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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine eARC {4 Stars}

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 eARC {4 Stars}

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.…

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • 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.

Weaknesses:

  • 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….

Summary:

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 ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I am so excited to get to this one (when I can!) This one always sounds so great.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Story Sprites Check-UpMy Profile

  2. Nice review :) This one has been on my to-read list since I first read the summary (Library of Alexandria!!), and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I think the mixture of old and new tech plus “magic” sounds fascinating.
    Rebekah H. recently posted…Liebster Award Challenge 2015 PART IMy Profile

    • I suspect a lot of us were sold on that premise :D Yes, the mix of tech and magic is a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to that tension getting developed further :D

  3. EEEP. I’m about 50 pages in and really loving it so far, and the diversity is amazing, mostly because it’s effortless. It’s not a “one of each” sort of situation – they’re all just there doing their thing. I am surprised to hear that it’s been filed as MG in some places though O_O I hope it doesn’t cause issues for some kids! That would be horrible.
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…My August TBRMy Profile

  4. I keep seeing such fantastic reviews for this book! More and more I wish I’d gotten a copy for review, because it sounds like a good fun read, the kind that I think I’m increasingly in the mood for these days.

    Might see if the local library would be good enough to get a copy in.

    Great review!
    Bibliotropic recently posted…Falling in Love With Hominids, by Nalo HopkinsonMy Profile

  5. I really want to read this but not sure it is is too dark for me…I usually take the risk and surprise myself with liking a genre that I normally don’t read though.
    tanya recently posted…How Can HR Help Create Higher Employee Engagement Within Organizations?My Profile

  6. Library, slow background romance, library…yep, I’m ready to give it a try! :D And I agree with you. While I don’t dislike the cover, it doesn’t clearly stand out as YA, which can be good, or could hurt sales… Anyway, great review!
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Beastly Bones by William Ritter ARC (3 stars)My Profile

    • I am always conflicted when a book doesn’t convey its contents well since it feels like marketing is trying to trick people into buying it and it doesn’t catch the eye of those who would actually like it!

  7. Everyone who’s reviewed Ink and Bone either really likes it or loves it. I haven’t seen a single negative or so-so review of it yet. :D I can’t wait to check it out for myself!
    Sara L. recently posted…Recent Reads: July 2015 (Plus, I’m Back from #WDC15!)My Profile

  8. I loved this book :) Glad to see you enjoyed it. I do remember reading one book this year where I felt the climax happened early, and everything else after that was just kinda … more, but not as suspenseful or exciting. But I can’t for the life of me remember if it was this book or not.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The Rising by Ian TregillisMy Profile

  9. Ooh, I’m so looking forward to this book so I’m thrilled you like it! Love hearing it’s got diversity and such great sounding friendships. I totally thought this was a MG book, too. Hearing that it’s not is quite possibly the last push I needed to push THIS to the top of my ‘buy next’ list. Which, right now, is comprised of this book. ;) Very excited for it now so thanks so much for the review!
    Amy @ Pages of Starlight recently posted…The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la CruzMy Profile

  10. I *LOVED* the setting and the mythology in this book, as well as the juxtaposition of really archaic ideals of the library and the halt of printing technology VS their relative advancements in other areas e.g. the super fast trains and automaton. Glad you also enjoyed this one and I can’t wait for the next book :D I didn’t really connect to the characters all that much, but I hope I will warm up to them in the subsequent novel I WANT TO LOVE THEM ALL. I did really enjoy Wolf and Sati’s relationship, though.
    Aentee @ Read at Midnight recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tale RetellingsMy Profile

    • So agreed, though it makes it hard to classify its subgenre, haha. I do love it when fantasy and sci-fi overlap though! Wolf and Sati gahhhhhh! *hugs them*

  11. I adored this book, one of my favorites of the year probably. Plus Rachel Caine gave me a set of character cards at Comic Con so I’m forever going to love her for that:-)
    Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday [159] DOWN WITH THE SHINE by Kate Karyus QuinnMy Profile

  12. I agree, it’s always a better read when I know what to expect. This book sounds really good, but I’m not in the mood for dark right now, so I think I’ll put it off. I know what you mean, I recently read a book that resolved things early and it gives the ending a really anti climatic feel.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Chains of Water and Stone by Katherine HurleyMy Profile

  13. I really enjoyed this one too. I read it for Book Club next month. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy (I originally checked it out from the library)
    Felicia GeekyBlogger (@thegeekyblogger) recently posted…Review: Heroes are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsMy Profile

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