Bitty Bookends

Sometimes, all that needs to be said about a book can be summed up by a brief comparison to earlier books in the series. These are that sort of review.

Title: Rebel Angels
Author: Libba Bray
Sequel To: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

As in the first book, I loved the strong heroine. She’s reserved but strong-willed and the exciting but not over-the-top narration is perfect for her character. The beginning of the book dragged a little more than the first one, although I’m not sure if it was really slower or if I was just impatient to get to the awesome I knew was ahead.  I liked that more of the world (both supernatural and real) was revealed as the book progressed. However, the author’s habit of having people speak cryptically when clearer speech would have given them time to explain everything up became frustrating. This book also fell a little more into the typical YA plot device of characters causing their own problems through stupid decisions. That said, it was still a fun read with a supernatural realm nicely complementing the Victorian era setting.

Title: The Sweet Far Thing
Author: Libba Bray
Sequel To: Rebel Angels
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

This third and final book in the Gemma Doyle series was incredibly similar to the second. Maddeningly slow to get started, but with beautiful descriptions of locations. Again, Gemma allows her friends to push her into making stupid decisions and even makes some of her own. This was also by far the worst about stringing you along forever before telling you anything about what was really going on. Although this review is mostly negative, that’s simply because the changes compared to the first book in the series are mostly bad things. I still enjoyed the world the author created and the evocative descriptions. I would definitely recommend the whole series; just don’t expect to like the sequels quite as much as the first book.

Title: Messenger of Truth
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Sequel To:Pardonable Lies
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

The plot of this book was very similar to the other Maisie Dobbs books, with a mystery related to the aftermath of WWI tangled up with a mystery of a more personal nature. Fortunately, the war story in this one felt less dark than in the previous books. We also moved away from the unexpected paranormal element which I disliked in the previous book.  I’ve also started loving the details of the settings which make the time period feel so real, although the attention to detail had made it more difficult for me to get into the first book. Easily my favorite book in the series so far.

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