Series: The Great Library #1
Also in this series: Paper and Fire
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on July 7th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic, Books & Libraries, Dystopian
Also by this author: Paper and Fire
eARC provided by NAL
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.…
I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book. Ink and Bone is amazing! Ink and Bone is a book about books. Now that the sequel is about to come out, I am kinda glad I waited to read this. I need the sequel immediately!
Jess lives in a world where books are controlled by The Great Library. The Great Library controls the flow of information in the world. Jess starts off as a runner for his family. His family steals original versions of books and trades them in the black market. Jess isn’t really interested in the family business. His father could see that early on, and set him up with a good education. An education good enough to get him into The Great Library’s service so he could continue to work for his family from the inside. Working for the The Great Library would mean Jess is employed by the enemy.
There are three kinds of people in this world.
Librarians: work for The Great Library and control the information of the world
Dealers: who steal and deal original copies of rare books
Burners: who burn books for political protest
Everyone has a journal at birth and is encouraged to write about their lives, the journals become part of the library once a person dies. The Great Library looks good and safe, but it is actually the very thing keeping progress from happening in this world. No one but the library gets original books. In a whole lifetime, you may gain access to an electronic book or get a copied one. Almost no one gets to see an original book.
Books are power in this world. Since the library has all the power, and people don’t know any better, a position with The Great Library is a coveted position. In this word there are no printing presses, no way for a book to be shared. All of the best ideas and technology are used for the library only. Oppression is a thing. Which brings a need for Burners. They don’t want the library to have all the power, they burn books and librarians in protest. They are a real threat to librarians throughout the world.
Jess is sent into training with The Great Library after passing the entrance exam. He might be the most promising student from his part of the world, but he finds he is just one of many who wants a life working with books. The whole story follows Jess in his studies and his rivalries with other students in Alexandria. Some of this story was reminiscent of Harry Potter, but these kids are older. The stakes are higher. The students are more twisted, and there is much more at stake.
The world building in Ink and Bone is pretty amazing. We get to see so much of this world and it is flawlessly described for the reader. I had no problem seeing the world. I have to admit the beginning of this book is a bit slow, but once I got past the first few chapters, and into Jess’ journey, I was completely sucked in. All of the characters are well written. Jess is torn throughout most of this story between reaching his potential for the library and pleasing his family. He knows more than most of his peers and that knowledge is dangerous.
There was a bit of romance, but it is so damned complicated. I loved Morgan and Jess together. There is also some great friendships. Those are hard won though. They also get pretty complicated. Within this story is a great adventure and a lot of danger.
This book made me so grateful to have access to books and knowledge without persecution. I really enjoyed this book. It ends in a good place with no cliffhangers. I want more of the story though, so I can’t wait to read the sequel. Fans of books and YA fictional history will enjoy this story.