Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
by Rachel Caine
What is it about:
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...
What did I think of it:
How could I resist a book about the Great Library of Alexandria!?
And this story is so good!
The setting is Steampunkish, which really fit the story. I was drawn in to both the story and the world from the start.
And it's a dark and grim world! The Great Library controls the flow of knowledge, making sure that ideas and ideologies that don't fit into their plans won't be shared. The censure they enforce and the control they have over the world was a frightening thing. Caine succeeded in making it feel very real in my opinion.
Jess is a great lead character. He has his shady side, and is a bit selfish from time to time, but that makes the moments when he has to decide between right and wrong all the more interesting to read about.
There were some very interesting other characters as well. The training Jess and the others have to follow is based on the fact that you have to prove yourself worthy or you will be send packing. This created some tension and rivalry among the students and had me rooting for my favorite characters.
The mood that already was a bit dark at the start of the story became increasingly darker, and I had to keep reading to discover what would happen next. The ending resolved some things, but left more than enough open to make me eager for the next book. You can bet I'll be keeping an eye out to get hold of it as soon as it releases.
Why should you read it:
It's a really intense and beautiful YA read.