A book about books? Yes, please! A book about a corrupt bookish society where you’re not allowed to own your own books? Hell, yeah! Sign me up. I went into this book with very high expectations because of the two aforementioned reasons, and I really wasn’t disappointed.
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 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.
Ok, so this book is definitely worth a re-read in the future. I read this book a couple of months ago and I’m just getting round to writing the review for it, so bear with me. The first thing that I’m going to say is that the plot line of this book will stay with me forever. It’s such an interesting premise and Rachel Caine has the magic to captivate you from the very first word. The last time that I had read a novel by Caine was when the last Morganville Vampires book was released and that seems like a whole lifetime ago. I know that you can’t really compare the Morganville series with Ink and Bone because they are about two completely different things. But what I can do, is compare Caine’s writing. And it is prominent throughout the entirety of Ink and Bone how much her writing has improved. There is more depth to her characters, the settings are described in much more detail, and the plot just seems more thought out. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the Morganville series, but there’s just something about this novel that seemed like magic.
Even though Caine’s writing was amazing, I did find the first couple of chapters quite slow and they didn’t really make sense to me. They follow Jess when he is 10 years old and first getting into the smuggling business. But, after those few chapters, the book definitely picked up its pace and just became an absolutely amazing novel.
“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
– Rachel Caine, Ink and Bone
Second of all, the characters. THEY. WERE. AMAZING. Just… Wow. Every single character was well thought out, they were diverse and they seemed so real. Each one brought something special to the book (even if it was the character of Dario was obnoxious and arrogant). There was a young German boy called Thomas who was just the most adorable person ever and his friendship with Jess was just #goals. There’s also this amazing girl called Khalila who is from the middle-east and is PROUD OF HER COUNTRY AND HER HIJAB (I wanted to cry with joy). There was also Glain who was from Wales, but she wasn’t as interesting as the other characters. It seemed like she was only there to clash with Jess on his politics because of their two countries opposing each other. Also… Wolf – who is the teacher at the Great Alexandrian Library. I hated him at first. I thought that he was cruel and mean but as the book went on, I grew to love and understand him.
I also loved that the book was set in Egypt. I’m getting quite bored of reading books that are set in the U.S (I have nothing against the country), but I’m all here for books set in different countries (I mean, I can hardly think of any YA books that are set in my own country of the UK!)
Overall, this was an amazing book and I’m just sad that I don’t have time to read the second book. But before I read the sequel, I’m definitely going to re-read Ink and Bone! It’s just that brilliant!