Libba Bray’s The Sweet Far Thing (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #3)


Jorie’s Store – The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3)

Title and Author(s):  The Sweet Far Things (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #3)
Release Date:
 Dec 26, 2007
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780375890604
Pages: 819
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: Hey, I wanted to find out how it all ended for Gemma Doyle and her friends!

Spoiler Alert: Readers must read A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels before reading this review.

Summary: As sixteen-year old Gemma Doyle prepares for her London debut in 1896, she also copes with harsh realities: her mother’s murder the previous summer, her father’s addiction to laudanum, and her magical powers in the Realms being solely hers. Many both worlds will do anything for Gemma’s magic. Compounding the issue is the absence of  her reluctant friend, former Rakshana brotherhood member Kartik. In this otherworldly coming of age saga, Gemma must figure out who she is and her place in it all before all Hell breaks loose.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s The Sweet Far ThingI didn’t think that “nice girls” became actresses at the time. I thought this attitude was quite progressive for Victorian London.

What I Liked: They’re kids and they’re trying to figure out who they are. They are also trying to find their place in the world.

What I Disliked: Did this book really need to be 819 pages? Couldn’t this been expanded to a quartet? After page 700, this became work for me to read. That’s not good.

Song: The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army 

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Libba Bray’s Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2)


Jorie’s Store – Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)

Title and Author(s):  Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2)
Release Date:
 August 23, 2005
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0385730292
Pages: 560
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: Well, I finished A Great and Terrible Beauty and I wanted to know what happened next to Gemma and her friends.

Spoiler Alert: Readers must read A Great and Terrible Beauty before reading this review.

Summary: It’s Christmas 1895 and Gemma can’t wait to going to London, having fun with friends Felicity and Ann,  filling her dance card at holiday balls, and spending time with her family. Setting the fact that her father is unwell and her grandma is consumed with worry, Gemma manages to enjoy her time. Simon Middleton, Lord Denby, is dazzled by Gemma and begins to pursue her. However, Gemma is also pursued by three ghostly girls. They can only be from the realms. So, Gemma takes Felicity and Ann to the magical realms. They are reunited with Pippa in the realms but all is not well. Kartik has returned, ordering Gemma to find the Temple in the realms and to bind the magic. Now, Gemma must face all of her fears – the apparitions, her father’s opium addiction, and her late mother’s foe – Circe.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s Rebel AngelsI didn’t know that the infamous Bedlam Hospital hosted balls for its patients.

What I Liked: Gemma was definitely a teenager. She was trying to figure out who she was and how she fit into the real world and the realms. I liked how she ultimately chooses the right thing.

What I Disliked: This book seemed like work. I enjoyed reading the first book but this one wasn’t as fascinating to me. Also, I didn’t care much for the book beginning with Kartik’s voice. These books are referred to as the Gemma Doyle Trilogy for a reason, right?

Song: Loreena McKennitt – Mystic Dream

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Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1)


Jorie’s Store – A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)

(Written 17 February 2013)

Title and Author(s):  A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1)
Release Date:
 December 09, 2003
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780375890499
Pages: 432
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: When I installed the Overdrive Digital Media App on my Nook Tablet, I quickly sought available fiction. When I saw Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty listed as available, I checked out the book and downloaded it sans USB cable. It felt good, too!

Summary: Life seems a bore for teenaged Gemma Doyle. Her parents won’t let her be part of London society but keep her in India. Then, on 21 June 1895, Gemma’s sixteenth birthday, a scary creature scares her mother and her mother commits suicide. So, Gemma is shipped off to Spence Academy for Young Ladies, outside of London. Gemma suffers loneliness, guilt, and ominous visions. She doesn’t immediately make friends and seems to have a young Indian man stalking her. Soon, Gemma gains three friends – fearless Felicity Worthington, beautiful Pippa Cross, and talented Ann Bradshaw. She also learns that coming to Spence, the visions, and the talisman her mother left her are all connected.

A Great and Terrible Beauty begins the three-part saga which follows Gemma and her friends into a story about destiny, power, friendship, and duty.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible BeautyThe British subjects abroad didn’t have to regularly attend church.

What I Liked: Bray knew Gemma Doyle well. She expressed herself in a believable way. I knew a teenager narrated the story. Gemma also defended and brought her roommate – scholarship student Ann Bradshaw into an inner circle at Spence.

What I Disliked: Sometimes, the words seemed anachronistic. I wondered if Gemma or her friends would truly say certain things in 1895.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Loreena McKennitt – The Mummers’ Dance Official video – YouTube

Setting: Bombay India, London UK, England

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