Libba Bray’s Rebel Angels is the 2nd book in Bray’s well-loved Gemma Doyle trilogy. Rebel Angels continues the story of Gemma Doyle and her struggle with the magic of the realms, as she tries to fit in at Spence Academy for Girls and moves one step closer to finding her mother’s best friend and killer, Circe.
After such a gripping introduction to Gemma’s story in A Great and Terrible Beauty, you’d think Bray would fall short on the sequel. But instead, Rebel Angels rises above and beyond the first book (and what a GORGEOUS cover!).
As you may know, I love romance and there’s lots of it in this book, as well as a healthy dose of misunderstandings, jealousy and angst. Nothing plays up the importance of one suitor than the introduction of another. Simon Middleton is exactly the sort of gentleman’s son Gemma is expected to marry; he’s handsome, rich, and fits well into the social hierarchy that Gemma herself is expected to follow. Kartik on the other hand is Indian and has no family, except for the Rakshana, an organization that urges Gemma to bind the magic, before chaos reigns and they are forced to kill her.
Unlike other YA books coming out now, the love triangle isn’t that pronounced. Its pronounced in Gemma’s mind, that she has two choices. But both men never have fights or duels with each other, in attempts to claim the girl. Unlike other YA heroines, Gemma thinks she’s torn between two men, but the one who’s meant for her is pretty obvious to the audience. In other words, there’s no fangirl wars over Team Simon or Team Kartik, because honestly, there’s no competition.
Other than the romance, Gemma also struggles with her place in the regular world and in the realms, as friends and enemies flock to her, because she is the one with all the power. Because of this, Gemma is like any other girl; she could have lived in the 19th century or be living now.
And this is what makes Rebel Angels so appealing. If you loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, I urge you to pick up its sequel! You won’t be sorry you did.
So for that: 4/5
Thanks for reading.
‘Till next time,