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Friday 12 August 2016
Review: Paper and Fire
Paper and Fire
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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…
When I read the first book in this series, it took me a little while to get in to it. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Caine and her books and she's one of my auto-buy authors, but even if she wasn't, I'd still have picked up Ink and Bone for the premise. Once the book got going...it hooked me in even deeper. The thing that grabbed me about the first book was the world. It was original and fascinating and rich and you wanted to know more about it, so while not much happened in the beginning...you kept reading for the world.
In this book, it's action packed from the start, and all go from then on. There Epehmera's are intriguing and add to the story, help you understand characters motivations and what's going on behind the scenes, they're a nice touch that breaks up the narrative and provides plenty of information. There are plenty of action scenes throughout the book, fighting, running from automata, fighting automata and a prison break among other things. I was hooked in to the sequel a lot faster than the previous book! The last book ended with a note of intrigue and my suspicions turned out to be correct! There where a few surprises in this book, and a few that I worked out, but it kept you guessing, kept you reading.
I loved being back in the unique world of the book, it's one of my favourites and I'd love to slip in to it! In this book, we get to see more of the world as our characters take a trip to Rome. I was fascinated to see this new area of the world, what it was like, how it was different and so on. It was a nice contrast to Alexandria, I liked the fact the automata differed for instance. We also get to revisit London and there's the promise of seeing yet more of the world in the next book, which I can't wait for! Things are obviously different in Alexandria, to how they are in London and Rome and the differences between them where interesting to read about, and each setting is painted vividly for you as you end up right there with the characters.
I love the characters. Not just their personalities and everything, but I love their friendships. Dario and Jess, sniping at each other, but still caring. Their banter cracks me up every time and I love thier scenes together. Khalila and Jess and their brother and sister type relationship, worrying after each other. All of them have brilliant relationships with each other, and in some cases they are quite complex. There's a lot of Jess and Glain in this book as we follow them through training and their first assignment, I loved their scenes together, and seeing how they work together and get on. It was nice to see more of Glain as she intrigued me a lot in the first book! I just love reading about this group in general, how they interact, how they're loyal to each other after everything they experienced in the first book and so on.
Jess is a character I can feel for, how his family treat him and so on, you can't help but feel for him. He's changed in this book after the events of the first book, he's developed from the character he was when we first saw him. Dario provided some shocks and surprises, and bless him, he keeps trying to be more like Jess and it's not really working out for him! He's plenty intelligent and capable on his own and he really does care about the others. Khalila makes some big decisions and she is one of my favourite characters, she had some hard choices to make and I love how she's there for everyone. Thomas (I KNEW IT) has changed a little after his experiences, but I'm waiting to see the full extent of that, perhaps in the next book. Morgan is struggling with her fate, and still blaming Jess and goes on a bit of a journey regarding that. I enjoy her and Jess's relationship, it's not without it's problems and difficulties, and they're quite sweet with each other. Santi and Wolfe...I just love them both individually and together. Santi is so protective of him, and they work well together and they're SO CUTE. Which they probably wouldn't like as a descriptor but oh well. I love how Wolfe is kind of gruff and everything but he does care about them all and he helps Morgan as best he can. Santi...he's trying to help Glain and Jess and all of them, and I loved how he was like to Jess, "I like you" or something.
I need to talk about Brendan because we get an extract from his Codex and I really felt for him. I feel for Jess and how he's treated, but you see another side of Brendan in this book. You understand where he's coming from. I really hope things work out for him and he can be reunited with his new friend at some point. I didn't much like him in the first book but in this book you saw glimpses of a different Brendan. He was still a douche at points, he did the right thing in one case and tried to do it in another but didn't quite manage it. He wanted to help Jess but couldn't go against their father. He's an interesting character because I keep rooting for him to do the right thing, and he seems like he might. I'm actually hoping to see more of him next book and hopefully see some more character development.
The ending of the book...I cannot even with that cliffhanger. I KNEW something was going to go wrong and then it did. I'm hoping things will work out because they could use the help of the Burners, but I'm not entirely sure if it's going to be much better than Jess's original plan with his dad. We'll see. But it leaves you hanging so badly! I'm so excited to see what happens next, to see if they can fight the Library and to see this new part of the world of the book and how it differs from the others. I love this world so much and I can't wait to get back to it.
Paper and Fire is a brilliant sequel, with more action, more adventure, more danger and more of, well...everything. More background to the Library and the people in charge, more background to some of the characters, Wolfe in particular. There's reveals and character development and glimpses of some characters trying to be better. You understand some of the characters more. Understand more about the past of the Library and the way it operates. There is so much more in this book to enhance the world and the characters, and plenty of action to keep you occupied!