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1 Local Warehouse Children's Young Adult- General

Rebel Angels

by

Rebel Angels Cover

ISBN13: 9780385733410
ISBN10: 0385733410
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

December 1895

Spence Academy for Young Ladies

Ah, Christmas!

The very mention of the holiday conjures such precious, sentimental memories for most: a tall evergreen tree hung with tinsel and glass; gaily wrapped presents strewn about; a roaring fire and glasses filled with cheer; carolers grouped round the door, their jaunty hats catching the snow as it falls; a nice fat goose resting upon a platter, surrounded by apples. And of course, fig pudding for dessert.

Right. Jolly good. I should like to see that very much.

These images of Christmas cheer are miles away from where I sit now, at the Spence Academy for Young Ladies, forced to construct a drummer boy ornament using only tinfoil, cotton, and a small bit of string, as if performing some diabolical experiment in cadaver regeneration. Mary Shelley's monster could not be half so frightening as this ridiculous thing. The figure will not remind a soul of Christmas happiness. More likely, it will reduce children to tears.

"This is impossible," I grumble. I elicit no pity from any quarter. Even Felicity and Ann, my two dearest friends, which is to say my only friends here, will not come to my aid. Ann is determined to turn wet sugar and small bits of kindling into an exact replica of the Christ child in a manger. She seems to take no notice of anything beyond her own two hands. For her part, Felicity turns her cool gray eyes to me as if to say, Suffer. I am.

No, instead, it is the beastly Cecily Temple who answers me. Dear, dear Cecily, or as I affectionately refer to her in the privacy of my mind, She Who Inflicts Misery Simply by Breathing.

"I cannot fathom what is giving you such trouble, Miss Doyle. Really, it is the simplest thing in the world. Look, I've done four already." She holds out her four perfect tinfoil boys for inspection. There is a round of oohing and aahing over their beautifully shaped arms, the tiny woolen scarves--knit by Cecily's capable hands, but of course--and those delicate licorice smiles that make them seem overjoyed to be hanging by the neck from a Christmas tree.

Two weeks until Christmas and my mood blackens by the hour. The tinfoil boy seems to be begging me to shoot him. Compelled by a force larger than myself, I cannot seem to keep from placing the crippled ornament boy on the side table and performing a little show. I move the ugly thing, forcing him to drag his useless leg like Mr. Dickens's treacly Tiny Tim.

"God bless us, every one," I warble in a pathetic, high-pitched voice.

This is greeted by horrified silence. Every eye is averted. Even Felicity, who is not known as the soul of decorum, seems cowed. Behind me, there is the familiar sound of a throat being cleared in grand disapproval. I turn to see Mrs. Nightwing, Spence's frosty headmistress, staring down at me as if I were a leper. Blast.

"Miss Doyle, do you suppose that to be humorous? Making light of the very real pain of London's unfortunates?"

"I--I . . . why . . ."

Mrs. Nightwing peers at me over her spectacles. Her graying pouf of hair is like a nimbus warning of the storm to come.

"Perhaps, Miss Doyle, if you were to spend time in service to the poor, wrapping bandages as I once did in my own youth during the Crimean War, you would acquire a healthy and much-needed dose of sympathy."

"Y-yes, Mrs. Nightwing. I don't know how I could have been so unkind," I blabber.

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Felicity and Ann hunched over their ornaments as if they were fascinating relics from an archeological dig. I note that their shoulders are trembling, and I realize that they are fighting laughter over my terrible plight. There's friendship for you.

"For this you shall lose ten good conduct marks and I shall expect you to perform an act of charity during the holiday as penance."

"Yes, Mrs. Nightwing."

"You shall write a full account of this charitable act and tell me how it has enriched your character."

"Yes, Mrs. Nightwing."

"And that ornament needs much work."

"Yes, Mrs. Nightwing."

"Have you any questions?"

"Yes, Mrs. Nightwing. I meant, no, Mrs. Nightwing. Thank you."

An act of charity? Over the holiday? Would enduring time with my brother, Thomas, count toward that end? Blast. I've done it now.

"Mrs. Nightwing?" The sheer sound of Cecily's voice could make me froth at the mouth. "I hope these are satisfactory. I do so want to be of service to the unfortunate."

It's possible that I shall lose consciousness from holding back a very loud Ha! at this. Cecily, who never misses an opportunity to tease Ann about her scholarship status, wants nothing to do with the poor. What she does want is to be Mrs. Nightwing's lapdog.

Mrs. Nightwing holds Cecily's perfect ornaments up to the light for inspection. "These are exemplary, Miss Temple. I commend you."

Cecily gives a very smug smile. "Thank you, Mrs. Nightwing."

Ah, Christmas.

With a heavy sigh, I take apart my pathetic ornament and begin again. My eyes burn and blur. I rub them but it does no good. What I need is sleep, but sleep is the very thing I fear. For weeks, I've been haunted by wicked warnings of dreams. I cannot remember much when I awaken, only snatches here and there. A sky roiling with red and gray. A painted flower dripping tears of blood. Strange forests of light. My face, grave and questioning, reflected in water. But the images that stay with me are of her, beautiful and sad.

"Why did you leave me here?" she cries, and I cannot answer. "I want to come back. I want us to be together again." I break away and run, but her cry finds me. "It's your fault, Gemma! You left me here! You left me!"

That is all I remember when I wake each morning before dawn, gasping and covered in perspiration, more tired than when I went to bed. They are only dreams. Then why do they leave me feeling so troubled?

From the Hardcover edition.

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chocochic53, December 9, 2007 (view all comments by chocochic53)
After reading A Great and Terrible Beauty, I was dying to see what happened to these awesome characters and I was not disappointed when Rebel Angels came out. At some points I get a little confused in the fantasy of the story, but everything works out in the end and I definitely recommend this book to any girl who love a page turning book with strong, adventurous, female characters.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385733410
Author:
Bray, Libba
Publisher:
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Boarding schools
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Magic
Subject:
Bedtime & Dreams
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy
Publication Date:
20061231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
8.03x5.22x1.25 in. 1.00 lbs.
Age Level:
12-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Rebel Angels Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 576 pages Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - English 9780385733410 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Although Bray's follow-up to A Great and Terrible Beauty feels a bit like a bridge between the launch and the next installment in her series, fans of the author's first novel will nonetheless remain enthralled by Gemma Doyle's latest adventure. In the first chapter, narrated by Kartik, the handsome Rakshana novitiate with whom Gemma flirted in the last book, members of his brotherhood give him a charge: to find the Temple within the realms, secure its power for the Rakshana and then kill Gemma. Gemma then narrates the balance of the novel, as classmates Felicity and Ann set forth to locate the Temple in order to bind up the realms' powers (unleashed when Gemma destroyed the runes at the close of the last book). However, they discover that the runes' destruction has set the magic in chaos; classmate Pippa (trapped in the realms in the last book) looks more beautiful than ever — why did she not have 'to cross'? Can she be trusted? Such questions of trust plague Gemma. What is Kartik's motive in signing on as her father's driver? Plus, a mysterious new teacher arrives who may or may not be Circe (whom Gemma blames for her mother's death), and Gemma's brother, who works at a mental hospital, leads the teen to a patient who may know how to locate the Temple. Gemma's and Ann's love interests, meanwhile, further mine the theme of Victorian class and society. Bray provides a satisfying ending, yet she implies a further struggle for power. Fans will want to stay tuned. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Bray realizes the time period not only in her skillfully embedded descriptions of sounds, textures, and smells, but also by evoking the social framework within which Gemma must move, at least while above ground."
"Review" by , "[R]eaders will sink into her compelling, well-paced story...and relish the combination of historical novel and imaginative fantasy world building."
"Review" by , "[H]as enough mystery and excitementto thrill the most critical readers."
"Review" by , "Filled with darkness and fear, the story also tells of friendship and love, reliance and rebellion. Every family has its secrets and those in this story are no different, but also very different."
"Review" by , "Bray realizes the time period not only in her skillfully embedded descriptions of sounds, textures, and smells, but also by evoking the social framework within which Gemma must move."
"Review" by , "Gemma's shivery adventures, lacking easy answers, make for an exciting mystical quest."
"Synopsis" by , As Spence Academy student Gemma Doyle prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, with her friends in London, she experiences intense visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened — something only the realms can explain.
"Synopsis" by , Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.

The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .

This sumptuous companion to A Great and Terrible Beauty teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the rich backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light . . . where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.

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