Friday, June 9, 2017

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine ~ Review

Title: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Source: Goodreads First Reads
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

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 his friend 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…

Having a library in charge of the world's knowledge sounds like amazing things. With the goal of the library being the preservation of original works (think old school documents and hand-made books) and the distribution of books through blanks (think tablets only in the shape of a book with actual pages), The Library seems to be a force for good. But when the wrong people are in charge, knowledge and innovation can be stifled and withheld. This is The Library as it is today.

Jess Brightwell isn't the most obvious choice to work as a librarian, but it's his life goal. The son of a smuggling family, he's access to information and books that most people are not allowed to see. He has a love of the written word and longs to know more. Most of the story revolves around Jess after he accepted for training in The Library. They are an interesting group, and I really enjoyed how their personalities clashed and meshed in various ways.

The training in intense and often dangerous. And, most of all, eye-opening. Jess realizes The Library isn't the idealist entity that he looked up to his whole life, and he has to come to terms with some very hard truths about himself and his fellow trainees. 

One of the really fun aspects of the book are the little snippets into the Black Archives or destroyed works that are deemed too dangerous for the public. Through these little bits and pieces, the reader is able to see into the heart of The Library and its leaders, see into the past and how it took the wrong turn into tyranny. 

This was a fantastic start to a new series. Amazing characters, an intriguing world, and a search for a better way to use the vast knowledge of the world.

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book**

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