Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"Blood, Ink & Fire" by Ashley Mansour




Where to start with Ashley Mansour's debut book Blood, Ink & Fire ? I guess I should ease you in with the summary taken from Amazon:

Imagine a world without books... In the future, books are a distant memory. The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves do not cannot exist. But where others see images in the stream, teenager Noelle Hartley sees words. She s obsessed with what they mean, where they came from, and why they found her. Noelle s been keeping her dangerous fixation with words a secret, but on the night before her seventeenth birthday, a rare interruption in the stream leads her to a mysterious volume linked to an underworld of rebel book lovers known as the Nine of the Rising. With the help of the Risers and the beguiling boy Ledger, Noelle discovers that the words within her are precious clues to the books of the earlier time and as a child of their bookless age, she might be the world s last hope of bringing them back. Blood, Ink & Fire is a gripping, evocative tale that asks, who would we be without books?

To be honest, when browsing Netgalley I expected the book to be amazing! I had very high expectations because I loved the premise. Being a book lover I have never in my life imagined a world without reading (because that would be a fucking nightmare-duh!). I also love a good sci-fi, futuristic, dystopian young adult book. I will start with what I loved.

The author does a great job at describing the world that Noelle lives in. Mansour's writing throughout the book is solid. I had no problem imagining this futuristic setting. The characters are very likable and it was easy to ease in to (I didn't get mass confusion by being introduced to a lot of characters all at once). There are also tons of book quotes throughout the story (who doesn't like that). 

Then, we come to what I didn't like about this book. It's a long book, but the important and most interesting scenes seemed so rushed. It left me wondering if I'd skipped a page or two. Then the parts I thought were unimportant and boring dragged on forever! I skimmed entire paragraphs to get back to the "meat" of the story. I honestly would have probably stopped reading if it weren't a Netgalley book that I felt obligated to finish and review.

I also just couldn't wrap my head around the two main characters. At times they just didn't make sense. Noelle is supposed to be be a leader, but she was so child-like in her thoughts and actions. I couldn't fully picture her as a heroine and leader. She had inconsistent traits that left me confused. Ledger, I just didn't know. No character development at all. I felt I needed much more information about him.

The overall book is your typical YA dystopian novel. Not a bad debut, but in no way was this a great debut. The negatives outweighed the positives for me. I think it was a great premise that was poorly executed. It just somehow fell flat.  

This is a 3 star book for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and Upturn Publishing for allowing me to read for free and give my honest review!
Happy Reading! 




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