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The Sweet Far Thing (2007)

The Sweet Far Thing (2007)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 4
0385730306 (ISBN13: 9780385730303)
delacorte press
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The Sweet Far Thing (2007)
The Sweet Far Thing (2007)

About book: I was not impressed with this last book in the triology. It did not end well for me. Here are my issues with it (many of which have already been touched upon by other reviers)...- Too darn long. Seriously. I don't mind reading long books, but only when it doesn't -feel- like a long book. You can give me a book thousand pages long and I will keep reading if it engages me. This book did not engage me. It felt long. I wasn't caught up. There were far too many unessecary characters and subplots that did not add to the overall story, but rather detracted from it. I felt as if Bray wasn't quite sure what she wanted her story to be at the end of the day, so she just threw in every speck of inspiration she had into it without truly sorting it out and polishing it into a coherent conclusion.- The characters don't really develop. I still feel that Felicity, Ann and Pippa were just as selfish fair weather friends as they were when the first book began. I was hoping that the dynamics of their relationship would have began to have some actual depth. But they stayed shallow. I never got the sense that these girls were true friends by the end of the day.- Issues being thrown in haphazardly. More specifically the topic of Felicity sexual abuse and the homosexuality between Fee and Pippa. I think it's great that Bray choose to tackle such emotional issues, but they weren't really developed and instead were just thrown in. The homosexuality comes a bit out of left field. Pippa seems completely hetrosexual from the start - she's always wishing for a knight. She dreams of living the life of a fairy tale princess. Now, Fee I can understand her homosexuality especially as a result of the abuse. But I think that dynamic would have been more interesting to explore - if Fee were gay and not Pippa... having Fee in love with Pippa without Pippa knowing about it would have made it so much stronger and more realistic. It also would have given a chance to get a bit more into Fee's mind, I think. She just didn't develop or explore either issue.- Too much "vagina power" centered rawwrrrr-ing for me. Bray came off as far too heavy handed about feminism that it bordered on propaganda dribble. I don't like when authors beat me over the head with their political viewpoints. The previous two books did a much better job of conveying that tone and message without going as overboard as this one did.- The entire end and realms sequences didn't make much sense. For one thing, there was just too much going on. Every minute of the day was an epic battle or situation. There was such little down time from it that there was no build up. No progression. It's just one series of "But then THIS happened!". Futhermore, I never got an understanding of the realms or the magic. Gemma never really understands it either and by the end she really should. She makes one bad decision after another, it gets way too frustrating. It felt like the author was caught up in having a bunch of cool cinematic scenes in her mind, without really grasping how it all fit in together. I still don't understand anything about Eugenia, the Tree, Kartik and Circe by the end. It's a jumbled mess. The characters shift back in forth between motivations and roles in the story that whatever message Bray is trying to send is completely lost. She keeps trying to do this thing of "You only though so-and-so was a bad guy, but look here's another side, and also, you thought this person was a good guy, but look they're actually evil bwhahaha". It was overdone. She does that with almost every character. I like shade of grey characters and I love learning about character you thought were awful have a whole 'nother side to them. But it didn't work here. Especially not when she does it with every single character. So yeah, very disappointed in the ending. I really enjoyed the previous two, but this one sank the ship for me.

The gothic-Victorian-fantasy concludes, at last, with an 800-page behemoth of a book that is more of the same; it’s the kind of thing you’ll like if you like that kind of thing. Boarding-school student Gemma Doyle has the power to enter a magical world known as the realms; she also has just bound the magic of the realms to herself, promising to make an alliance with the other creatures of the realms and share her magic. However, everybody is targeting her for her power now, both inside and outside the realms, and with all the complications in her life and her friends’ lives, she’s tempted to keep the power for herself for just a little longer.Alas, I didn’t like it quite as much as the first two books. Maybe it’s the sheer length that makes its flaws stand out more. It’s one thing that the voice sounds a lot less authentic when I read it on the heels of a genuinely Victorian novel; it’s another when I find myself getting thrown out of the story by the anachronisms and moralizing and Social Problems. I don’t really want to be confronted with cutting and child abuse when I’m reading a girly-Victorian-gothic, and I’m irritated that Gemma is a 21st century liberal atheist feminist. I’m not saying there weren’t liberal atheist feminists in the 19th century, but their attitudes weren’t 21st century ones!It wouldn’t be a historical YA novel without unnecessary cameos, but Oscar Wilde pops up just so the author can put lines in a character’s mouth: “True affection and love have a purity which shall always prevail over bigotry.” Admirable sentiment, but it doesn’t have a real motivation in the context of the story. That, and the speeches about war and peace, don’t belong to the time and place of the book. They seem too modern, too political, too Relevant.Are all upper-class Victorian girls fated to be shallow twits with narrow corsets and narrow minds, or miserable and resigned, or miserable and rebellious? Somehow I can only think it has to be more complicated than that, and in this book it isn’t.Still, there’s a lot of thrilling scenes, a lot of drama, a lot of adventure, and as a squealy-girly-book it’s a lot more satisfying than that other wildly popular squealy-girly-dark-romantic-paranomal trilogy (you know the one).
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lauren kellie
Out of the three books in this series, this one was probably the best. It contained more of a well-developed, central plot, stronger characters, more twists and turns than one would have expected. BUT DANG WAS IT LONG.Eight hundred pages is too long for a YA book, if you ask me.I really do think Libba stepped up her game with this, though. For once, I actually felt a sense of connection to the realms: they weren't weak and flimsy feeling as they had been for me in the previous two books. I really began to care about what happened to those worlds, instead of putting up with them to get to the Victorian stuff. That was a major improvement.I also feel like, both throughout the series and this book particularly, almost every single one of the characters went through sometime kind of development. And character development is my favorite.The most notable developing in this book pertains to Mrs. Nightwing, Ann, Felicity, and Fowlson.Mrs. Nightwing's transformation from the strict, Victorian schoolmarm to the strict, Victorian schoolmarm who knows about a secret layer of worlds besides our own, was probably one of my favorite things about this trilogy. I loved her relationship with Gemma. I loved her part in the ending story. I think Libba did an excellent job making use of her character.Ann I ended being so proud of. Though she was relentlessly whiny and helpless through the series, I wanted to give her a standing ovation when she got up the gumption to audition for Charles's show as herself. FINALLY she was making her own decisions and making the most of herself.Felicity Worthington is probably the most complicated character from these books. She is most certainly not the petty mean girl you think she'll be when you first meet her in A Great and Terrible Beauty. Libba had her deal with two controversial topics that are highly disputed in our time, and were never even spoken of in Victorian England: sexual abuse and (view spoiler)[homosexuality. (hide spoiler)]
I am utterly distraught by this book. My first hour free of it's torture I was a ball of fury. Nothing made sense, the writing was crappy, and I had so many questions. My poor husband didn't want to come near me and I didn't want to talk to anyone.I had such high hopes for this book. Kartik and Gemma would finally find a way to be together, the magic of the realms would be figured out and dealt with, and Felicity and Ann would finally become real friends of Gemma's or else be rid of. I definitel
WOW.Spoilers ahead.The Rose of Battle: By William Butler YeatsROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World! The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of hours, trouble the air, And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care; While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band 5With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand. Turn if you may from battles never done, I call, as they go by me one by one, Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace, For him who hears love sing and never cea
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