The Power Of Books Is A Curious Thing

BOOK REPORT for Mist, Metal, and Ash (Ink, Iron, and Glass #2) by Gwendolyn Clare

Cover Story: Pretty Messy
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Magic, But Missing
Bonus Factor: Power of Books
Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book Blues
Relationship Status: You’re Good? That’s Good.

Danger, Will Robinson! Mist, Metal, and Ash is the second book in the Ink, Iron, and Glass series. If you have not read the first book—Ink, Iron, and Glass—turn away now, as there might be spoilers in this review. If you have read the book, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Pretty Messy

I likened the cover of the first book in this series to a Rorschach test and said that the title treatment, while fun, seemed a bit too “Photoshop tutorial.” All of that still stands. That said, I don’t hate it, even though I think it could use some (a lot) of editing. And the two books really do look lovely side by side.

The Deal:

Elsa may have lost the editbook—and Leo—to Garibaldi, but she’s not giving up. The editbook (a magical book with the power to literally change the world, given the right author) is the most powerful book in existence, and a dangerous weapon for those like Garibaldi with a mind for vengeance and a twisted view of what’s “right” for the people of Italy. Elsa must get it back, at any cost, even if it means going it alone.

BFF Charm: Meh

Elsa and I are the kind of people that would be acquaintances rather than friends. Like, if I saw her at a coffee shop, I’d stop to catch up, but only until my order was ready. I’d like her Instagram posts, but we’d never go out of our way to get together. I like her well enough, but well enough isn’t BFF Charm worthy.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

The instalove that detracted from my enjoyment of the relationships in Ink, Iron, and Glass continued in Mist, Metal, and Ash, both with a new couple and the original. Because I felt little connection to the relationship in the first book, the moments of swoon in this second book fell flat.

Talky Talk: Magic, But Missing

One of my biggest complaints about Ink, Iron, and Glass was the lack of world-building, particularly when it came to laying ground rules for the magical gifts in the book. I’m totally down with books asking readers to suspend disbelief, especially when it comes to systems of magic, but there needs to be a good baseline; it’s hard to get immersed in a story when you’re floundering from the start. I knew enough about the universe to not feel totally lost in Mist, Metal, and Ash, but I still felt like I could have used a little more in the way of rules.

Bonus Factor: Power of Books

In the Ink, Iron, and Glass universe, books are literally the most powerful items in existence. Although they’re more powerful in our universe in a figurative sense, the sentiment rings true.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Bridge Book Blues

Mist, Metal, and Ash helps to progress the plot of the series, but none of the action in this second book felt totally necessary; or, rather, necessary to being a whole book on its own. As we all well know, trilogies seem to be the and butter of YA, but at the cost of the middle book often being purely transitional. The biggest problem with bridge books, I see, is that they totally dampen any excitement one might have had coming into the second book and certainly for any subsequent ones.

Relationship Status: You’re Good? That’s Good.

Much like I feel about my relationship with Elsa, Book, I feel about my relationship with you. We’re friendly, but not friends. I’m fine checking in occasionally, but I don’t think either of us feel any real need to make too much of an effort.

Literary Matchmaking:

  

● For more books in which words have literal power, check out Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library series.

● Also: Traci Chee’s The Reader.

● Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer features the magic of libraries (both literal and figurative), too.


FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Imprint, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Mist, Metal, and Ash is available now.