Adventure (Teen), Fantasy (Teen), Science Fiction, Series, YA Fiction

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – The Great Library #1

I love libraries. I love books. So it makes sense that I would be drawn to a novel that focuses on both of these things!

What if the Great Library of Alexandria had actually survived? Ruthless and powerful beyond belief, the Great Library controls the world, controlling the flow of knowledge and books to the masses. Through alchemical means, the Library allows its patrons to access the contents of the greatest works of history in an instant – but owning a book is forbidden by law. Jess Brightwell firmly believes in the values and authority of the Library, but his world is full of illegal books that his family sells on the black market. His family sees his love of books and the library and decide to use both to make him a family spy by helping him enter into the Library’s service. But the more time he spends training for a life in the Library, the more his loyalties are tested. In the end, Jess will have to decide if the Library is truly as good as it seems, especially as it seems to value knowledge and books over life.

Wow, was that a great book! I’m not kidding when I say that I loved every bit of it! The whole concept was just so interesting and the author did a great job spinning this crazy world, and I was instantly sucked in!

I really liked the whole concept of forbidden books. Trying to imagine a world where the only source of literature is through a library is so interesting. The author did a really nice job in illustrating both the positives as well as the negatives of having such a system. I liked the whole black market aspect, as it was reminiscent of The Book Thief (another novel that I really enjoyed)! While the author tried to include historical aspects to the novel, it wasn’t the central focus so if readers are expecting to see crazy historical differences, they may be disappointed. One thing I found confusing was that the novel was set in 2025 but there weren’t too many technological advances; you would think that with the amount of knowledge that the Library had, there would be more conveniences available. I mean, I still enjoyed reading about the steam carriages and automatons, but it was a bit weird. I loved all of the characters that were in the book, and I’m really glad that this novel did not have a love triangle; I’m getting quite bored of seeing that happen all the time! This novel chronicles the time that Jess and his fellow students spend getting trained in the Library, which I actually found really intriguing; most people get bored reading about lessons and learning experiences (I do, too) but the author wrote about this material in a way that kept interesting and exciting! I also loved that there were excerpts of letters at the end of each chapter that revealed some of the more secret aspects of the Library; it built up the tension and made the story come together in a really unique way! Overall, this was a really great novel and I’m already eager to get into the next book in the series!

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