by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.…
Amazing world-building, brilliant characters and an overall tone of suspense throughout made Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine a thrilling read. This is the first book in the Great Library series and this dystopian fantasy delivers in spades.
Five Caffeinated reasons to add Ink and Bone to your summer reading list
- Let us start with the world building and Caine’s impressive imagery. From London to Alexandria the world came to life in vivid Three-D. Caine did an excellent job through notes, characters and descriptions of explaining this future world. The concept alone gave me chills. Unlike, other dystopian novels whose society’s downfall was a virus or war, knowledge was the catalysts here and thus the Great Library was formed. Knowledge is infectious and must be controlled and contained. Eek gads is that not scary? Wait, it gets worse. In fact, you may want to sit down. Owning a book is illegal! Friends we are all going to jail!!! I should point out that the library provides folks with a blank. A Blank is a piece of technology that allows them to view approved works and recommended reading. The world is filled with those who resist creating conflict, danger and some of the most intense action scenes. I drool just imagining this novel as a major motion picture; the special effects would be phenomenal.
- Gadgets and magic fill the pages in Caine’s world. From teleports to automations and it is riddled with alchemy. Ink and Blood has been compared to Harry Potter and the Book Thief. Surprisingly they were not too far off the mark. Fans will have “ah ha” moments, but Ink and Bone holds its own. The automations, Blanks, weapons, archives and transportation were both fascinating and brilliantly described.
- Caine’s cast of characters will draw you in. Delivered in third person limited, Caine shares the tale through our protagonist Jess Brightwell. Jess’s family works in the black market selling illegally obtained books. Jess loves books and as a book lover, many of his feelings and actions endeared him to me. He is strong, compassionate and quite clever. He has street smarts making him the perfect hero. When he first arrives for training at the Library, there are twenty-one students but six of them you will come to know and love even if they occasionally annoy you. Jess meets Thomas on the train and the two become fast friends. Thomas is a tinkerer and I liked this soft-spoken clever young man. His passion is engineering. I loved some of his creations. Dario, Jess’s roommate reminded me of Malfoy from Harry Potter. A jerk to be sure but the banter between these roomies added some fun to another wise intent plot. Glain, is a strong, outspoken Welsh girl. She is a bit awkward and not to be messed with. Khalila, comes from privilege and is perhaps the most intelligent of the group. (Hermione anyone) Morgan is our Luna Lovegood. She arrives late and is quite mysterious. Scholar Wolfe their teacher is cold and stern. I absolutely adored Wolfe. I imagined him as Professor Snape from his personality to what lies beneath the surface. Last but certainly not least is Captain Santi. He guards both Wolfe and the students.
- For those who need romance, we do see several develop and one that might surprise you. All of these developments remained in the background, but served to connect us to the characters and them to each other. I loved how the characters interacted from being competitive to working as a team and finally to becoming inseparable friends.
- Ink and Bone had a wonderful pacing as Caine allowed the world to unravel before us. The tale ebbed and flowed between character interactions and intense action scenes. She quickly drew me in to the world and had me vested. Foreshadowing and connections were perfectly executed allowing for “I knew it moments” and outbursts from me the reader as I tried to warn the characters. The balanced plot rewards the reader giving them details, well-developed action scenes and characters they will not soon forget. The tale wrapped up fairly well and we have a strong sense of where this series will be headed.
Caine created a world and characters that I cannot wait to visit again. Ink and Bone was brilliant and a rewarding read. I would place it in the same shelf with other beloved YA Dystopian and fantasy such as Red Rising, Heir of Fire and An Ember in the Ashes.
I have been excited to read this book since I first heard about it and now you have me excited all over again! I’m so glad it turned out so well for you!
I hope you love it as much as I did Kay!
Okay you pulled my leg, this has ended up on my wishlist too.
Yes..I hope you love it as much as I did
I hope you love it Steph!
Wonderful review thank you so much, I have been loving this cover and waiting for some reviews to appear before finding it 🙂 So THANKs!
This sounds like one I would like to read. I’ll add it to my Wish List. Thanks for sharing the review.
I hope you love it as much as I did 🙂
I should be getting a copy of this book from the library next week. I can’t wait especially after reading your review. I love how you draw the comparisons with Harry Potter! Still sounds like a unique book.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Christina!
I’m one clicking this right now because of your stellar review Kim. I love when a story is vivid and I can see it in my mind. Plus awesome characters, romance, and inseparable friends! Yes 🙂
Wahoo..I am so glad and hope to heck you love it as much as I did Lindy
You have me really excited for this book! I sounds like it has everything I want! I’ve been meaning to check out Rachel Caine for a while and this seems like the perfect time!
Also, I always need romance, haha.
Great review, Kim!
Ooo I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Cyn!!!
I love history. But I also love fantasy. I’m going to have to check this out.
I did love the worldbuilding in this one. I’d HATE that restriction of knowledge and being forced to use only my iPad (or their technological equivalent).
Oh I agree. I would not like to have things censored
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I had originally brushed over this book but after reading your praise you have me really curious! the characters and the world-building sound great and I’m pleased you mentioned the romance.
A lovely review Kimba! Sharon – Obsession with Books
Oh I hope you decide to read it Sharon
Dude, I’ve wanted to read this author for freaking years, yet I still haven’t done it. And now here’s another book to add to the list.
That was my hang up. In fact I have some of her other books in my TBR pile. But this year I decided to leap whenever opportunity presents itself and it totally paid off
I’m so happy this this one seems to be a romance that’s highly interesting and engaging. I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR.
The romance is only a tiny thread this is more dystopian fantasy
Hmm I don’t know if I’m a reader that needs romance in a book yet. I like it, but I moreso enjoy plot and world building and I keep hearing how fantastic the world in this one is!
Knowledge is power, I can’t wait to read about my worst nightmare! 🙂
I am the same Amber especially in this genre. It was a nice bonus and didn’t interfere with the action
Really all I need to see is Library of Alexandria and I can’t resist! This one sounds like a fun read!
I can see I need to grab this one since impressive worldbuilding, gadgets and magic are a fab blend to me. Engaging review, Kimberly!
Oh yes grabby hands!!
I added this to my to-read list after reading Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup her review of it. And your review only convinces me more I have to read it! The world building and the concept of the library sounds so unique and well done. It’s also a bit scary to imagine a world where owning a book is illegal, but it sounds like it makes for a good story. And I am happy to hear that there are some hints of romance as well. Great review Kimba!
So glad you are adding it Lola. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts
I was a bad Rachel Caine fan and missed grabbing this one for review. She is such a great writer so I had no doubt your review would be glowing…. but I’m so stoked it was THIS shiny and “caffeinated” – YAY!!! I wasn’t even expecting a hint of romance so I’m looking forward to that.
Fantastic review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad you loved this!!!!
Yes totally shiny and caffeinated!!! Enjoy 🙂
I have been waiting to read some reviews for this one. I am so happy to read your review. This sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to dive into this world. Ack! Knowledge and books are banned? Yikes!
Yikes indeed. Enjoy Heidi
Felicia the Geeky Blogger
Next in line at the library 🙂 🙂 Waiting not so patiently!
I have had this to read for a good few weeks now but don’t know why I haven’t gotten to it yet. It sounds so fantastic and I love that it’s being compared to Harry Potter. I usually hate when this happens but it gives me High hopes as it seems to be living up to its expectations.
In this case it was a good thing. ..enjoy!
I just love that cover. It’s so beautiful.
This book sounds really interesting and I definitely need to get my hand on a copy. Loved your review!
I love the cover too. Hope you enjoy this one
Crap, how did I miss that she has a new book out? I mean seriously I had no clue and it sounds fantastic! I love her other series so I bet I would love this as well Kim. Wonderful review!
Well I am glad I brought you up to speed. This is not to be missed
I LOVE Rachel Caine! She’s a really good writer, experienced enough to deliver page-turners, but also special, because all her characters are unforgettable. I can’t wait to try out this new series – it sounds pretty amazing!
Enjoy Ramona I look forward to hearing your thoughts
This one sounds so good:D You and Anna both really liked it so I’ll have to get to it soon. Great review!
I hope you pick it up Lanie 🙂
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Definitely going on my goodreads wishlist! This sounds amazing 🙂
Glad to see you liked it, the only other blog I have seen review this DNFed it!! I was like what the what..lol. It’s on my list already so good to know it’s worth it. 🙂
What the what is right. I hope you love it as much as I did
You’re the 3rd blog raving about this one, so now I have to read it! I enjoy dystopian, but not fantasy in general, so we’ll see how it goes.
I think the suspense and world will pull you right in.
Kimba, this is a truly wonderful review and has managed to double my eagerness to read Ink and Bone. I am really excited by the whole premise, and from your review, it’s clear Caine delivers (as you say, in spades!)
Enjoy Lark. It was one heck of a ride.
This sounds great! Love books with great imagery thanks for the review Kim 🙂
I do too Daniela and she did a wonderful job bringing it to life.
Wow Kim, you’ve convinced me and I love the sound of the imagery.
I hope you pick this up Debbie
Brandi Breathes Books
I loved her other series, and can’t wait to try this one, super excited to hear the characters are well done in this one as well
Without seeing this review, I probably would have never picked this novel up, but my goodness am I impressed! A troy about Libraries with magic, suspense and romance sounds right up my alley. How creative and forward thinking. Reading gives us knowledge and power. So true. Thanks so much for this awesome review! Hugs…
Thanks Ro, so glad I could share my thoughts with you
I need to get a copy–now. ‘nough said.
Anna from Elements of Writing
Hearing a lot of good things about both this author and this book, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I hope you get to try this one Tracy 🙂
Owning a book is illegal? *falls down dead at the thought* I WANT NO PART OF THAT WORLD KIM!!! Except to read about it of course:) This sounds outstanding, I can’t wait to dive in, I’ve so enjoyed the books of Rachel’s I’ve read previously!
I hope you love it as much as I did Jenny 🙂
This sounds like a very engaging book, Kim and I’m excited that you loved it so much. I’ll be checking it out for sure when it comes out today. I’m loving the sound of the concept, the romaance and the characters.
Wonderful review, Kim! 🙂
This one is bookshelf worthy Nick.
Tyler H Jolley
This reminds me a little of the YA series Matched. All books and music were burned except for the few that were considered “the best.” They were considered useless.
There’s something about banning or losing books that just gets under readers skin 🙂
I didn’t read that series but I remember my oldest loved them
*squueee* plain and simple … I want!! Awesome review Kimberly 🙂
Totally shelf worthy…..enjoy!
I love her books and I confess that I’m really curious about this one because all the reviews I saw were really really good. I want to try too!
Enjoy my friend, this one is a keeper!
Rachel Caine has done it again! She’s seriously one of my favourite authors, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Ink and Bone sounds incredible with the settings, amazing characters and banter, gadgets and everything! YEs please.
You are going to love it Jeann. 🙂
I want to read this one! And it has a library
YES…a must read and own my friend!