Audience: Young adult, no language, some violence, kiss scenes
Length: 338 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: 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…
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YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME.
The Great Library focus is on the powerful friendships that can change the world. It’s great, it’s different than my normal reads and I’m always riveted by the end. The camaraderie between Jess, Thomas, Khalila, Dario, Glain, Morgan, Wolfe, Santi and even Brendan (I think I got them all?) is so fun to watch. Inter-relationships pull each other in ways where you’re not quite sure what side of the line they’ll end up on.
Jess is a well-rounded protagonist. He’s strong and dynamic and follows his own moral compass of guidelines. It leads him to be occasionally an unreliable narrator, leaving you missing just enough pieces to start to form the chess game he’s already started in his mind.
Wolfe and Santi’s relationship is precious. They’ve literally been through hell and back and are such fierce protectors of each other. I love the small, soft moments they get where we get to see their walls down.
On the other hand, I’m still struggling with Morgan and Jess’s relationship. I feel like they meet, kiss, and then don’t speak again til they decide to kiss again. I’m not sure what kind of relationship that is. It did get better in the second-half of the book when Jess started letting her in on plans. They were actually speaking and developing a secondary dialogue other than heated kisses in hallways.
EVERYONE NEEDS A FRIEND LIKE THOMAS. That man is struggling so much over-coming his torture within the Library and is still thinking of others first, every time. It’s great and his “goody-good” persona (he does have his dark moments, don’t worry) gives a good balance to Jess.
Y’all, I got Brendan a lot more in this book too!! I think he’s a great antagonist. The Ying to Jess’s Yang. Them coming together in the end gave a magnificent plot-twist cliff-hanger ending that will play out in ways that I’m not even sure of. I love not being sure of things!
I was also struggling with the continual…leave this location, become prisoners, escape, go to next location, repeat. I’m slowly getting real weary of it, but I believe the way this book finishes sets up for a different kind of prison. Jess, at least, is finally on the offensive. I can only imagine the dramatics that will ensue with the next installment, can’t wait!
Overall audience notes:
– Young adult dystopian/fantasy
– No language
– Some violence (blood, guns, physical)
– Kiss scenes are slightly passionate with one scene where more could be implied
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