“Rebel Angels is the second book in Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy. After reading the first book, A Great and Terrible Beauty, I wasn't all that excited to finish the series. I just felt that the book promised something that it couldn't entirely deliver. I'm really glad I gave the series a second chance though, because Rebel Angels was really terrific!
In this sequel, Gemma continues to pursue her destiny as the one who can bring order back to the realms. This book takes place over the winter break for Gemma and her friends Felicity and Ann. After Pippa's death in the first book, Gemma has been too frightened to return to the realms. Now she discovers that she is the only one who can bind the strong magic of the realms, and bring back balance. She must go back through the door of light and find the lost Temple.
But Gemma must be very careful along the way, not everything in the realms (or in the "real world" for that matter) can be trusted. Dark beings are vying for power, beings that refuse to be denied.
Rebel Angels has a complicated and twisting plot. In it we delve further into the magical world of the realms. We are introduced to more interesting characters: the gorgon, punished for her role in the uprising, bound to serve the Order for all time; the untouchables, creatures living in the forbidden Cave of Sighs; the evil poppy warriors, creatures who try to mislead the girls and capture the magic for themselves; and the water nymphs, who sing a siren's song to entrance the girls and steal their skin.
The story is a traditional Gothic terror/suspense, complete with Victorian setting, foggy, misty woods, and even a lunatic asylum. It is extremely well written, rich with imagery, passion, secrets and intrigue, and of course magic. Rebel Angels is a thoroughly enthralling novel, and I was spellbound from almost the first page. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!”