Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2) by Rachel Caine #bookreview

In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where 25890355knowledge 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… – Goodreads.com

I’ve been obsessively checking the review sites every couple of minutes patiently waiting for the followup to Ink and Bone and was beyond excited to receive an ARC.  This book is everything I’d hoped, plus things I’d never imagined.

As with the first book, kudos to the cover designer – this cover is gorgeous.  Rachel Caine is wickedly talented at world-building and I loved learning a little more about Jess’s world.  Paper and Fire is full of suspense and the action starts almost from page one.  Jess and his friends are now in various positions working for The Library, but they’re constantly looking over their shoulders, unsure of whom to trust, and wondering  if there are ulterior motives to the actions of others.  There are some nice twists – one of which had my mouth hanging open, and a scene that is my worst nightmare – shelves upon shelves of books burning and lost forever – truly a tissue-worthy moment.

This is a wonderful diverse cast of characters – and speaking of the characters, I’ve seen complaints in other reviews about the lack of romance, even though there are three romantic relationships among the characters.  Personally, I’m not a romance novel fan and am glad these relationships don’t overshadow the real storyline.  There are scenes that demonstrate the depth of feeling between the characters with some tension and conflict thrown in, but the romantic relationships aren’t the primary focus of this story.

Maybe you’re not a YA fan – but if not, you’re really missing out on some fantastic novels.  I consider this series a YA crossover – it has strong adult appeal also – especially to book lovers.  An exciting, intense, fast-paced followup – highly recommended.  Paper and Fire is scheduled for publication July 5th, 2016.

Thanks to Penguin First to Read for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

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