Monday, July 4, 2016

ARC Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

*** This is the second book in a series. If you haven't read Ink and Bone proceed with caution. Also if you have not read Ink and Bone, you need to. It's amazing! Here's my review. ***

Title: Ink and Bone
Series: The Great Library #2
Written by: Rachel Caine
Published: July 5, 2016 by NAL (Penguin Group)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

SynopsisIn 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…  

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

Paper and Fire was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2016. I was blown away by the plot and world of Ink and Bone and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. And I was not disappointed. This was a fantastic sequel to a series that I am absolutely loving. It's an action-packed read with great characters and a complex and creative world.

What immediately struck me about this book is how thrilling it was. If you thought the first half of Ink and Bone was a little slow but you liked the second half then you will enjoy this one tremendously. It was full of adventure, narrow escapes, and thrills. Although it was incredibly exciting there were a few bumps along the way when it came to the plot development. The book mostly focused on the larger more big picture plot points of the series, which I liked. At times it didn't feel like it had it's own story or if it did, that was a much smaller part. I usually prefer that when it comes to series but I think here it was so exciting I didn't mind that much. At some parts, the it felt a little disconnected or like things resolved too fast but it was still such a page-turner. It really escalated to a thrilling conclusion that had me stressed in the best possible way. It's non-stop action and adventure as things in and out of the library escalate.

Speaking of the library, I absolutely love the world-building of this series. It's a fantastic combination of fantasy and science fiction. It definitely feels a lot like a dystopian world though and as far as dystopian worlds go, this is one I love. It's complex and creative with great political intrigue and a fantastic antagonist. Here we learn a little more about the library and how truly devious they are in their control of power. Then there is also the really cool steampunk elements of this world that we got to see in effect more than a few times. It was a fun new wrinkle to the world of the book. A word that I love.

But I also love the characters of this series. Jess is a fantastic protagonist. He's intelligent, inquisitive, and cares about others. He and his friends are a diverse and likable group. It was great catching up with each member of the group and seeing them in their new careers at the library, even though that didn't last long. But I'm not sure if they were as complex and nuanced this time. For most of the book they are working together against the library and while they do make a great team, I liked the complexities and mystery of them more in the first book. But it was others who took that role in this one.

On the whole, Paper and Fire was a great read. It's full of adventure, a great alternate history word full of political intrigue, a great antagonist, and likable characters. If you enjoyed Ink and Bone you will not be disappointed by this sequel.

I give Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you liked Ink and Bone you need to pick up it's sequel. It builds on the first one in an interesting way with tons of action. If you haven't read this series I definitely recommend it. It's a great combination of fantasy and science fiction with an interesting world.

Have you read Paper and Fire? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I'm really glad to hear this one didn't fall into a sequel slump at all! I'm gonna be reading it today myself, so expect a DM or two! ;)

  2. I still haven't read the first book in this series even though I own it, but seeing that this book is great, I might have to hurry up and pull it off the shelf! In fact, I'm not sure what I've been waiting for. Great review! :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  3. Great review! I completely agree with you that this book was a great sequel -- loved the action packed scenes and how everything was told. Jess is a great protagonist, can't wait for book 3!!

    my review