Monday, July 11, 2016

Double Review: Ink and Bone & Paper and Fire

Title: Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
 *eARC kindly provided by Berkley Publishing Group/NAL via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…


My Review
This was SO LONG. I mean, my kindle said it was 354 pages, but it felt so much longer than that, and because of the slower pace, it took me a lot longer than I thought it would to finish. But I never grew bored of it. Annoyed, maybe. A little YAWN in some spots (especially when it came to them being taught by Wolfe). But I was interested from the beginning, and I really enjoyed the twist the author put on this. In an alternate universe, the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, and it has adapted and changed as the world has grown. But that adaptation reaches its limits, which is what the characters all soon come to learn as they discover some of the Library’s secrets. I liked that this was told in only one POV, Jess’, and I liked his character. He did read way younger to me for some reason, even though he’s 16. He’s clearly torn between so much; his family’s duty, his newfound acceptance at the Library. But that all changes as the book moves on, and Jess is left wondering where to go from here. I’m glad that he had some character development, but all of the secondary ones were completely 1-dimensional, except for their Scholar, Wolfe. I really wish there’d been more to their backstories than what was given, especially so that some of the things in this book would have had more impact. (My favorite character freaking died, how unfair is this?) But this book WAS intense and a lot darker than I thought it would get. It also seemed a bit longer than it needed to be. All in all, though, I really enjoyed Ink and Bone! I’m excited to see where the sequel goes.

RATING:
 

***** 

Title: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 5th, 2016!
*eARC kindly provided by Berkley Publishing Group/NAL via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history...
 

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.
 
Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn't safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control...

My Review!
My plan had originally been to binge-read the first two books, but I finished Ink and Bone back in April and only just now got to Paper and Fire. Because I didn’t, it did take a bit to get back into this world and to remember many of the details about it. But I really loved this one, more than the first, and that’s largely due to the characters. I adore them. Jess, Glain, Khalila, Wolfe and Santi, even Dario. They all became way more well-rounded. Their relationships with each other have developed even more in this one, and I especially loved how well they work together, and how much they sacrifice when it comes to someone they care about. In the sequel, they’re all still trying to work through some things that happened in the first book. And the more the pages go on, the more the characters find out about the Library, and what it will do to ensure only they are the ones who decide what knowledge can be learned. It’s an emotional and intense story at times, especially when the characters keep getting knocked down and hurt. But none of them are cowards, and they want to help change the future. It’s time for the Library’s age to be over, and they’re terrified but ready to usher in a new era. I’m sure the 3rd book is going to be even harder on the feels, and I’m so scared some of these characters won’t make it out alive. But I can't wait to read it!

RATING: