The Sweet Far Thing - Libba Bray
This is the last book of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. It is the longest of the three and it happens to be the weakest. I found myself constantly annoyed with Gemma throughout this book. She makes so many choices that are so obviously wrong I couldn't help but groan. I kept trying to remind myself that she is supposed to be 17 and a typical 17-year-old would make these stupid choices but Gemma isn't the typical 17 year old. She's been through a lot and it feels as if the lessons from the past 2 books have failed to stick. It doesn't feel as if she's grown any between the first book and this one.The action is revved up a bit in this book, particularly in the realms which leads me to the second thing that bothered me a lot about this book. The conflict in the realms is so much more interesting and seemingly more urgent than the conflict going on in the real world. The girls are basically preparing to make their debuts and leave school and become adults. They're learning table manners and how to curtsy and all the things that made good Victorian wives. There will be one chapter set in the realms where people's lives are at stake quickly followed by another chapter set in our world where Gemma's ability not to snap at gossipers is the only thing at stake. On one hand I want to believe that Bray does this on purpose to help us see the difference between the life of power and action the girls lead in the realms versus the one of pettiness they are expected to lead in their world. However, there are many times where the two seemed to be given equal weight especially near the end of the book. There are several chapters where horrible things start to happen in the realms, things that you would think demanded immediate action but are followed by several chapters of Gemma playing nice and going about her life in the real world. It slowed the book down a lot and made the last half of the book harder to get through.The one thing I hated the most about this book is what Bray did to the character of Felicity. I've always found her such an intriguing character. She's selfish and yet fiercely loyal and dangerously attracted to power. You can never really tell if she is friend or foe to Gemma. She's very similar to Circe. In previous books she's often motivated by her desire to possess the magic and to be a powerful woman in charge of her own life. In this book she's motivated The love story may not be what most people expect, which I do applaud Bray for, but all the same, she spends the majority of the book desperately trying to save her lover. She's less of the fierce warrior she's been in the past two books and more like a lovesick puppy. Some may say it adds dimension to her character and seeing her struggle with her sexuality was interesting, but I found her character sort of weak and a lot less interesting in this book.I did like Ann is this book however. She's the first person to realize that she can't use magic to change her life. That only she can do it and of the three girls she's the one who has to fight the hardest and she really does grow a lot in this book. Gemma and Kartik's relationship was also done very nicely. Their love appears genuine and not forced.Overall the book is okay especially if you've read the other two. Just make sure you read the other two first. If this book is your introduction to the series you might be disappointed.