2016 Book 224: PAPER AND FIRE by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine 
ISBN: 9780451472403 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698180826 (ebook)
ASIN: B016JPTGZ4 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: July 5, 2016 
Publisher: NAL


In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…


Imagine a world where the leading superpower isn’t a national government or religion. In this world, there’s one organization that has ruled for centuries and that organization is the Great Library. In this world, there’s no such thing as bookstores. The Great Library allows you to read portions of books and anything that doesn’t fit with their agenda is banned. Any library scholar or affiliate that comes up with ideas that may minimize the Library’s power is deemed an enemy and arrested. This is the world that Jess Brightwell and friends live in. Jess and friends must decide if they’re willing to adhere to strict Library guidelines or think for themselves in the second book in The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire.

After our introduction to The Great Library in Ink and Bone, Jess and friends had finished their postulant training. Morgan had been forced into service as an Obscurist, never able to leave the Iron Tower. Glain Wathen had become a training officer in the High Garda, living to protect the Great Library no matter what. Khalila Seif and Dario Santiago had become Library Research Scholars. Jess is a low-level Garda-in-training and Thomas, an engineering genius, is reported as killed presumably for creating a printing press. Down, but never out, Jess is looking for answers to why the Library killed Thomas. With a little help from Morgan and a local book smuggling family, is that Thomas is still alive and being kept in a prison facility far away. Jess and friends must decide if they want to free their friend Thomas and if so, if they’re willing to fight the might of the Library no matter the cost?

I found Paper and Fire to be just as riveting a read as Ink and Bone. I’m somewhat enamored with a world that still has the great Library at Alexandria, but this is definitely tempered by the notion that bookstores are nonexistent and I could only read and own approved “books” via the library. (No these are printed books that we’re used to be a cross between printed books and digital books.) Ms. Caine has crafted a believable dystopian world based on a desire for control and power and the Library is powerful beyond anything we could possibly imagine. She provides romance, dysfunctional family drama, and tons of internal and external conflict for all of the characters to deal with. The head of the library, the Archivist, and his assistant, the Artifex Magnus, are willing to do anything to ensure their world view continues. There are people fighting against the Library and its control, but they are just as blinded by their vision as the Archivist and Artifex Magnus. It was disheartening to learn that the Obscurist as forced into service and treated no better than slaves. The female Obscurists are even raped in order to perpetuate the Obscurist line. (No, I won’t tell you if this has been Morgan’s fate or not…read the book!) There’s a lot happening in Paper and Fire and I could go on and on about everything, but if you’ve read Ink and Bone I’ll simply say “read this book.” If you haven’t read Ink and Bone, start there; you’ll probably want to binge read both books so make sure you have a few days to read and enjoy. I eagerly await the next addition to The Great Library Series to find out what happens next.


Read free stories from The Great Library Series here


Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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2016 Book 177: BOOKS OF A FEATHER by Kate Carlisle

Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle 
ISBN: 9780451477705 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698411067 (ebook)
ASIN: B015DLUT42 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 
Publisher: NAL

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ripped from the Pages, San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright’s latest project is for the birds, but it may have her running for her life. . . Brooklyn’s friend Ian runs the Covington Library, which is hosting an exhibit featuring John James Audubon’s massive masterpiece, Birds of America, currently on loan from an Arab sheik. During the gala celebrating the book, she is approached by Jared Mulrooney, the president of the National Birdwatchers Society, who urgently needs Brooklyn’s skilled hands to repair a less high-profile book of Audubon drawings that’s fallen victim to spilled wine. At the same party, Brooklyn is flying high after she’s asked to refurbish and appraise a rare copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac. But everything runs afoul later that evening when Mulrooney’s body is discovered in the library. Rumors fly about a motive for murder. Perhaps Mulrooney wanted to sink his claws into the pricey Audubon book, but Brooklyn believes the man died fighting off a daring thief. 

Soon more troubles ruffle Brooklyn’s feathers. Her parents pop in for a visit with an unsavory friend in tow, and there’s a strange man on her tail. With danger beginning to circle Brooklyn’s every move, it’s clear she must find answers before things really go south . . .


Brooklyn Wainwright is back in San Francisco after having her apartment renovated. She’s eager to get back to work in her own workspace, especially since she has a rare copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac to work on. Brooklyn’s also introduced to a childhood friend of her fiance Derek Stone. Back at home with old friends, a new friend, and a new living space, what could possibly go wrong is the question raised and answered in the newest addition to the Bibliophile Mystery series by Kate Carlisle, Books of a Feather.

Brooklyn is back in San Francisco and quite happy with the newly renovated apartment. She’s also back to helping out her friend at Taylor’s Books, namely doing inventory and refurbishing and appraising rare books, including a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac. Brooklyn is a tad paranoid that this particular book might be a target for a rare book thief, so she’s extra cautious when removing it from the store and storing it in a safe at her home. She also has the opportunity to meet an old friend of Derek’s, a classmate nicknamed Crane. She learns a bit about Derek’s school adventures and more about Crane and his somewhat estranged younger brother Bai. She also learns of a tenuous connection one of Crane’s forefathers, a renowned Chinese artist, had with Audubon and, as a result of this connection, she invites Crane to the Covington Library’s exhibit for Audubon’s Birds of America. It is at this event that Brooklyn encounters her first dead body, only minutes after receiving a rare book attributed to Audubon to refurbish. This is later followed by an attempted burglary and a murder at Brooklyn and Derek’s apartment and intrigue at Taylor’s Books. Is it possible these events are all tied together or is something more sinister going on?

Books of a Feather is the tenth installment in the Bibliophile Mystery series. I found it to be a fast-paced and engaging read from the first page to the very last. Ms. Carlisle provides plenty of intrigue, mayhem, and murder to keep not only the characters of the books alert but the reader as well. One of my favorite scenes occurs when Brooklyn’s parents, Jim and Becky, come to visit and attend a Deadhead (Grateful Dead followers) reunion. They come back home after the reunion with someone they presume is an old friend down on his luck and he’s murdered the very next day. It is only after the murder occurs that they realize he isn’t their old friend Goose after all…they brought a total stranger into their daughter’s home. As a result of this mistake in judgment, Becky decides she must use her Wiccan skills to “dispel” the negative energy and then protect the home. There’s a lot going on in this story and if I told you everything you wouldn’t need to read it, so I’ll just say if you’re a fan of this series then you’ll definitely want to read this book. If you haven’t read this series but are a fan of cozy style mysteries, then you’ll want to add this series to your TBR list immediately. (Might I suggest binge reading this series over the next holiday weekend or while you’re on vacation.) I thoroughly enjoyed Books of a Feather and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in this series just to see what happens with Brooklyn, Derek, and friends next. 

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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