23 May 2016
Paper and Fire
Series: The Great Library #2
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
I received a free ARC copy of this novel from the publisher for an honest review.
The Burners cry that a life is worth more than a book, but we know the truth: knowledge lives on. No single life can claim so much.
Can we just step back for a moment and admire the cover of this book? So pretty. So majestic. The title and the tagline are, of course, a little more depressing. Fire and paper do not exactly mix well, and 'Let the world burn' does not make one feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
In this second installment in the series, we meet up with Jess and gang, though they have seen better days. Morgan is locked up as an Obscurist, and Jess is still reeling over the death of a friend. True to his family roots, Jess is doing his best to defy the Library and save as many priceless books as possible, while also searching for answers and, perhaps, a way to take down the Library.
While Paper and Fire can be a little slowly paced in places, I think I prefer it to its predecessor. With Morgan locked away, struggling just to find time to communicate with Jess, the forced romance isn't such an issue in this novel as I seem to recall in the first one, as Jess and Morgan never truly struck a cord with me. And though there is still the fantastical element of the magical portals that the Library controls that can instantly zap you from place to place across the world, this fast paced travel isn't as heavily relied on in this novel. Instead, teenage rebellion seems to be the focus as Jess fights for his morals and beliefs against a corrupt society bent on control and power. Add in the fact that this series still revolves largely around BOOKS, and Paper and Fire is a solid second installment to The Great Library series. The slow but steady character building of the secondary characters in this novel is an added bonus as well.