Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Reviewer: Gikany & Una
For fans of Rachel Caine’s young adult series The Morganville Vampires, she has something new. Although Gikany and Una both had very different reactions to the start of Ink and Bone, by the end we both loved it and are eagerly awaiting more in the new The Great Library series.
For fans of The Morganville Vampires series looking for something similar, this is not it unless you want something just as addicting. The Great Library series is completely new and entirely intriguing. Una thought the book had a slow start to it while Gikany was able to jump right in and be hooked. However, by the 25-30% mark, Una was hooked and found it difficult to put down. Ink and Bone starts a bit slowly, giving a little of the history of the world and a bit of background about our hero, Jess. But the slow pace doesn’t last for long and soon your heart will be racing from the fast-paced action and political suspense.
The world is fascinating and Ms. Caine builds it slowly, interspersing the world-building with the adventures of Jess. It is set in an alternate future – with Libraries (books and knowledge) as a prominent and controlling force of the world. Ms. Caine deftly uses the correspondence of various Library dignitaries and historical writings to give context to the story. Since the novel is told solely from Jess’s point of view, these letters balance out the world-building while also giving clues to the on-going political intrigue.
Gikany and Una suffered book hangover once they reached the end. The novel ends with a minor cliffhanger, and the ramifications and consequences of Jess’s choices leave much to ponder, reminisce and grieve over. This book, and most likely this series, is for a mature young adult. High school age and older would be appropriate for the serious nature of the novel. War is a very real aspect of the novel, and the depictions of it are included. Tough decisions and loss are appropriately handled and included, grounding the novel and giving a clearer picture of the world while also defining Jess’s character and his development.
So much occurs in the novel that to discuss more of it would be a disservice to those who will read it. Gikany and Una were consumed by this new, unique, and compelling world. The plight of Jess and the implications of the supporting characters were, and are, compelling. Ink and Bone was a refreshing read and is a fabulous start to an enthralling new young adult series. If you enjoy character driven political intrigue in a fresh and fascinating new alternate world, The Great Library series is for you.
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..
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Series: The Great Library #1
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Hardcover (368 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)