- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Upturn Publishing; 1 edition (December 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996278710
- ISBN-13: 978-0996278713
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds’
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 The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves cannot exist.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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Alternative Review (How I felt for about 99% of the book right up to the ending):
Blood, Ink, & Fire will get your blood boiling, the ink pouring from your heart and light your soul on fire. This is a tale that cannot be erased from the mind of the reader!
The essential reading experience is epitomized and personified into one of the characters – Ledger. I found this to be particularly interesting as the sensation of reading means different things to different people. I for one find that reading is not a means of escapism but rather a method of connecting with various modes of thought.
‘A book needs a reader just as much as the reader needs the book’, the relationship between Noelle Hartley and Ledger echoes this message. Noelle is able to read the soul of Ledger and shares a bond that cannot be described in words. Furthermore, through them we are able to realize that every story must have an end along with the finality of the matter.
In the dystopian setting of ‘Blood, Ink & Fire’ Fell has taken control and demands absolute compliance. There is no respect for the written word and ‘Verity’ an intelligent AI taking the form of a hologram and/or data stream uses images as an alternative to words when teaching the next generation. Throughout the ages writers and philosophers have been opposed to such means of governance and as a result they have protested against them with their trusty fountain pens.
Ashley Mansour highlights the struggle of readers as they endeavor to elude the suffocating grasp of Fell who believe that the world is better off with newer technology and that ‘creative destruction’ is a natural process. For the most part, Fell’s military forces prove to be too difficult to overcome but what the readers lack in arms they more than make up for in terms of spirit, passion, creativity, and dedication.
It is inevitable that as we continue to read the stories become an inseparable part of us. Giving that up would be akin to casting off a part of our identity. I could not find myself supporting Noelle’s choice which consequently led to the ending of the book as she chose to give in to her insecurities and sorrow in exchange of a life devoid of meaning. She might as well have kissed a Dementor.
Honestly, had Noelle read the Myth of Sisyphus or Either/Or A fragment of Life… she might have decided against it. If Sisyphus can find joy in the struggle through an act of defiance, so could she! If Parmeniscus can rediscover what it is to laugh, so could she! As Mark Twain said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.” Noelle just couldn’t see that for the completion of joy one must first suffer.
I received this book free of cost from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”