WARNING: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW FOR A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT!
Author: Libba Bray
Summary (From Amazon): 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.
Review: I absolutely loved this book. I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, so I was really excited when I got this book for Christmas. In this sequel, the characters come even more into their own. Readers accept Felicity as the cold brat who always gets her way and Ann as the mousy sidekick who refuses to stand up for herself. however, some new insights are brought in for all of the characters, which helps you understand a little more about them. I loved how this book didn't just focus on the realms, but on the world outside it as well. Felicity, Ann, and Gemma attend parties and balls and meet fashionable young men, as is normal for teenage girls. Throw in the realms and this book covers everything. The realms are disturbed, and it's up to Gemma to restore the order before the evil spirits of the Winterlands take over for good. Gemma learns a lot about herself and her powers in this book, which I really enjoyed. The characters seemed to be filled in a bit more in this novel. And there are the twists I didn't see coming , which of course I won't spoil for you here. All in all, I liked Rebel Angels even more than A Great and Terrible Beauty. I just started The Sweet Far Thing (The final book in the trilogy), so I'm really excited!
Recommended for: historical fiction junkies, mystery and fantasy lovers, high school age+