Book Review | Ink and Bone

ink and boneTitle: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Pages: 374

Genres: Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, Alternate History

Published by: New American Library (July 7, 2015)


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. 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 knowledge is more valuable than any human life and soon both heretics and books will burn.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)

What I Thought

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the publisher and Blogging for Books!*

When I read the premise for this book, I thought I was going to love it!  Ink and Bone is all about books and the love of books and reading.  Plus, it has a dystopian, sort of alternate universe setting, which sounded so cool!  Unfortunately, this book just missed the mark for me.

I want to start by saying I do not think that this is a bad book!  I just think Ink and Bone was not the book for me.  I had trouble connecting to the characters, especially the main character, Jess, and keeping track of what was actually happening in this novel.  While I was reading, I felt this urgency from all the characters, but I found myself just not really caring or connecting.

Another thing I had trouble with was understanding what they were actually learning to do at the library school.  I think they used some sort of magic to transport the books somewhere?  I really don’t know how to explain it, because I really didn’t understand what they were doing, and yet, this aspect is a huge thing throughout the entire novel, and I just feel like it was never fully explained how it worked.

Despite my disconnect with this story, there were still a few things I appreciated.  One of those things being the diversity!  While, like I said, I couldn’t personally connect to any of the characters, I still appreciated how unique and diverse they all were!  The students came from all different countries, and so they all had their own unique culture, language, style, and appearance.  That is something that I thought was great, and we definitely don’t see that in enough books – especially fantasy and dystopian based books.

Also, before each chapter, there are letters to/from those in charge, and I really appreciated the insight that they brought to the story.  They were filled with foreshadowing, and helped give me a clearer understanding of what was happening/going to happen, which I, in particular, really needed.

Overall, while I didn’t love it, I think others could really enjoy Ink and Bone.  Most of my friends on Goodreads that read this book, gave it 4 stars.  So, I think maybe it just wasn’t the book for me, or I just read it at the wrong time in my life.  I, personally, wouldn’t recommend Ink and Bone, but I think if the plot sounds interesting to you, you should definitely give it a try!

2 and half stars 2

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4 Comments on “Book Review | Ink and Bone

  1. I’ve seen this book mentioned on several blogs lately, but I was thinking it wouldn’t be something I liked. If it was difficult to understand what they were learning at the Library— which sounds like maybe a magic system of some sort?— then that would really bother me too. Anyway, your review was helpful in making a decision.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah if you don’t think you’ll like it, then I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t know if it was just me, or what, but I found everything to be just a bit confusing. I’m glad I could help with your decision. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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