27 August 2015

Review - Ink and Bone By: Rachel Caine

Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby, 410 pages (July 7th 2015)
From: Present from my sister.
Format: Paperback
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

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 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...

Review: 3.5 stars - When I first heard about Ink and Bone I was so excited. Another Rachel Caine book to add to my collection- I love her writing.

I started reading Ink and Bone and initially couldn’t get into the book; I am normally engrossed in Caine’s books from start to finish. I put the struggle of reading down to work, and lack of sleep.

Jess Brightwell was brought up as a smuggler of rare books. Jess doesn’t really agree with the family business. He’s seen what some clients do with rare books and believes it’s wrong. But there’s no way out for him.  Jess would rather be sat reading one of those old books and inhaling their smell than running for his life, trying to keep them out of the hands of the library.

I love the concept of what books are in Ink and Bone. What if the Great Library of Alexandria hadn’t been destroyed? What would have become of the world?

All books are kept at the library under constant surveillance and can be read via Codex.
To coin a phrase “Knowledge is power” and to own books is illegal, and results in immediate arrest. I’d be one of the first arrested with the number I own!

To work for the Library is an honourable job, though against the family’s normal beliefs, Jess soon finds himself signed up to compete for a Scholar’s post at the Library. Only he’s competing against others for a limited number of posts.

Will Jess be prepared for the challenge ahead? His background, although it must stay secret from the Scholars and other postulants, may prove to be a help rather than a hindrance.

There is world building of epic proportions throughout this book. Caine always writes a good setting but this time I felt completely emerged in the history of Alexandria Library. The automata creeped me out, but I could feel their eyes watching me, as if I was there along side Jess.

There is a diverse set of characters- something that some books neglect and I did find myself becoming attached to Jess because of his love of books. I didn’t become attached to any of the other characters, but I’m hoping there will be more from them in the next book in the series.

All in all, a great but sometimes hard to grasp YA read. Keep going with it because it does get better.
Some parts of this book make me want to shout “All hail the paperback book” – but you’ll learn more about that when you give it a read.

I have the UK edition of Ink and Bone and the cover is simply beautiful in my opinion.
Also, the acknowledgements page I think this deserves a special mention.

“Thanks to those who work daily to put words in the hands of those who crave them; librarians, teachers, booksellers and writers.
You don’t just make the world better.
You make the world”

As a bookseller myself; I think this is awesome, being able to give people access to books, and matching a particular book to the right customer can be a delight.
It also makes me feel like I’m a book smuggler after reading the book and that’s quite cool in itself!

If you like books in general give it a read. If you like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or Cassandra Clare and Holly Black’s The Iron Trial then Ink and Bone may also be right up your street.

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1 comment:

  1. Great review. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggled with this one. Like you I went into this expecting it to grip be from page one, but I really struggled reading it myself.


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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

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