Monday, July 20, 2015

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine: Review


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 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 reading of all good books is like the conversation with the finest men of the past centuries."

The Great Library of Alexandria some of the greatest wonders throughout the course of time. And it is destroyed ages ago in our world. In Jess' world however, the library is very much present -  and ruthless. Raised by book smugglers, Jess is ordered to be a spy in the library, and discovered cruelty that he might not be able to bear, and his actions might just be his demise.

The thing about this book is that it's great, but it lacks crucial elements. How is this book great? Well, I thoroughly enjoy reading it, at the very least. There are complex relationships and personalities between characters. Jess is brave and loyal, but also reckless and sometimes cynical. Khalia is very intelligent and calm, but can be a bit mysterious. Thomas is just a nice guy with legitimate ambitions. Wolfe... well, you just have to read about him to actually get to know him. Their relationships are filled with uncertainties, sometimes backstabbing (not in a very serious way), calculating, and suspicion. But there's no mistaking of interdependence, and possibly friendship between some of the major characters here. Their actions are unpredictable in their own way, which makes the book even more so. I also love the complex world originated from the Egyptian legend. Is the Library preserving knowledge - or simply preventing us from learning? What is the real intention of the Library's existence? The final answer is still unknown, but this is what makes the background so exhilarating. An air of exotic mystery.

But in my opinion, there's one big problem with this book. To be honest, I'm not sure if that is a problem or if it's just a very subtle way to plot the story. I usually rewind the course of things happened in a book immediately after I finished it. I couldn't do the same thing with this book. I feel like not much has happened in this book, other than Jess questioning his loyalty towards the library and a certain event at the end of Ink and Bone that marks a drastic twist of events (possibly) in the second book. Yes, the world is great. The characters are awesome. But the lack of plot (or the subtlety of the plot) is what makes me take off one star from my review on Goodreads.

I still like this book. A lot. And I would like to see Jess resolving the sticky situation in the second book.

Rating: 7.5/10

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