Paper and Fire

(The Great Library, #2)
by Rachel Caine

Last year, I won a copy of Ink and Bone, and was instantly hooked. I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to read its sequel! It’s a littler hard to know what to think about this book, as it all went by so quickly.Review It’s a littler hard to know what to think about this book, as it all went by so quickly.

Summary25890355

With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and, in the name of the greater good, forbidding the personal ownership of books.

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, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows.

After 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, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

Musings

Paper and Fire is the exciting continuation of the Great Library series, where the library of Alexandria never burned down, and now information and books or prized more heavily than human lives. Set six months after the tumultuous end to Ink and Bone, Jess finally has the proof he needs that Thomas is alive. But saving him would mean breaking away from the library entirely, and making him and any friend who follows him a rebel. Is it worth the risk?

This book is 50% international spy/heist, and 50% a bit of a mess. That’s why I only rated it 3 stars: the first half was perfectly paced and executed, exciting and addicting. The second half was in shambles. It was like the author didn’t know what to do with the crew once they had achieved their goal.

The entire sequence in the Iron tower was insane. The messed up, Handmaid’s Tale-esk treatement of Morgan and the other obscurists made me shudder and cringe. But there’s something abour Morgan that rubs me the wrong way. Her unexplained escape(s) from the tower felt contrived and too coincidental, just like her relationship with Jess. There’s no chemistry there, and the romance feels very forced.

But my favorite characters shine. Thomas. Khaliah. Wolfe and Santi. I’m so excited to have them back! While Jess makes a bit of a (I hate to say this) bland main character, the entire cast around him is amazing.There’s my family, I love them, I want to surround myself with these nerdy book lovers and right the Archivist with them.

I am, however, excited for book 3! I can’t wait to know what happens next. The ending of Paper and Fire was perfect!

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