Sunday, September 18, 2016

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Title: Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Source: Allison & Busby
Release Date: August 2016
Australian RRP: $16.99

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…
Review by Nara

Paper and Fire is the sequel to Ink and Bone, a novel that was one of my favourites of 2015. From the premise, to the characters and to the world building, there was much to love in that book. Just as there is much to love about this book, as Caine continues her streak of awesomeness.

The premise is still pretty freaking incredible, basically with the whole world being ruled by The Great Library- an organisation that controls the printed word and looks to suppress any scientific progress. I must say, I still don't understand the magic system, but I'm finding I care less about that as I read. To be honest that's probably the thing that's making me rate the world building 4 rather than 5 because otherwise the world is very well developed, but I'm starting to just accept the fact that some people have the power to control certain aspects of their surroundings and that's fine.

I definitely love the way Caine writes- the story flows very well, and there's never a point in the book where you feel like it's dragging or too fast. There are quite a few twists throughout, with one in particular completely surprising me (if you read the book, I'm sure you'll know which one this is). The short excerpts titled "Ephemera" at the start of each chapter are also quite fabulous- I mean, the foreshadowing and dramatic irony in those things really ramp up the tension and are an excellent stylistic choice.

The only real slight negative that I can mention is that I can't say that I liked the romance that much. It didn't really add anything to the story, and actually the book may have been more cohesive without it. To be honest, I don't think I liked it that much even in the first book. It sort of feels like it's just tacked on rather than smoothly tied into the overarching plot.

But apart from that one little negative, the book overall is quite fantastic. I can most definitely recommend this series to anyone looking for something unique.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5