Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

Summary from Goodreads:
Words can kill.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny…

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library…
So, I love these books. The tension was at in all time high in this installment. It was hard reading this book when I was because of my crazy work schedule. I wished I had a day off to do nothing but read it.
The first half takes place in America, at a Burner’s camp. And the second half takes place at Jess’s family’s home. The first half felt like an episode of the Walking Dead. I had no idea what would happen, who might die, how far the Library was willing to go to kill everyone, etc. I was biting my nails. Danger was everywhere.
And the second half was more mentally suspenseful, and not quite as interesting. I knew something big was going to happen and then when Jess had a plan (that he did not share with the reader), I knew something really big was going down. A big twist happened, but I’m not sure I fully understand yet or even if I’m meant to. Again, the book ends at a terrible cliffhanger, and I know Jess has a plan, but I’m not quite sure how much of this it encompasses. And why does it have to go this way for Morgan? Really, there was no other choice?
Also, the printing press seems to be Jess’s most used bargaining chip. How many more times will he have to sell it and convince it? This became a bit repetitive. I’m not sure the second half of the book needed to be as long as it was. The juicy, craziness all seemed to be in America. And then it fell a bit flat. I was also kind of rushing through it at that point because I needed to know what was going to happen with certain characters (and, wow, it’s hard to talk about this book and without spoiling things).
All in all, the first half was better than the second half. It did eventually feel a bit like a filler book in the series. I know the next book will be all kinds of suspenseful because of where this left off. I loved the characters. I loved the setting. I just wanted a little less planning and little more doing. Though, I know it’s coming. I give this one an 8/10.

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