I'm rather reluctant to write this review. I've been putting it off for a day really thinking about what I wanted to say, finally here we go.
Gabriel's Inferno was one of my favorite books of the year, I couldn't wax on about it enough, so I was so looking forward to Rapture, so much that I downloaded it at 12am on the morning it was released. Right from the first few pages I knew that this book wasn't going to live up to it's predecessor. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of really good writing, Sylvain Reynard is a talent there is no denying that, he continues to weave his intellectual magic through his prose, (though his narrative voice isn't as sarcastic as previously, which I miss) and Professor Gabriel Emerson is as entertaining as ever, intense, sexy, infuriating at times; the perfect romantic novel hero. Where this book fell down for me was in the dialogue, I, more often than I'd have wished, found it immature and at times pedantic. The whole book also felt very rushed, or maybe just badly thought out/edited. For instance there were pages given over to scenarios that did not particularly moved the plot along or added any value to the experience,(Paul in Vermont at Christmas, wrapping presents, why?!) but then mere mentions/asides of important scene which we never got to read (Gabriel's final discussion with Paulina, I would have been really interested in being "present" for that chat), I'm not sure if we needed a word for word account of Gabriel's Uffizi lecture, yes it gave Reynard a chance to impress us with his knowledge/thorough research on the subject but it's a specialist topic, one in which not every reader would necessarily have been interested. I would have like to have read the scene where Gabriel had dinner with his family when he returned home for the Rachel's wedding and had to explain his actions; these are the kind of editing choices I didn't understand.
Finally my feeling are that Rapture was a contractual obligation that needed to be delivered on time, with a certain amount of pages and tick certain amount of boxes and that is what it does; but it doesn't feel "loved" the way Inferno did, I wonder if there was maybe too much editorial interference, because unlike Inferno which started it's life on a fan fiction site and as such was completely the work of the author, Rapture might have had more imput from outside sources ie Omnific Publishing. If you've already started the series then it would be a disservice not to complete it and as such I am glad I took the time to read Rapture, I just wish it's effect on me were more reminiscent of Inferno (I read that book cover to cover around 4 times!) I do though look forward to reading whatever else Reynard comes out with after this.