Gemma Doyle Trilogy Review


After reading the entire trilogy I decided instead of reviewing each book individually like I normally do, I'd just review them all together.

A Great and Terrible Beauty
This was my first Libba Bray book ever and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. This was also my favorite book in the series, which I don't think I can say about any other first book. I did feel like the characters were a little flat. They all had their set personalities and they never really did anything outside of them.

I hated that Gemma thought she could touch the crystals despite her mom's warnings and everything would be fine and dandy. I loved the twist ending that I didn't see coming.

Overall: 10/10 Good book with a great premise and voice

Rebel Angels
This is the book where the characters really started to drive me insane. I hated that Felicity always wanted to go into the realms and have fun without a care to what would happen if something went wrong. I also knew right away Pippa had been corrupted so it drove me insane that it took them all of this book and most of the third to finally get it through their heads.

I love the introduction of the anagrams. Very clever.

I loved the twist that Miss Moore is Circe. I always felt like there was something strange about her, but I couldn't figure out what it was. The only thing about the ending that bothered me was Gemma worrying about having Nell's blood on her hands. Nell told her to "save an arrow for me." She knew it would end like this. Gemma's about as guilty for killing Nell as Snape is guilty of killing Dumbledore. Gemma's guilt made sense, but I would have liked it if she'd just once thought back to Nell's words.

Overall: 9/10

The Sweet Far Thing
This book took me two weeks to read, probably because of the large amount of time I spent yelling at it. If it wasn't a library book, I would have thrown it against the wall at least three times. I kept waiting for the main characters to evolve, but they didn't until the very end. For example, it bothered me when the river boy says "She's no beauty" in reference to Gemma and it bothers her while she's disguised as a boy. If she's supposed to look like a boy, of course she's not going to be a beauty. Despite her annoying qualities, Gemma does have her awesome moments of cleverness. I love when she punches out Tom.

There were only two reasons I made it to the end of this book: 1) I had to know how it ended, and 2) Kartik. I love Kartik. The scene in the Caves of Sighs somehow made the entire book worth reading. I still can't believe the only character I loved becomes the Tree of All Souls. I started sobbing when Gemma goes to visit the tree and she hears her name in the breeze blowing through the leaves.

Overall: 7.5 I honestly don't know what I think about the conclusion.

Series Overall
I enjoyed it and I'm glad that I read it. I'll be looking for more of Libba Bray's work soon. I just wish that her characters hadn't gotten on my nerves this much.


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