Friday, 15 September 2017

Review: Ash and Quill

Ash and Quill
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Held prisoner by the Burner forces in Philadelphia, Jess and his friends struggle to stay alive in the face of threats from both sides ... but a stunning escape guarantees worse is coming. The Library now means to stop them by any means necessary, and they'll have to make dangerous allies and difficult choices to stay alive.

They have only two choices: face the might of the Great Library head on, or be erased from life, and the history of the world, for ever.

Win or die.

When you play the game of libraries, you win or you die. Sorry. Had to. I had no willpower and couldn't resist. But wow you guys...this latest installment was mind blowing! The stakes have gotten so high and then the ending...I can't even. 

We immediately meet Beck and his Burners and they're quite the bunch of assholes, I have to say. I really didn't like them at all. I kept waiting for the moment I'd suddenly take a liking to them after they turned out to not be so bad but that moment never came. Ever. Considering they want the information our team has...yeah. Assholes. 

It's pretty much all go from page one in this book, the pace is fast, there's lots of plot twists and a Super Secret Dastardly Plan being hatched by Jess and Dario. Well more Jess. I don't think Dario contributed much. I feel like he was moustache twirling while Jess did. I don't think he got in touch with his villainous side enough! Either way, Jess has to put his villain hat on and start to go down a dark and lonely path in this book. Morgan's facing a dark path herself too and I'm desperately trying to think of a way out of it for her! 

It was nice to see Jess and his brother bonding more in this book, I really want to like and trust and Brendan but he makes it so hard usually. However, in this book, he and Jess really did seem like brothers and they worked together and I'm hoping Brendan is now on the right team! He did give me pause though, for a moment or two. 

After reading this volume, I really feel like Glain is coming to be my favourite character, don't get me wrong, I love our whole group and their interactions with each other and how they work together. They're all awesome. They're all growing and changing and going through crappy things, like Thomas for example. But Glain cracks me up to another level and I'm so ready for more of her! 

I feel like the Ephemera notes at the beginning and throughout the book where more ominous and dire than usual. They've hinted at the struggles to come and the Library's course of action both past and present. Not to mention they've filled in a couple of relevant history tidbits and developments and I'm a sucker for any information on this world! I could read an entire book on the alternate history of the world of this book, quite happily! We always get the rid tidbits when we need them though, so it's probably best I don't get a chance to gorge on information! 

We get to see a couple of new settings in this book, the Burner stronghold in Philadelphia which I had a mental image of that matched WW2 London to an extent. I got that vibe from it. We also got to see Callum Brightwell's new abode. I'm not really surprised is all I'm going to say. Nor am I surprised by his behaviour. We all saw it coming because we know how much of a monumental douche he is. 

This book has a lot of dissent to it, people are turning on the Archivist Magister left, right and centre, including his own troops and more importantly...the leaders of various countries. It would appear people aren't happy with some of the Library's actions throughout the book, and I figured it was a matter of time before people started to rebel. But I have a feeling the AM is going to cling to power with his old, gnarled hands. Which is fine because I'm totally down with killing him and prying it from his cold, dead hands. I really hate him. Sorry not sorry. Either way, war is coming so the next book should prove to be even more interesting than this one! 

Ash and Quill features the same rich storytelling as the other books in this series, painting a vivid picture and allowing you to walk the streets and buildings with the characters. The world of Ash and Quill is a world you can really step in to as soon as you start to read, and the writing style really fits with the world and the story being told. It's decadent and rich and has a quality feel to it that goes with all the old, classic, rare books mentioned throughout. It's written perfectly for a book about books and love of reading! 

The world is being built up more and more as we venture to new settings, and the stakes are raised higher and higher in this book. With Ash and Quill we've reached a tipping point, and in the next volume things are going to get very real and very dangerous. Things progress in this volume, the story pushes forward, setting things up, namely the big war that's coming. But rather than just focusing on setting that up, we have other things going on as well that are relevant to the story, so we have an expertly woven plot. 

The ending is brutal and the wait for the next book is going to be horrendous. Jess's devious plan comes in to effect but what are the consequences going to be and how is it going to play out? I have to say, Ash and Quill kept me hooked until the very end, and I was on the edge of my seat towards the end. I was frantically trying to work out what Jess was up to as well! I'm not as devious as him though...I really didn't see it coming. 

The plot in this book is fast paced, but the over-arcing plot of the whole series is moving at a steady pace, each book has me more and more obsessed! 


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