Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

By 10:59 AM , , , ,

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
    by: Rachel Caine

Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 352 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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.…

Oh man. Where do I even start with this book? It had SO MUCH to it that completely fascinated me that I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens! I loved learning about the Library, how it works, and the different roles assigned within. I also loved how Caine would include correspondence letters at the beginning of each chapter. In the beginning, it doesn't make much sense, but as you really get deeper, they start to divulge some very interesting information that will set the stage for the series. I absolutely loved that.
Because this is in the first book in a series, not everything is explained 100% and there were times I felt a bit at a loss because I didn't really understand the WHYS of some of these things introduced. It's not something that I got hung up on, but I am eager to learn more about the burners and the smugglers and the roles they'll play in future books to come. There is ALOT going on in this book and there were times I could get a bit inundated with all the information and description that I felt my attention wavering a bit.
The book is from Jess's POV and it was interesting to see his conflicting feelings on what his family did and what the Library stands for. He passes the test to begin the training process to see if he has what the Library needs and thus sends him to Alexandria, Egypt where he and a large number of other students will be trained by Scholar Wolfe, who drops the bomb that only 6 of them will earn a position. I enjoyed the diverse group of students that Caine has created, even though their personalities were a bit clichéd. There is Khalila, who is incredibly smart and dedicated; Dario, who is the bully of the group and gets a kick out of messing with Jess; Glain, who is a bit of snob and has a rather bluntness to her; Thomas, a sweet and kind German boy who befriends Jess instantly; and then there is Morgan, a girl who arrives late to the program and is accepted by the stringent Wolfe even despite this.
Scholar Wolfe is a no-nonsense guy who demands perfection and vigilance. He doesn't have time for those who would fool around and waste his time. He comes across as heartless and ruthless, but he ended up being one of my favorite characters and I cannot wait to learn more about him in the coming novels. There is also Santi, who is a captain for the High Garda, and is a bit more compassionate than Wolfe. I also really liked his character, even despite the role he played toward the end of the novel. He was in an impossible situation and while it broke my heart to see him do what he did, I get it too.
There is a touch of romance in this one, but it doesn't develop until late in the novel. I don't want to say too much about it, but OMG, what a whirlwind of danger, excitement, and betrayal! I really hope things can be made right in the future, because I was not down with how everything played out.
I never fully trusted the Library though. As with anything that obtains too much power, there is always corruption and I wondered how that would come into play in this novel. There are so many revelations dropped toward the end of the book that I wanted to scream, because I need the next one RIGHT NOW!  

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  1. I've haven't see this one around much - but I love the sound of it and I love Rachel's other series, so! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I loved this one! Wolfe and his partner in crime surprised me just a tiny bit (though I expected), yet I was delighted :D I can see what you're saying about the personalities and cliches. But this was a great book! I'm so glad you loved it, Jess. Excellent review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. Looks like Rachel has quite the cast of characters in this one, their roles do sound a bit cliche though, pity.

    I'm super excited for this one because it sounds so INTRICATE. I am a bit sad that it's not a standalone, but hey, I guess that means there are more pages for world building!

  4. All of these great sounding elements appeal to my reading senses. Thanks for the great review. I am planning to read this one myself.

  5. Oh dear. That second to last paragraph of yours makes me VERY nervous. I want to read this one because it sounds so fun and interesting and different, but I would be upset if the ship gets together late in the book and they're "separated" again at the end. >.<

    I'm glad this one was so exciting for you! Lovely review, babe. <3

  6. I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds sooo good and the premise is just UGH I needs it. Fantastic review Jessica!


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