Book Review

Book Review: Sword and Pen (The Great Library #5) by Rachel Caine

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + dystopian
Length: 368 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Berkley Books
Expected Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it’s worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library . . . or see everything it stood for crumble.

Thank you to Berkley Books and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

SO SAD THIS SERIES IS OVER.

Oh, what a ride. I was giddy with joy that I received an ARC because I wanted to know how the fate of the library would at last, unfold.

This book started out with a bang. I immediately dove into the action as Jess was recovering from the ending of the last book (trying to keep large spoilers out) and trying to kill himself yet again at the beginning of this one. Does he ever stay away from danger? NOPE. I absolutely adore Jess and thought he was the perfect MC. Bold, brash, deceiving yet loyal, he was someone I begged to have a happy ending.

Speaking of those I was stoked to see get a happy ending (italicized because frankly, this book didn’t end with rainbows and unicorns, but it was still a good ending)…WOFLE & SANTI. Oh how I love these men. They are the sweetest, strongest couple and I can’t get enough of watching them interact. I was sad I didn’t see them together as much in this story, but the snippets I got, YES. LOVE. Love them, love them forever.

My four star rating is centered around the disjointed feeling I got while reading it. These main characters are spread out over the city and rarely interact until the end. This vast difference in location and plot lines made it feel like separate pieces rather than a whole story. I was stoked when everyone gathered towards the end to finish what they started. I love this group of friends and how much they love each other. I love that we got multiple POVs from so many different characters.

That ending was *just right*. Bitter sweet, but I wasn’t left reeling because I saw that this is where the story needed to go to really end. There was even an epilogue that put a few questions I had in mind at peace. I think everything was well covered and put together. I closed the book feeling satisfied that these characters were at a close in this story.

I love they whole creation of this series. The concept is unique to books I’ve had the chance to read and that was what initially drew me to them. I was captivated by this diverse group who came together to better their world. Knowledge is for everyone to have a chance to obtain.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + dystopian
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: poisonous gas, explosions with greek fire (a substance that burns anything it touches), ship wrecks, animal attacks (by robotic versions of dragons and sphinx), guns, knives, battle scenes, magic

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Book Review

Review: Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) by Rachel Caine

Ash and Quill

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult, no language, some violence, kiss scenes
Length: 338 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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…

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

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