Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library
Date Started: February 13
Date Finished: February 18
Format: Hardcover from local library
What if the Great Library of Alexandria survived? 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.…
I don’t even know where to begin with this book because it was very strange and not what I normally read. It is very literary with the mentions of books and the Great Library of Alexandria – which to be honest, I never really knew about before I read this book – and the storyline is quite complex. There were a few times where I seriously considered giving up on this book, but I pushed through somehow. Jess is a strange narrator because he’s not necessarily good, but he’s not necessarily bad either. Because of his upbringing in the world of book smuggling he’s used to doing backhanded things to help his family, but that doesn’t mean that he enjoys them. In fact, when his father puts him forward to be a spy in the Library, Jess is very reluctant to do so. He wants to be a Librarian. But he doesn’t want to be a spy for his family. It’s admirable really.
What I think caused me to keep going with Ink and Bone was the friendships that develop between Jess and his fellow classmates and the intriguing mystery that is the Library. What is the Artifax up to and why is he so intent on killing off Scholar Wolfe and the rest of his postulants including Jess? I’m intrigued enough to read on to book 2 when it comes out in July.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. This book most of the time was pretty dull with the usual interactions and the explanations of what certain things were – codex, Obscurists, etc. – but once the class had to go behind enemy lines to save a Library’s books, it got really interesting. This book is definitely not for the type who get attached to characters easily.
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