Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Summary 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. . . .
The first book was my favorite book of the year, last year. When I haven’t been crazy busy with work stuff (aka: 99% of the time), I’ve been obsessing about this book’s release and of course the Harry Potter book release as well. July was pretty much all about this book and the next Harry Potter book. The fact that I could be excited about any book that wasn’t Harry Potter is a major compliment.
Paper and Fire did not disappoint. How can I not love a series of dystopias designed for booklovers? The first book was described as being a mixure of the Harry Potter series, The Book Thief, and Fahrenheit 451. I guess that description holds true in book 2, but now also throw in Catching Fire, The Giver, and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Seriously, this book is some magical book pyramid of awesome that combines all the best elements of past books I love.
Like with Catching Fire, this second installment was non-stop action, filled with various twists, surprises, and secrets. Ahhh, I loved this. Oh, and the setting was so cool. From Alexandria, to Rome, to London, to secret libraries, to the Tower, to where I know they are all headed in book 3, every place is so exciting and fun to read about.
The first book seemed to be about survival. Jess had to survive his jobs, his training, his tests, and then he could get on with his life. This book, has that need of survival still, but also, more importantly, there’s this under root of rebellion. The library is evil. It kills and tortures and destroys. And the further along I got in this book, the more clear it became that a rebellion was necessary. It just involves a lot of giving up of things along the way.
So much is learned about the tower, about the automata, and about the library in general in this installment. Books are burnt, war has sprung in Europe, and more characters die. There’s never a good moment to put this book down. Never. It was hard going to work and not just staying home and reading this.
I loved reuniting with old characters, I loved the new settings, I loved the action, and I loved the much-raised stakes of everything. I cannot wait for the third book to come out. I give this one a 10/10. What a fantastic sequel!

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