Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Or: Yo this is a brilliant idea.
Synopsis: In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime. Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world. Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .
My friend works in a discount book store, and about 6 months ago she gave me this book; aparently she’d heard good things about it from a customer and they were having a huge sale so she brought a copy for me and one for herself.
I put in my to read pile and promptly forgot all about it. It wasn’t until I was physically trying to jam my recently read books into my precariously full bookshelf that I noticed it again. I’d just finished another book and needed a book to begin for the week ahead. It was relatively thin and the synopsis seemed interesting, so I decided to give it ago.
I’d happily give this book a solid 3 and a half stars out of 5
It was ok. Could have been better, but not bad.
The idea and concept though? OMG. Caine is onto something here.
I love history and if a book provides alternate history, i’m instantly down. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you can really muck up alternate history, but Caine didn’t. It’s very obvious Caine spent a lot of time trying to get this book right, and it definitely came through with a strong plot and world.
The only quip I had was with two of the main characters and the really really forced love story , but otherwise, I really enjoyed this book. The bunch of different characters all competing for the jobs at the Archive were really enjoyable and complex; they were all very diverse and felt authentic. They weren’t made to be others, but Caine just embraced an uncomplicated multiculturalism that didn’t feel try-hard.
This book is a struggle to review without giving too much away; the less you know about this book the better.
I’ve recently got my hands on the sequel and I’m very keen to see where Caine goes from the ending she gave us; while this book could have been a stand alone, I’m insanely curious to know what Jes ends up doing and what the go with his family is.
This book definitely needs more hype; it’s truly a hidden gem.