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.…
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.
I've been a huge fan of Rachel Caine since the early days! Weather Wardens was my favorite series by her, I have yet to pick up Morganville Vampires, but I was excited about her newest series, The Great Library and that it was also YA gave me hope! But for some reason, despite the glowing early reviews I read of Ink and Bone, I could not get into this book! I had to DNF it around page 142 just because I realized I passed the 100 page mark and I still wasn't sure what was going on, what Jess was really wanting to achieve for himself...and just everything else.
This book is set in the future, yet once again, we find ourselves in a society that seems more reminiscent of the past. At the same time though, we see Jess and the characters using tablets. So it was sort of a weird combination of future and past relics.
In this society, books, real books, are banned. The Great Library forbids them. You can still read books, but it's on these tablets and apparently the Library peeps can show you want they want to show you. They may omit things or change things, this was something I never really grasped. I mean, I understand the process, but I don't know if it was ever really executed in showing us the reader that. Then again, maybe I hadn't worked up to it yet.
Jess is different from his family. His family are book smugglers and while that sounds heroic and all, it's more criminal than anything else. They smuggle books and basically sell them to the highest bidder. Jess is a booklover though. He enjoys reading them when he can steal a few moments of time. And when his father basically forces him to apply for a job in the Library, he's reluctant. But in reality, he has no choice. He either takes this job and works as a spy for his family, or he's out on his own, completely.
Though instead of getting a job right off the bat, he and several other teens are competing for a spot on a team of six. When I stopped, we were down to nine candidates. It was while Jess was at this school, I was getting a very Harry Potter vibe. Jess is making a few friends, making an enemy, and then there's studying, lots of studying. It was when we were learning more about a particular character, I totally lost sight of things. An identity was revealed and instead of utter shock, I was filled with utter confusion.
I'm devastated. Rachel Caine has been a favorite author of mine for years and I wanted to love this series. I felt certain I would, when it's one of your favorite authors, you feel that confident. Yet here...I just couldn't do it. I found myself reading the book out of a sense of obligation. I was ready to give in much earlier than I initially stopped, but I told myself to give a few more pages, a few more chapters. And now that I did that and still cannot feel a connection or a compulsion to read this book, I feel I must stop. I'm not happy about. Not happy at all, but since my review pile is still pretty tall and there's around 200 other TBR books to read, I feel I must stop. Even though I said I would love to read this for review, I just couldn't get invested into the story and I feel if that can't happen by the 100 page mark, it's likely not going to happen at all.
Remember, this is just my opinion. I am not done reading Rachel's books! I will still likely pick up her next new read when it releases. But sadly, this series was just not for me. But if you're at all intrigued by this story's premise, then read it! Never doubt that little voice in your head! Mine told me to stop, so I did. But if yours says "well, maybe..." then read it! I hope you will find more enjoyment and excitement in this story than I could!