Publication date : July 7th, 2015
Publisher : Berkley Publishing
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 352
Synopsis : 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 his friend 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…(From Goodreads)
I have many, many conflicting feelings about this book. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect, IT’S A BOOK ABOUT BOOKS (I feel like all people who read this book, say this exact same thing haha.) and the premise sounds cool but other than that, I didn’t know what to think. After reading it, as much as I wasn’t disappointed, it didn’t blow my mind either. The concept delivered but I still had a few issues with the book that weren’t negligible.
One thing I want to get out of the way before starting the proper review is that the synopsis is misleading. It makes it seem like the fact that Jess’s (the main character) friend committing heresy is what’s going to get the plot going, it is not. That doesn’t happen until the end of the book. That was kind of a bummer because I kept expecting it to happen and it didn’t. Anyway, moving on.
The writing is easy to follow without falling into being over-simplistic. It was just what the book needed. Though the first complaint I have is about the chapters, they are so painstakingly long. Ink and Bone is with no doubt the book that contains the longest chapters I’ve ever read and that didn’t help with the pace of the book -which I’ll get into a bit later. Last thing, read this:
“For the most part, the people matched the place: exotic, clean, attractive, polite. Cosmopolitan.
Yikes. You probably don’t see what is wrong with that sentence, let me enlighten you. You DON’T describe a person as exotic, NEVER. No matter what your reasons are, they’re not food, they’re not exotic. After that, I watched like a hawk for more vocabulary like that but there weren’t so I’ll just call this one a slip.
Onto the plot now. I loved the concept, it is unique and unheard of, even though I must admit at first it was a bit confusing and I found it hard to get the hang of but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. What it basically is, is a world where the Alexandrian Library didn’t burn and it controls all knowledge, no one has the right to own books and doing so is against the law. Because of that, the world progress is rendered slow and it is stuck in a 19th century sort of vibe while technically the book is set in the future.
But the book was slow. Very slow, with no apparent direction to the plot for the first chunk of it. I blame that pace on 1/ the long chapters and 2/ the misleading synopsis which made me expect something that wasn’t coming. But once the pace picked up, it was GREAT and very complex. Plot wise, the second half of the book would easily get 4 stars from me, shit got very real very fast, people started betraying, stabbing, dying, etc… I loved how through the letters that were inserted between the chapters, the reader isn’t kept in the dark and knows right off the bat that the library is the bad guy -which honestly is like a sect.
The world building -along with one character- was my favorite part, it was really well done and explained in depth with no info-dumps, all the information that was needed was introduced through dialogue, lectures to the postulants, etc.. So that it all flowed nicely.
I LOVED the characters, each one of them came from a different part of the world, they made for a very diverse cast. But what I loved most of all about them is how none of them suffered from SSS (That’s Special Snowflake Syndrome if you weren’t following me when I first used that acronym), they all had strengths and weaknesses that complimented each other’s.
Funnily enough, Jess who is the main character felt like the one I knew the least about and the one that I didn’t particularly care for, though I loved his friendship with Thomas aka the big bear of the story. I loved that boy so much. Speaking of characters I loved, Wolfe -their instructor- was such a fascinating character to read about, he was an authority figure while never taking advantage of his position. He also had an entire backstory that drove part of the plot and explained other parts.
My favorite was Khalila by far, she is a Muslim girl from Saudi Arabia and SO SASSY, she’s such a confident, brave character, I felt like kick-ass is a word that was created with her in mind. The fact that she was only a side character made me think that being written in one single POV didn’t work in favor of Ink and Bone because I wanted more of her. But not only Khalila, I wanted more of all the other side characters as well.
There were a few romances happening, one being M/M, another being interracial, both of which I loved but again, the main one that involved Jess didn’t do much for me. I saw it coming and liked it, it was cute and all BUT it was a bit rushed and that made it feel underdeveloped and lacking chemistry.
This may seem like a rant more than anything else but it’s not haha. Mostly. I still really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Ink and Bone? If so, what did you think?
Who was your favorite character? What was your favorite part of book?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.