Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine is the first in a new YA fantasy/sci-fi exploring the possibility of the Library of Alexandria surviving past the modern day and into 2030! Ink and Bone ended up being much darker than I was expecting, but it is full of adventure, diversity, friendship, and cool technology too :D. If you’re looking for a fun new series to start and can’t resist the siren’s call of The Library of Alexandria, go get yourself a copy!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Ink and Bone from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (The Great Library #1)
Published by NAL on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Genre-bender, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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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.…
- The world of Ink and Bone is not at all what I was expecting and therefore I loved it ;-). Ink and Bone sort of defies a genre category because it has a fantasy feel, but there are also tablets and e-readers that work with “alchemy” which is NOT magic, but is pretty close :-P. The world of Ink and Bone is also not nearly as nice as you might expect the Library of Alexandria to be, though if you look at their habits historically, it does rather fit.
- Ink and Bone has some great friendships. The story follows a favorite set-up of kids starting at a school and of course making new friends before going off on an unexpected adventure, but I really liked the positivity that filled the relationships between the students, even the ones who didn’t particularly like each other.
- There are a lot of dark secrets to discover in Ink and Bone, both from the Library of Alexandria and pretty much every student it seemed. I was quickly hooked trying to figure out what was true and what was deception all around.
- Ink and Bone does have a bit of romance, but it is delightfully slow and subtle and lets the plot continue to do its thing. This is just the way I like my romances in a series because now I’m excited to see where things continue to go in book two!
- The diversity in Ink and Bone is really awesome to see. There are students from all over the world, including a Muslim girl who scored top of the entrance exam. There is also a homosexual romance that takes a bit to become clear, but once it was confirmed I just wanted to run up and hug the characters ;-).
- The ending of Ink and Bone is one that has a solid conclusion but nicely sets up for the sequel so you will be preordering it as soon as it appears! This will be a great series to binge-read I’m sure.
- Ink and Bone’s pacing confused me a bit because the climax is a bit early and then the ending that seems like it should have been the actual climax fizzled in comparison. Once things started wrapping up, it just felt like everything dragged since we already knew the major resolutions but still had a decent chunk of reading to get through.
- From Ink and Bone’s cover, I honestly thought it was middle grade (and it sounds like a lot of people have gotten a similar impression). It is NOT middle grade. Ink and Bone tackles some pretty serious issues such as suicide and war zones and there are a number of deaths. I foresee some parents being rather surprised at the content since I’ve been seeing it in the young juvenile fiction sections….
Ink and Bone is a great start to a new series featuring the Library of Alexandria, though not what you probably imagine! While it is darker than I expected, once you know what to expect, Ink and Bone is an addictive adventure with great characters and a very cool world. Be prepared to be dying for the sequel as soon as you finish ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.