I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my review. The scheduled publication date for this book is July 5, 2016.
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.
I loved the first book in this series, so I was so excited to read this one. It had its moments, but to be honest, it was not nearly as good as the first one. The first one was so action packed and full of suspense. This one . . . eh, not so much. Jess and all his friends who survived the class, are doing their jobs and trying not to get in trouble with the Library. That's hard stuff, especially since Thomas is in prison, Morgan is locked away in the tower and people are still determined to kill Wolfe.
I will tell you the most interesting part of this whole book: the automata that patrolled the Library. Those things were super intense and they were not afraid to rip the throat out of anyone they felt was a threat to the Library. The scenes where the automata lions were chasing Jess had my heart pounding. I craved more scenes with them. I know they were vicious things, but they added more excitement to an otherwise very slow plot. Another thing I loved: the emails and messages between the higher ups in the Library. I actually loved those a little bit more than Jess's POV. These messages added intrigue and drama and clued me in a little on who was doing what.
In between scenes with the automata, not a lot happened and that's probably why I got a little bored with certain parts. Jess complained about the Library, Jess smuggled stuff he shouldn't, and Jess kept trying to get Morgan to forgive him for his part in putting her in the tower. I'll be honest: I didn't really understand just why she was so mad. The Library will always find you. If Morgan didn't know that before this book, she knows it now. I know I got their relationship in the first book and maybe it's because Morgan was only in about half of this one, but I kind of prefer Glain. That being said, I guess it's nice to see a genuine friendship between a straight man and a straight woman. You don't see that all the time. Glain is Jess's Commander, so she is in charge (LOVE THAT!!!!). On the field, he listens to her and respects her. Off the field, they had a great chemistry and there was a lot of loyalty and protectiveness between the two of them.
Other than the stuff with the automata and the occasional messages between members of the Library, the book didn't really get suspenseful until more than halfway through. At that point, all the characters from the first book were together again and they were on the run for their lives from the Library . . . again. Seriously, this Library is freaking evil. (I never thought I would say those words.) There was one part (no spoilers) where Jess just started crying because it was so traumatic and I have to say that if I were in his shoes, I would feel the exact same way. And just when you thought Jess and his friends were safe, BOOM . . . something would happen and they were screwed again. There were a few twists and turns with the plot and I was super interested in the cliffhanger. Even though I had a few issues with this one, it was still entertaining and I am still excited for the next one.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you love this series, I would recommend buying it!