June 9, 2010

Review: A Great And Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

About: Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.

Review: Despite not enjoying Going Bovine, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. I like time period books and this one was interesting with the girl's school, corsets, gypsies and unusual powers. Gemma wasn't an annoying main character either, sometimes I did get angry at her for being stupid, but other than that I liked her. The whole plot and idea of the book was exciting. The last 10 chapters or so kept me up until 2 am reading, wanting to find out more and what happened next. I have already put a hold on Rebel Angels, the next book in the series. Libba Bray, you have redeemed yourself.

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