Alternate History · Dystopian · Fantasy · LGBTQ · Review · Steampunk · Young Adult

Book Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)

Unlike the first book which was a bit of a slow burn for me, Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2) by Rachel Caine, was a fun ride from start to finish!

Let the world burn.

With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and, in the name of the greater good, forbidding the personal ownership of books.

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, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows.

After 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, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

The Good

  • Pacing – This book started off fast and never really let of the gas. I found this to be pretty surprising as sequels, as a general rule, tend to be a little slower paced. Also, the first book suffered from a bit of a slow start. Fortunately, that wasn’t the issue here and Caine took us on a wild ride from start to finish!
  • Plot – The plotline of the first book was intriguing, but things are really starting to come together in this one. Our rebellious group of initiates are finally banding together and actually taking action against the Library by trying to save their friend from the clutches of its secret prison. However, little do they know that this is only the beginning for them and their mission is about to take a much more serious turn.
  • Characters – The main thing you need to know about the characters in this series is… DIVERSITY!

    The Bad

    • The Ending – I think the plot got a tad overwhelming towards the end. Multiple plot lines were merging and a ton of questions were being answer. Normally, this would be a good thing but I felt that it all might’ve happened too quickly here. I would’ve liked different answers being spread throughout the book, rather than everything all at once. I caught myself having to reread multiple pages towards the end as I having trouble absorbing so much information. Though, I guess there are much worse things to complain about, right?

    Seriously, everyone just go read this series. I feel that it’s very underrated and underappreciated, and I just don’t know how that can be. I mean it’s a series about the a library being in charge of the world, basically! Booknerds should be all over this! So please… READ IT.

    Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars


    Have you read The Great Library series yet? What are your thoughts on it?

    5 thoughts on “Book Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)

    1. Ha! I liked the first one a tiny bit more, but hey, still gave this one 4 stars as well! 😀 I had to read up on my review about the ending being a slight disappointment for you here, but mine says I absolutely loved it. Well, I have no bloody clue what it was about anymore, so that’s always a good sign :’). You’re right when it comes to the pace and the characters: awesooome! Love this review Larkin!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, like you said in your review, it’s a book about a library being in charge. A book about books! C’mon peeps! 😀 I can’t wait for the last book to come out and hopefully tie together all the loose threads <3. Even my husband liked these books and he doesn't "do YA" :')

          Liked by 1 person

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