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Author: Ashley Mansour
Publisher: Upturn Publishing
Publication Date: 12/01/2015
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves do not—cannot—exist.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?
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Imagine, if you will, Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is in effect but on a much, much greater scale. The written word is outlawed… and so is the very ability to read and understand the written word. Words are considered dangerous in written form and the government of The United Vales of Fell aka UVF or Fell will do anything to keep them away from the citizens. And I do mean anything.
This story follows Noelle Hartley on a journey that is her family legacy. She is the last true reader and she must again start the uprising to defeat Fell. But can she do it?
I have to say, I kept wanting to come back to this book after I started it. The book makes you think about what happens if people stop reading and start relying on artificial intelligence sources to tell us what we need to know. Would there be a group that fought to keep the written word alive or would we all follow blindly?
Noelle is a character that I have a love/hate relationship with. In a way, I relate to her because she has the words in her. But her fierce loyalty to her loved ones and her willingness to do anything to keep them with her is something that I just don’t understand – especially when the choice is being made between her own desire to keep her family with her and the greater good. There are times when Noelle makes me laugh and times when she makes me want to rip her out of the pages of the book and slap her.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll get goosebumps during various points of the book. And the ending…well, the ending isn’t anything like I expected and leaves me craving a sequel. I sincerely hope there is a sequel because I need more.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.