Title: The Sweet Far Thing
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Source: My collection
Plot summary (from The Book Depository):
It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum 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.
Plot summary (from me):
600 pages of pointlessness. 200 pages to wrap up the story. Oh, and there is some kissing. And some magic. But that’s all that sticks with me.
Other Books I’ve Read By Author: A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels (the first two books in the series).
Why I Picked Up This Book: I started it ages ago for Seriespalooza, but basically I just needed to finish the trilogy.
I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike of this book while reading it. I have no idea why this book was 820 pages long. I’m pretty sure I could have skipped the first 600 pages and been fine. I thought the first two books picked up toward the end, and so did this one, but there was just too much before any real action happened. I was annoyed with the characters – I disliked Ann and her whining, Felicity and her selfishness. And Gemma and her “oh what should I do, what should I do” complaints all the time.
My biggest problem with the book was that I don’t think their world was explained well enough so I didn’t care about it or what happened to it. Because Gemma is the story teller and she doesn’t know anything, I didn’t either. Perhaps I just don’t remember the first two books well enough, but I felt like it was all just made up as we went. I want my fictional worlds to be carefully crafted and make sense.
I also was annoyed by all the selfishness that happened in the book. I know they’re only teenagers and maybe I’ve just watched too many episodes of Charmed, but I’m a believer in the idea that the people who hold magic should not use it for personal gain. I was annoyed by all the scheming.
The only thing that kept me going (besides the need to finish the trilogy) was the Gemma-Kartik storyline. I did want to know what happened with them.
“Peace is not happenstance. It is a living fire that must be fed constantly. It must be tended to with vigilance, else it dies out.” p. 301
Will I Read This Author Again?: Possibly, but I won’t go out of my way.