BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bea Reviews Ash and Quill & Smoke and Iron, Books 3 & 4 in The Great Library series, by Rachel Caine


Publisher: Berkley Books
Series: The Great Library #3
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: Trade paperback, June 12th, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google PlayiBooks* | Kobo
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Blurb from goodreads:

The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

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....



Bea's Book Nook, Review, Smoke and Iron, Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #4
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: Hardcover, July 3rd, 2018
Buying Links: iBooks* | Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Indiebound | Kobo | Google Play
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

My Thoughts on both books:

I've had this series on my wish list since I first heard about it several years ago. Finally, this summer I had the chance to read it. I pretty much binged my way through the books and now I'm impatiently waiting for book five, a whole year away! *cries* Also, if you are new to this series, go back and read the first two books. This series needs to be read in order and this review may contain spoilers for those books.

"Ash and Quill" was darker than the first two books, with our gang of librarians thrown in prison. It's not pretty and we see Jess and the others react to the pressure, some better than others. Poor Wolfe and Thomas. I admit, I was disappointed initially that Jess was assigned to the Garda or Library police. But, despite his love of books, Jess is not a scholar. He's smart, clever, sneaky, and an experienced thief; all skills that fit pretty well with his assignment in the Garda, and as it turns out, with being imprisoned. Jess and the others have pretty well blown their chances of working for the Great Library. The Library wants them dead and is willing to commit great atrocities to that end. Any naivete Jess and the others retain is shot to hell in this book. Also, my heart broke for Thomas. That poor boy has been through so much. His strength and courage are awesome.

I love Wolfe and Santi as a couple, they are so perfect for each other. And when they claimed Jess and the others as their children, I teared up. I laughed, too, at Santi's comment that he never thought that Wolfe would be a good father. Meanwhile, Jess and Morgan as a couple leave me feeling meh. There's just no spark, no passion between them, despite Caine's efforts. I like Jess, I feel for Morgan, but they just don't work for me as a couple. Dario and Khalila work, though I don't trust Dario. He cares for himself and Khalila; any other loyalties are subject to change though he did surprise me a few times.

"Ash and Quill" was dark, twisty, a little bitter, full of action and character growth. I regretted the need to sleep and the need to be a responsible adult as I just wanted to read non-stop. :D I eagerly dove into the next book, "Smoke and Iron".

I thought "Ash and Quill" was dark and twisty, but Caine wasn't done abusing our heroes and messing with our minds and hearts. Even more than the preceding books, "Smoke and Iron" dealt with loyalty, love, trust, family, friendship, responsibility, consequences, and forgiveness. Dario and Jess take it upon themselves to make decisions for the group but without telling or involving the others. Some of those decisions were hard, made for the right reasons, mostly, but decisions that have hard consequences. Who has the right to make decisions about our loves? How much say do we get? Where does your freedom end and someone else's start? If you do the wrong thing for the right reason, are you right or wrong? Everyone grew up in this one, shedding the last of their innocence. I actually liked Dario, proud, arrogant, insufferable peacock though he can be. And Brendan, Jess's twin. I grew to like him, too, and I am NOT HAPPY with Ms. Caine and where she took his story.

"Smoke and Iron" was wonderful, full of intrigue, action, humor, romance and drama, while never forgetting about its people. It was gripping, and full of little touches that gave it depth and character. It's a fantastic story with a killer of a cliffhanger ending. GAH!

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