ARC Review: Blood, Ink & Fire by Ashley Mansour


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 The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves do not—cannot—exist.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?


Disclaimer: I received an eARC of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A world without books? That literally sounds like the worst of my nightmares and “end of the world” scenarios come true – yet I am a sucker for pain, for angst and thus, I actually couldn’t resist requesting this book – because c’mon!

Blood, Ink & Fire is a Sci-FI/Dystopian book set in a futuristic world where reading has become obsolete and print books are banned – yeah I know our worst nightmares written down, isn’t it?

Nightmarish scenario aside, I have to be honest, I was really excited to read this book and it could have been such a satisfying read, if it had been handled correctly!

I had so many issues with this book especially considering that it started off with such a strong plot and stimulating premise that got weaker and weaker as I went deeper into the plot.

First, that this plot had such a strong beginning, you expect it to be consistent throughout the story – you don’t expect it to feel rushed, or inconsistent and that’s exactly what happened with this book – while there were some parts that took inexplicably long explanations  and some situations that were over within a few paragraphs – mostly the action scenes and that is just sad!

Second, I like to be able to identify with the characters I am reading about – especially in YA novels – but when the character building is at fault, not much can be done by the reader, even if they really want to like the characters, which I did, badly!

Third, the romance – god, why does almost every YA novel has it’s premise wekened by a romance that is rushed aka insta-love scenario – you know you are a kid, when even without talking to each other, you feel as if there isn’t a character growth that you are looking for – because aren’t you supposed to grow in love – you are supposed find something that you like and you don’t like in a human, but understand that the things that you don’t like are things that you can compromise about – not just look at her/him, and just go – BAM! That’s MY human, forever and always. This scenarios will always bug me, no matter what genre I read!

These three issues were my main issues with this book – and these are issues that I am sad to say were quite dominant and are definitely the reason why the reason for such a low rating – and that bugs me – because this author’s attention to detail is the likes of something that I have never seen before and I just wish she had taken the time and the help of a really good beta readers to get this book better in shape!


⭐ ⭐ .5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.