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Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2) Paperback – December 26, 2006


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Rebel Angels  (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2) + The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3) + A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385733410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385733410
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this sequel to the Victorian fantasy A Great and Terrible Beauty, Gemma continues to pursue her role as the one destined to bind the magic of the Realms and restore it to the Order--a mysterious group who have been overthrown by a rebellion. Gemma, Felicity and Ann, (her girlfriends at Spence Academy for Young Ladies), use magical power to transport themselves on visits from their corseted world to the visionary country of the Realms, with its strange beauty and menace. There they search for the lost Temple, the key to Gemma's mission, and comfort Pippa, their friend who has been left behind in the Realms. After these visits they bring back magical power for a short time to use in their own world. Meanwhile, Gemma is torn between her attraction to the exotic Kartik, the messenger from the opposing forces of the Rakshana, and the handsome but clueless Simon, a young man of good family who is courting her. The complicated plot thickens when Gemma discovers a woman in Bedlam madhouse who knows where to find the Temple; Ann shows signs of being enamored of Gemma's loutish brother Tom, and their father's addiction to laudanum lands him in an opium den. A large part of the enjoyment of this unusual fantasy comes from the Victorian milieu and its restrictive rules about the behavior of proper young ladies, as contrasted with the unimaginable possibilities of the Realms, where Gemma has power to confront gorgons and ghosts and the responsibility to save a world. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–At the end of A Great and Terrible Beauty (Delacorte, 2003), Gemma Doyle was determined to rebuild the Order and find and destroy Circe. Now the teen finds that she must do one more thing–find the Temple and bind the magic she released into the realms when she destroyed the runes. Her task will not be easy; Kartik and the Rakshana have their own plans, which threaten her; a mysterious new teacher may be Circe; and Christmas in London challenges the careful facades that Gemma and her friends Ann and Felicity have built. Dark things are stirring within the realms, including a possibly corrupted Pippa, and the only guides are Gemma's horrifying visions of three girls and the gibberish of a girl confined to Bedlam. Like the first volume, this is a remarkable fantasy steeped in Victorian sensibility; even as the girls fight to bind the magic, they are seduced by London society and the temptation to be proper young ladies. Gemma and her friends are pitch perfect as young women in a world poised for change, uncertain of their places. In many ways, this volume surpasses the first. The writing never falters, and the revelations (such as Felicity's childhood of abuse, discreetly revealed) only strengthen the characters. Clever foreshadowing abounds, and clues to the mystery of Circe may have readers thinking they have figured everything out; they will still be surprised. This volume does not stand alone; however, any collection that doesn't already have the first should just get both volumes.–Karyn N. Silverman, Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

author spotlight
"I'm one of those people who has to write. If I don't write, I feel itchy and depressed and cranky. So everybody's glad when I write and stop complaining already."-Libba Bray

Libba Bray is the author of the acclaimed A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama..." and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor. I could tell you the facts-I lived in Texas for most of my life; I live in New York City with my husband and five-year-old son now; I have freckles and a lopsided smile; I'm allergic to penicillin.

But that doesn't really give you much insight into me. That doesn't tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I'd have to go to the ER and have it cut out. Or that I once sang a punk version of "Que Sera Sera" onstage in New York City. Or that I made everyone call me "Bert" in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of. See what I mean?

God is in the details. So with that in mind, here is my bio. Sort of.

TWENTY-ONE THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME
by Libba Bray

1. I lived in Texas until I was 26 years old, then I moved to New York City with $600.00 in my shoe ('cause muggers won't take it out of your shoe, y'know . . . riiiiight . . .) and a punchbowl (my grandmother's gift) under my arm. I ended up using the punchbowl box as an end table for two years.

2. My dad was a Presbyterian minister. Yes, I am one of those dreaded P.K.s-Preacher's Kids. Be afraid. Be very afraid . . .

3. The first story I ever wrote, in Mrs. McBee's 6th grade English class, was about a girl whose family is kidnapped and held hostage by a murderous lot of bank robbers who intend to kill the whole family-including the dog-until the 12-year-old heroine foils the plot and saves the day. It included colored pencil illustrations of manly-looking, bearded criminals smoking, and, oblivious to the fact that The Beatles had already sort of laid claim to the title, I called my novel, HELP. My mom still has a copy. And when I do something she doesn't like, she threatens to find it.

4. My favorite word is "redemption." I like both its meaning and the sound. My least favorite word is "maybe." "Maybe" is almost always a "no" drawn out in cruel fashion.

5. My three worst habits are overeating, self-doubt, and the frequent use of the "f" word.

6. The three things I like best about myself are my sense of humor, my ability to listen, and my imagination.

7. I have an artificial left eye. I lost my real eye in a car accident when I was eighteen. In fact, I had to have my entire face rebuilt because I smashed it up pretty good. It took six years and thirteen surgeries. However, I did have the pleasure of freezing a plastic eyeball in an ice cube, putting it in a friend's drink, ("Eyeball in your highball?") and watching him freak completely. Okay, so maybe that's not going down on my good karma record. But it sure was fun.

8. In 7th grade, my three best friends and I dressed up as KISS and walked around our neighborhood on Halloween. Man, we were such dorks.

9. I once spent New Year's Eve in a wetsuit. I'd gone to the party in a black dress that was a little too tight (too many holiday cookies) and when I went to sit down, the dress ripped up the back completely. Can we all say, mortified? The problem was, my friends were moving out of their house-everything was packed and on a truck-and there was nothing I could put on . . . but a wetsuit that they still had tacked to the wall. I spent the rest of the party maneuvering through throngs of people feeling like a giant squid.

10. I got married in Florence, Italy. My husband and I were in love but totally broke, so we eloped and got married in Italy, where he was going on a business trip. We had to pull a guy off the street to be our witness. It was incredibly romantic. Florence is still one of my favorite cities in the world.

11. I often write in longhand and type it into the computer later, editing as I go. Sitting in my favorite coffeehouse with a new notebook and a hot cup of java is my idea of heaven.

12. I'm related to Davy Crockett on my mom's side. Honest.

13. I grew up doing theatre and spent a long time as a playwright. I still think very visually when I write.

14. Some of my favorite movies of all time (subject to change when I think of other movies I love) are All About Eve, Brazil, Blade Runner, Spinal Tap, Citizen Kane, Harold & Maude, To Kill a Mockingbird, Singin' in the Rain, and probably a million more that I can't think of right now. I have never made it through The Wizard of Oz without crying. Not once.

15. Naming my favorite books feels like naming a favorite child-impossible. But here's my list of some Y.A. books I love as of 4:03pm today. Tithe by Holly Black. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 33 Snowfish by Adam Rapp. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (not really Y.A. but I read it when I was 16 and it rocked my world). Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Here's what's on my nightstand to read: The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. Acceleration by Graham McNamee. The Literary Opus of Daniel Elam by Daniel Elam. By the Time You Finish this Book You Might Be Dead by Aaron Zimmerman.

16. I love to be scared. Not "hey, I think I smell smoke . . ." scared, but creepy, paranoid, what's-that-out-there-in-the-dark, ghost story scared. It's no surprise that I was the girl who got invited to the slumber parties because I could be counted on to tell a tale to scare the bejesus out of you.

17. In homage to a book I just read entitled, FIVE MEN WHO BROKE MY HEART, I submit: The first boy who broke my heart (age 6) didn't want to sit next to me because I'd wet my pants in reading circle once and he thought I was gross. Damn my small bladder! The second boy who broke my heart (age 16) was a drummer with a band (the start of a trend, folks...) and he threw me over for a really cool chick I couldn't even bring myself to hate. The third boy who broke my heart (ages 20--24, ay yi yi . . .) was a strapping hunk of bodaciousness with the mind of Einstein. We had the exact same birthday, same year and everything. So the time he forgot to wish me a happy birthday was kind of the beginning of the end, I think. The fourth boy who broke my heart (age 25) was also a drummer. I had to stop with the drummers. The fifth boy . . . well, I married him, and if he breaks my heart, I'm going to burn all his favorite, rare import punk vinyl in the middle of the living room, so he's been warned.

18. I'm one of those people who has to write. If I don't write, I feel itchy and depressed and cranky. So everybody's glad when I write and stop complaining already.

19. My Pennsylvania Dutch great-great-great grandmother was supposedly a psychic who could see and speak to the dead. Sort of a witch, I guess. Her husband was an undertaker, and she would have these visions of someone bringing in a string of a particular size (people were measured for their coffins in this way) and it would come true. Creepy stuff, but fascinating.

20. If I were stuck on a deserted island, the five indispensable CDs I'd take would be London Calling by the Clash, Quadrophenia by The Who, Aretha Franklin's Greatest Hits, To Venus and Back by Tori Amos, and Elvis Costello's Greatest Hits.

21. I hate doughnuts. Weird but true.

Customer Reviews

Great book i'm starting the third one and i cant wait I hope its just as good.
Pampered Prepper
I really enjoyed this book, the characters were very real, the plot was twisting and keeps you holding your breath till the very end.
Liberal_Artist
This book was impossible to put down and I read it in a day, despite its hefty size (548 pages).
Kelli of I'd So Rather Be Reading

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A Great and Terrible Beauty was one of the best literary revelations I've had this year. I couldn't wait to pick up the sequel, Rebel Angels. Again, Libba Bray has failed to disappoint me. No sophomore slump here! In this wonderful follow-up to Beauty, Gemma Doyle is getting ready for Christmas and a break from the Spence Academy. This is her first Christmas in London after spending all of her life in India. She looks forward to attending tea parties and balls and traveling around in the city with her friends, Ann and Felicity. Despite her friends' protests, she has left the realms behind and is living a normal life. That is until Kartik, sent by the Rakshana, resurfaces and tells her that the magic of the realms is loose for anyone to grab and this could cause chaos. She had shattered the runes that kept the magic safe and things in order (this happened in Beauty). And now Gemma, with the help of Felicity and Ann, must return to the realms and find the Temple that will put everything in order again. But she will face many obstacles. The Rakshana want the magic for themselves, a mysterious and suspicious new teacher appears at the Spence Academy, and Circe is still on the loose. There are various twists throughout the novel.

This is a wonderful continuation to A Great and Terrible Beauty. It is just as dark, gothic and fanciful as the aforementioned novel. In this offering, the author tightens up the loose ends left in the previous book but leaves new story possibilities for the next installment. The reader gets many answers regarding the realms, that beautiful and wonderful place where all dreams are possible. I was right about the person I had suspected was Circe since the first book. I am pleased with that development.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Michelle G. Heinrich on September 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Libba Bray has lived up to my greatest expectations with her sequel to A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. More precisely, REBEL ANGELS is the second installment of what is proving to be a well-crafted and nicely plotted trilogy. In this second novel, we are allowed to see the lives of Gemma, Ann and Felicity outside of their finishing school (Spence) as well as outside of the realms. It is generally accurate upper-class Victorian world of dinner parties, teas and evenings at the opera spiced with the gothic-fantasy intrigue of magic and mystery. As I had hoped, Bray further develops her characters - and not just the endearing Gemma. We gain insight into Felicity, Ann, Kartik and even Gemma's brother, Tom. These characters become more complex and compelling as the story progresses and I would imagine that many of those who found the characters to be less-than likable in BEAUTY will find them more appealing. The central plot line revolve around Gemma's quest to find The Temple, now abandoned by The Order, and bind the magic that she freed in the first installment, but the subplots, including a budding romance, the health of Gemma's father and a particularly delightful scheme to present Ann as a member of aristocratic society are just as compelling as what goes on in the magic of the realms. Pippa returns as well, although even more mystery surrounds her new spirit-self.

I must commend Ms. Bray on walking a careful and thoughtful like between historical accuracy and pure enjoyment. While she takes a few historical liberties (for example, the freedom with which Gemma moves about in London), she seems to do so in order to maintain a sense of adventure that modern readers would be able to relate to.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By pickaclover on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Let's go back, few years, summer 2003. I received gift cards to my favorite book store, and they were just BURNING a hole in my pocket. I toddle my way over to the Young Adult section, popping between rows and rows of everyday, seen that 10 times, novels. There was a neat stack in the corner, a pile of books that seemed odd to me. The cover was of a girl in a corset, red hair in a loose knot on the back of her head. Corsets are always amusing. I pick up the book, read the little expert. Ponder. Think. To get it, not to get it. Spend $17.95, not to spend $17.95. Finally, with a slightly off tempo mother huffing for me to "Hurry up and just buy a book!", I snatched the book and bought it.

Oh. My. God.

I cannot even describe the adventures that Libba Bray has not only accomplished to tell, but made believable. The heroin is not your average, "perfect hair, perfect skin, everyone loves her, people adore her, she has power and wealth"....hoity toity snooby rich girl finishing school product. She is a rebel, with the right amount of ingredients to make her less than perfect. She's not super pretty, in a world ruled by the fair and the dark haired, Gemma is a red-head with a mass of freckles. In a world with outgoing feminist, and stay-at-home wifes, Gemma strives to find a perfect balance where she can speak her mind, and not have the world on her shoulder.

But she does. In a perfect blend of fantasy, Gemma finds a world with everything you can imagine. Grass turns into butterflies, rocks are diamonds. The Relams, a secret garden version of a magical world, only opened to the women of the "Order", a old cultish like group with special powers.
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