Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

July 7th, 2015 Kimberly Review 82 Comments

7th Jul
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Ink and Bone
by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Dystopian
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.…

2015 FAV AMAZEBALLS dystopian Young Adult

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.

About Rachel Caine

Roxanne Carson

Rachel Caine is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 45 novels to date, and many short stories, including fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, young adult fiction, mystery, thriller, and horror. Her notable series include The Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden, Revivalist, Red Letter Days, and Outcast Season novels. She graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her first short story was published in 1990, and her first novel in 1991. After a long career in business (including working as an office manager, payroll manager, insurance investigator, web designer, graphic designer, and corporate communications executive) she began writing full time in 2009. She and her husband, artist R. Cat Conrad, live and work in Fort Worth, Texas. Rachel Caine is a pen name of Roxanne Longstreet Conrad.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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82 Responses to “Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine”

  1. 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 🙂

    Tyler H Jolley recently posted: NEW RELEASE UPDATE
  2. Jenny

    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!

    Jenny recently posted: Cover Reveal: A Mad Zombie Party
  3. Ro

    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…

  4. Ramona

    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!

  5. Megan McDade

    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.

  6. Kristin

    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!!!!

  7. Lola

    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!

  8. Amber Elise

    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! 🙂

    Amber Elise recently posted: [Meme]Teaser Tuesday [#72]
    • kimbacaffeinate

      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

  9. Lindy

    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 🙂

    Lindy recently posted: Group Review: Toxic by Kim Karr
  10. MarthaE

    This sounds like one I would like to read. I’ll add it to my Wish List. Thanks for sharing the review.

  11. Kay

    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!

    Kay recently posted: I Feel Like Gabbing Today