Series: The Great Library #1
Published by NAL on July 7th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
A world where the library runs things and books are probably the most valued items around? A world where people would die for books? Sounds like a world a book lover would treasure, right? Finally a world where people don’t brush books off as boring and a waste of time! But yeah, I wouldn’t want to live in this brilliantly crafted world… Not ever!
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.… Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service. When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…
Ink and Bone takes place in the future, but in a future from an alternative history. A history where Guttenberg was never able to use his invention to begin the transformation of books from a rare commodity to a household item. Instead it’s a world where the library holds – or tries to hold – every original edition of every book written and people are only able to read magically produced copies. The process is hard to explain and I just suggest that you read it to get the details that way. But to me, it’d be like the only way to read a book is on Kindle. Could you imagine never holding the real thing?
The concept is very cool and well written. The world is fascinating – there’s a complex system of classes and kinds of people, from those that oppose the library to those within it, to the smugglers and those with book fetishist like I’ve never heard of before. There’s also a couple wars (one open, the other more discreet) brewing, and we see them up close and personal, complete with brutality and heartache. This is not a YA the spares you the bloody truth!
I also really enjoyed the characters. The main character, Jess, belongs to a family of book smugglers. His family is fairly ruthless and that had given him a very rough upbringing – which ends with his father forcing him into one of the most dangerous situations possible for someone in their line of work – The Library. It’s a dangerous situation and leads to some very nail biting scenarios. Jess’s upbringing also made him very clever and resourceful, though, too. And somehow he’s also come out a kind, compassionate person.
The characters Jess meets while in training are so diverse, complex and evoke so many emotions from frustration and excitement to endearment or sadness. You get to know six of them very well, plus their teacher and protector. I grew to love all of them in different ways, some I loved for how much they frustrate me, others I loved for how good they are.
There’s so much about this I liked – my only complaint is that there’s these little letters between each chapter that really pulled me out of the story at the beginning. They were disruptive to the flow, though later in they became some of my favorite parts.
I’m really excited to see where this series will go – there’s so much potential in this world and characters. The way things ended has me VERY anxious for the next book! It’s not a cliff hanger, but there are a lot of unresolved questions! Be ready for the wait!
Ink and Bone had a seriously cool world! Loved it!. Click To Tweet