Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty - book 1

In 1885, Gemma Doyle, her mother and Indian servant are passing through Bombay's market district to have tea and cake at Mrs. Talbot's house for her sixteenth birthday. Gemma is in a foul mood because she wishes she was in London with her grandmother to begin her life in society. When a dark-cloaked Indian man and his younger companion exit a train, Gemma realizes she is slightly attracted to the young man even though she shouldn't be. The older man tells Gemma's mother that "Circe is near" and she becomes horror-stricken. Gemma's mother gives her the necklace she always wears, a cresent moon with an eye above it, as a bribe to leave. Gemma is sent home but not before she tells her mother that she doesn't care if she comes home at all.

Gemma becomes lost on the way home and two men are terrified of her necklace. In her wanderings, Gemma once again encounters the young cloaked man when she is overtaken by a spell where is is no longer concerned with losing her virtue but her life. While unconscious, Gemma sees her mother being followed into a shop that bears the same moon and eye symbol as her necklace. There in desperation, Gemma's mother kills herself.

Two months later, Gemma's brother Tom is taking her to finishing school at Spence Academy to become a marriable woman. On their way through the slums of London, their carriage is stopped by a man and woman who argue with the driver. While stopped, Gemma has another vision similiar to the one she had when her mother died. A young girl tells her that Mary is looking for her but so is It. A hideous shadow creature appears and Gemma comes back to reality and tells the couple to leave and the carriage to continue. Tom is taken aback as that is no way for a young lady to behave. As they approach Spence, a gypsy woman appears and when she sees that it is Gemma, says "Oh, but it's you. You've come back to me." Gemma is thrown when she asks her where is Carolina and calls that "Mother Elena sees everything."

Upon her arrival at Spence Academy, Gemma finds it to be unwelcome place. Mrs. Nightwing, the headmistress, introduces Gemma to her classmates. Right away she notices a small group of girls about her age. One is a beautiful brunette but the blonde in the clique seems to be the leader. Gemma walks to evening prayers with her new roommate, Ann Bradshaw. Ann is an orphan who is a scholarship student at the school to become a governess. She soon learns that the two girls are Felicity and Pippa and are downright cruel. Felicity's clique of girls play a horrible trick on Ann after dinner but Gemma stands up for Ann and turns the tables on Felicity. Later in the night, Felicity comes to Gemma's room for a midnight initiation to their group. The girls take Gemma to the chapel to steal some of the communion wine to prove her worth. When she enters the chapel, she is locked in. Paybacks for standing up for Ann earlier in the evening. Gemma soon realizes that she is not alone in the chapel. The young dark-cloaked man from India who found her in the streets is there. He tells her his name is Kartik. He has followed her from India and wants to know the story of her mother's death. His brother was killed by the monster and tells Gemma to work to make her visions stop. They will be watching her. Gemma takes the wine and flees back to school before the vicar finds her.

On Gemma's way back to the schol, she runs into the young girl from her vision in London. Gemma follows her to a cave where she finds the dairy of Mary Dowd hidden behind a rock. Mary writes of having peaceful visions so unlike Gemma's. Later Gemma has a vision of her mother and awakes to find a piece of her mother's dress in her hand. But the tables are turned in Gemma's favor when she discovers a terrible secret of Felicity's. Will Gemma be able to stop her visions or will she try and embrace them? Who is Kartik and why does he want her to stop? What is the symbolism of the necklace Gemma's mother gave her? Do Gemma and Felicity become best friends or mortal enemies? And who is Circe and what does she want with Gemma? What secrets must Gemma unlock to learn the truth not only about herself but her other's past?

Rebel Angels - Book 2 of Gemma Doyle

SPOILER ALERT!!  Kartik has been given his orders by the brotherhood of the Rakshana. He must gain Gemma's favor and help her find the temple in the realm, the true source of the Order's power.

It is Christmastime at Spence Academy and Gemma is going home to London to celebrate with her family. Along with her closest friends can she accomplish what must be done in the realms and bind the magic in the temple? And can Gemma survive the ultimate fight against Circe when her true identity is revealed? And what choice must Gemma make when the charming and handsome Simon Middleton enters the picture?

The Sweet Far Thing - Book 3 of Gemma Doyle

SPOILER ALERT!! The conclusion of Gemma Doyle's story as she figures out who to trust and not, the mysteries of the Relams and who she is. Lots of shocking plot twists to keep the reader on the edge of your seat until the very end. The last 200 pages will be hard to put down.

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