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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Ink and Bone
Series: The Great Library #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: July 07, 2015
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC from publisher

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…

I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A book about books? Sign me up! I was seriously on board from the get-go. That gorgeous cover is engraved into my mind.

This book and I haven't always been friends. In fact, this is my second try at reading this book. I first tried this book after it was released last year. I got about 1/3 through the book and just stopped reading. It was way too slow for me, I wasn't really connecting, and reading started to feel like a chore. I hardly ever DNF a book. I decided to give this book a second try. I am so very glad that I did!

By the time that I finished this book I was floored! The plot finally becomes clear and so very exciting. There is adventure, secrets, corruption and political intrigue. I love this glimpse into an alternate reality.

The plot is unique and compelling. While the book is set in the year 2050, it feels very much set in the past. The Great Library controls all knowledge, and without knowledge progress has been stalled. I love this main theme of them book - knowledge is power and the Great Library is in control. This book has a Victorian steampunk sort of feel to it. Trains and steam carriages are the modes of transportation.

I love the group of young adult characters in this book. They are diverse and they each bring something to the group. Some of the adult characters are quite memorable as well. I love Caine's ability to write a character that seems completely horrible in the beginning, but turns out to be one of your favorites by the end of the book.

While you have a general idea of what is to come, you don't really get a great idea until the end of the book. Everything really falls into place at the end. Once you read the last page you immediately lose that disconnected feeling from the beginning of the book and yearn for the next book.

Overall, a great book and I would definitely recommend it to others. Especially book lovers. I would just add that if you pick this up and find it slow in the beginning, just keep reading. Trudge through any boredom you may have and press on. It really does pick up and it turns out to be amazing in the end.


Rachel Caine's rich, diverse bibliography of more than 45 books in print covers many categories and genres. She started out writing horror and fantasy as Roxanne Longstreet (Stormriders, The Undead, Red Angel, Cold Kiss, Slow Burn) before switching to the name Roxanne Conrad and publishing romantic suspense and mystery (Copper Moon, Bridge of Shadows, Exile). By 2003, she began to publish under her current pseudonym, specializing in urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal young adult fiction. 

She has been writing original fiction since the age of fourteen, and professionally published since 1991. She graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso Texas (where she was a UIL all-state champion in music and journalism) and went on to earn an accounting degree from Texas Tech University. She played professionally as a musician for several years once out of college, but ultimately gave up the music for writing.

She's had a varied "day job" career, including web design, graphic arts, accounting, payroll management, insurance investigation, and (most recently) corporate communications and crisis management. (It all counts as research.)

Rachel loves reading, writing, and mild amounts of arithmetic when required ... but she has a special place in her heart for history, music, and science, and you'll find those themes in many of her works.


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