New Release Review: Paper & Fire by Rachel Caine

paper and fireNew Release Review: Paper & Fire by Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy
Book 2 in The Great Library
Book provided by: NetGalley and NAL
Synopsis from Goodreads:Ink and Bone introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history—continues. . . .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. . . .

AH’s Review – 4 stars – A

I’ve admired Rachel Caine for quite a while now. While I have not yet had the opportunity to read her Morgan Vampires series, I’ve been a fan of her Weather Wardens and Revivalist series. When I saw that she had a new series planned, I was very excited. As a book nerd I was even more excited to find out that this series revolves around books and a great library. Book Geeks, unite!

I think that what strikes me most about this series is the intricate world building. Paper & Fire takes place in a world based upon The Great Library in Alexandria. It’s a mashup of the past and present, a world based upon magic and the steam engine, an alternate history of the world where the people in power control books and information.

The first book in the series Ink & Bone introduced our main characters, each of whom has a specific talent that makes them an integral part of the story. Paper & Fire raises the ante as they realize that the Great Library is not what it seems to be. There are some pretty ruthless people in power, people who will do anything to control the information.

I know, it doesn’t sound terribly exciting – but believe me, it is. The Great Library is guarded by an army and get this – automaton lions and sphinx. How crazy is that?

I did find the book a little slow at first, however once I got into it, I could not put it down. And what an unexpected ending. Now I can’t wait for the next book in the series Ash & Quill, expected to be published in July 2017. This is a series that should not be missed. Highly recommended.

Series Reading Order:

  1. Ink & Bone
  2. Paper & Fire
  3. Ash & Quill (expected publication date July 2017)

AH’s rating: Rating: 4 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and NAL for a review copy of this book. 


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