty, and strain on their friendship together throughout the book. Their loyalty to each other, including going along with lies to benefit the other, added another dimension to the characters and therefore to the book itself, making this a great read.
This lost a star because I feel like it was a bit too long. There were times when scenes seemed to really drag on and on, and I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. I truly believe that this book could have conveyed all the important pieces of the plot, along with information concerning the various subplots, in a hundred pages less than the actual length of this book.
Overall, this sequel to the first book in the Gemma Doyle series brought me back to the magical, historical world of Gemma and the problems that she must overcome. While parts seemed to drag on, the book was enjoyable and I will most likely read the last book in the series.
I recommend this book to fans of YA historical fiction. If you like historical fiction with magic and a bit of romance, this book must be added to your to-read list.