The Far Sweet Thing by Libba Bray
Date Started: May 6, 2009 Date Finished:May 24, 2009
Summary: The story picks up right where Rebel Angels left off. The girls are back from their vacation to London and ready to go into the realms. They meet Pippa and a small group of factory girls who died in a fire. The Tree of All Souls is a mysterious place in the Winterlands, a place that may hold the key to restoring the magic and maintaining the balance within the realms. As Gemma learns to control the magic, she must pay a price for her power.
Likes: I also like the ambiguity of who is on the good side and who is on the side of evil. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and every scene needs patience and scrutiny to figure out what small clues or minor details are important to the overall plot of the book. Bray carefully weaves in clues, and because we are reading from Gemma's point of view, we might not pick up on them until she does. Gemma's point of view is a refreshing read, it is snarky at times, romantic, and every emotion inbetween. Bray knows how to authentically (in my opinion) represent the many aspects of a girl without making her overly feminine and wispy like some stereotypical female characters or making her an anti-sue that no one can relate to at any level. I liked the relationship between Kartik and Gemma even more in this book. Things start to get pretty deep between them, even if there is a betrayal. Gemma's descent into madness is trippy and insane, but well written and heart pounding. The ending was sad, but bittersweet. It was a little predictable (aside from me reading wikipedia...), but it was well written and enjoyable.
Dislikes: There was a string of coincidences that just seemed entirely too convenient. There were some scenes that could have been cut out, though I'm not entirely sure which scenes those would be, but it would make the book a bit shorter. There are just some points where I wish I could start skimming because some of it is kind of boring to read about. I couldn't tell you which parts where unnecessary because I suppose they fit into the novel as a whole. If you were to dissect the novel apart, it might be easier to tell what parts need to be cut out. Obviously, this is just my personal tastes since I like more action than some of the fluff. During the part with the war between the Borderlands and the Winterlands, there's almost a bit too much going on to focus on just one thing and all the chaos that is going on. I suppose that's what the author wanted, but there are too many characters and too many events going on that it's hard to keep track of.
Overall: This was a fitting end to such a nice and wonderful series. It's sort of hard to end a series that has been going on for so long in a proper manner. It is sort of like Harry Potter, The Ironside Series (or whatever it's called), where it has to end on a pleasant note. You know these characters don't have a "happily ever after", but they are content. Very few people have a fairytale ending due to the choices that we make, the things that are thrust upon us. As they say in the book, you can only move forward.