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 Tag

The Folk of the Air: Book Tag

The lovely Xandra at Starry Sky Books created and tagged me in my very first book tag! SO EXCITED. And this one is so clever and fun. Thank you for the tag!

RULES:

  1. You must tag the original creator (Xandra @ Starry Sky Books)
  2. Spoilers galore! You should probably read The Cruel Prince first! (You don’t really need to read The Wicked King, but that would be nice.)
  3. Answer all the questions.
  4. Try to tag at least 3 other bloggers.

Jude: A character who would probably kill you in your sleep.

Okay, so I’m quite confident any villain would kill me in my sleep. I’m too dangerous to have around in the first place. But for the questions sake, the Archivist of the Great Library would definitely have me taken out.

Cardan: A character who seems like a Bad Guy™ but is ultimately more complex than you thought.

I totally wrote in my review that I loved Cardan for this exact reason. So I had to think about a second character I feel this way about.

AH YES, HAN ALISTER. My little cinnamon roll who only wants love. He’s not a villain, or really that wicked, but everyone assumes he is. Alister is a complex, consorting mastermind who I’m so happy won in the end.

And hopefully that means Cardan wins in the end too.

Locke: A character (or plot twist) that made you want to throw the book.

My first initial thought was Allegiant. YOU ALL KNOW (and I honestly did actually throw this, and freaked my husband out). In interest of choosing a book I at least enjoyed with the plot twist:

Have you read this? Because if you have: YOU ALSO KNOW. I was gasping and freaking out. Didn’t throw the book per se, but you better believe I raged until KoA came out.

Taryn: A character who deceived you.

I finished reading this a few days ago and loved it, but Malachiasz from Wicked Saints totally deceived me!? I didn’t like him, then he grew on me, then he deceived me, and now I need the sequel. Need.

Vivi: A book that was significantly different from the others in its series. 

I wrote my first true, snarky review about this book. I truly loved Everless. And I was very upset with how book two went down. The characters acted differently, pieces of the plot were forgotten, and plenty of other issues that were vastly different from the original.

Valerian: A character who just needs to die (or, you know, get stabbed).

I’m trying really hard to make sure I have a different series for each book so this one took some thinking because they’re so many people I think need stabbed if I’m being honest.

Dr. Hatch from the Michael Vey series is a top contender. Who takes in kids and makes them evil for his own gains!? This man of unlimited resources caused one to many problems for me.

Oak: A smol™ character you would protect at all costs.

Marya from The Winter of the Witch. I think that Vastya does a WAY better job of protecting her than I every could, but I love this little witch immensely.

The Cruel Prince: A book that surprised you with a twist.

I remember reading this book right before the hype really hit and exploded this into a movie. When I got to the flip in the book I had to re-read the page over a few times. DUDE WHAT JUST HAPPENED is putting it lightly.

The Wicked King: A book you thought was better (or worse) than the first in the series.

There’s a reason I read this multiple times a year. This is the pinnacle of sequels. I haven’t come across many “book twos” that hold as the best book in the entire series.

The Queen of Nothing: A book you’re excited for, but know nothing about.

THE BONE SEASON #4. I have no idea when this is coming out, and no idea what it will entail, but I am here for the wait. I got attached to this series in 2017 and am hoping it will continue soon since Shannon has finished her latest project.

There you have it! My first book tag. Totally a blast. I’m going to tag:

LaureGalie // Paper Fury // Siobhan’s Novelties

Please feel no pressure because I’m not sure if you’ve finished TCP/TWK yet! And anyone else who has, you’re totally welcome to do this too. The more the merrier!

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

Monthly Wrap-Up

October 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!

Not a bad book in sight.

So much has been happening this month and I had a wonderful time reading! All of these books were stellar and I would definitely recommend them.

Click any of the links (below the photos) for my full review!

 

Continue reading “October 2018 Reading Wrap-Up!”

Book Review

Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy/dystopia, no language, violence, a few kisses
Length: 355 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn… 

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

BURNERS, UNITE.

First…unpopular book opinion alert: I have only read the first 4 books of HP, seen all the movies, and have no current plans to finish reading the books.

That being said, I still felt HP vibes and I wasn’t mad. Essentially a group of students are in a class designed to determine if they are fit to be a Librarian (in many capacities). They’re multiple side characters, a teacher, etc. So you see, a little HP adjacent.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters. They were fun, each was unique in background, and personality. Caine took time to let you get a better understanding of each character along with Jess. My favs by far were Wolfe and Santi. Love them. Love their dynamic. Want more of their story.

This is one of the those books where the friendship dynamics mean everything. They are a group that slowly knits together through experiences. The love angle isn’t heavily present (and this book is totally cool without it).

I am also currently trying to hold back some tears, BECAUSE WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. My great faith in the goddess of books would have me believe the ending is false, and I shall hold onto that glimmer.

The story continually takes twists and turns, no holy mackerel PLOT TWIST moments, but you’re spurned on none-the-less. It’s a shorter book, perfect for a quick read that I devoured during nap time.

A lot of open ending lines have been cast as this is the first book in the series. I’m super excited to follow along and delve into all of the secrets of the Great Library. I think this is such a fun plot and I haven’t read anything directly like it. It really follows its own story.

Overall audience notes:
— No language
— Violence, somewhat detailed
— Kiss scenes that are definitely safe for work
— A fantasy / dystopian YA
— Friendships > Romance