Title: The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle #3)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Delacorte Books 2009
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: YA; Mount TBR; Semi-Charmed -- trilogy
How I Got It: I own it!
It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.The Order—the mysterious group her mother was once part of—is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.
Overall I really did like this series. I liked Gemma's growth. I liked the world of the Realms, especially the Winterlands. I loved some of the side characters, Kartik, Brigid, Nightwing, Mother Elena, the Gorgon. I fell into the story just as quickly as Gemma fell into visions. I liked that Tom finally saw his sister for she is. I loved that Gemma didn't end up as a corseted prim beauty.
However, I was left with some issues. *spoilers ahead*
- Kartik and Gemma -- The ending left me wanting something different. I don't always need the happily ever after, but this was too bleak and hopeless. And Gemma seemed okay with it! I just couldn't take that.
- Felicity -- I never liked her. Even after knowing her secret, I still didn't like her. She has no excuse to treat others as she did. Gemma started to stand up to her, but at that point Felicity had already been given power.
- Circe -- So was she bad or good? She seemed to redeem herself in the end, but did she. Gemma gave her the spot on the boat. So does that mean that Gemma can never cross over when she dies? I don't think Circe deserved what Gemma gave her.
I have a few issues with the ending. And I think the third book got a bit convuluted with so many red herrings. But I still really enjoyed this trilogy. I feel like I need to read more of Bray's novels. I've heard some good things.