Ink and Bone was one of my favourite reads of last year (and as you can tell, it became one of my favourite books ever), and I’m pleased to say that overall, Paper and Fire is a worthy sequel.
PAPER AND FIRE follows Jess and his friends as they attempt to save on of their own from the hands of the Library. But it ends with them being on the run and targets of the Library’s deadly automata. This sequel was much more intense and brutal than the first as no one is safe from The Archivist.
I’ll always prefer the first book but PAPER AND FIRE was no means a disappointed but an exciting development to the series. It was amazing to enter the world of The Great Library again. Caine’s ability to write believable, diverse characters is just amazing and she is excellent at pacing and this series has so much going on to keep readers entertained. It was interesting to delve deeper into the world that the Postulants live in and, especially, about the Library and its violent methods of control.
The world-building in this series is one of my favourites. It’s so complex and creative and PAPER AND FIRE really goes deep into the insidious control of power the Library has. We also get to see really cool steampunk elements through the automata and it’s amazing! (I need fanart of the different types of automata now but sadly my art skills only go as far as a couple of Art GCSE lessons…. )
The only real complaint I have about this book, similar to INK AND BONE, is that I don’t feel for Morgan and Jess as a couple. Friendship wise, I think they work really well but when it comes to their relationship, it lacks chemistry when it’s compared to the other couples in the book. I could gush for years over Khalila and Dario or Santi and Wolfe. (At one point I was shipping Jess and Glain because I could see them happening.) While Morgan’s role in the plot is extremely important and I love her as a character but her role as a love interest wasn’t something I was particularly invested in.
The best thing in this entire series is the friendship between Jess and the secondary characters. The moments of friendship and support are what makes this series so great. Khalila continues to be so badass, Dario is slowly growing on me, and I love Glain with all my heart. We even get to see more of Santi and Wolfe outside their role as teacher and protector, and it just warms my heart when they all interact with each other. (BTW Rachel released short stories on Wattpad about Wolfe and Santi’s past and I suggest you check them out because I love them)
If you enjoyed INK AND BONE, then you’re all set for this instalment. It was fast paced, fun and an all round brilliant sequel. (And I now have a mighty need to cosplay as Khalila….)
Paperback, 414 pagesPublication: July 5th 2016 by Allison & Busby