Source: Penguin Random House – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Series: The Great Library #4
Edition: eARC, 448 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Historical FantasyPurchase:Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Books a Million, Barnes & Noble, Google Play
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.
Spoiler Warning for all previous books! This review may have spoilers for the first three books in the The Great Library series, if you are interested in starting the series I recommend checking out my review of that book instead.
Guys!! GUYS…*exhales* A little bit of a warning before I move forward with the review, words will not be able to describe how much I enjoyed reading this book. I’m going to attempt to keep the rambling to a minimum, but just know my mind is racing with all the things I want to say. I will attempt to keep spoilers to a minimum.
Smoke and Iron picks up right where Ash and Quill so cruelly left us, and it hits the ground running. In the previous books, we were treated to a story that moved at a nice pace with some very intense moments mixed in with a deliberate carefulness not to move too fast. Smoke and Iron throws that caution to the wind and we are treated to a mad dash as Caine builds us up to conflict. You only get a few breaks to catch your breath before you’re swept off again. I wish I could tell you everything that had me glued to the page, but you need to experience yourself…and believe me, this is an experience.
Our little group has gone through a lot and we’ve seen them grow stronger and smarter with each passing page…and it’s so satisfying to see just how much they have come into their own. Each character still shines right in their own ways: Jess with his cunning and drive, Khalila with her wit and politico charm, Dario and his roguish intellect, Glain her stalwart determination, Thomas and his eerie brilliance, and Morgan with her unbelievable power. The friendships and love we experience make it all the better, especially Wolfe and Santi who have a love that goes above and beyond words.
The world Caine has created is phenomenal. I have mentioned before my love for anything related to the Great Library of Alexandria, so part of this is like the historical rewrite I’ve always needed and more. A world where the Library not only survived but thrived and created, a world where the Library has become corrupt and dangerous. I will never get over how utterly amazingly terrifying the automation are. I adore a good villain, and I have to say the Library makes for one hell of a bad guy. There is so much at stake in this world and there are no easy answers, no black and white options to choose from. This is a world where morals can be skewed without a person ever knowing it, and that is such a refreshing change to the YA genre. I don’t want easy answers. I want answers that cause nightmares AND saves others, and Caine delivers that.
If you have enjoyed this series so far then Smoke and Iron is a must. It is without a doubt the best book in the series so far. If you are new to the series then I urge to pick up a copy of the first book, Ink and Bone!