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

Saturday, June 11, 2016


4-4.5 out of 5 stars

The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" rings painfully true when it comes to this book. At first glance, the cover isn't the best. But the story is incredible and definitely worth the read, trust me. If you miss this one, you'll have missed an incredible story of an interesting world and wouldn't even know it.
The story mostly takes place in Alexandria, Egypt where aspiring scholars fro around the world come together to compete as postulants for a limited number of positions as high members of the Library. The main protagonist, Jess Brightwell comes from a family of thieves and criminals in London. The family is in the business of smuggling and selling originals and copies of physical books. In his world, physical books are contraband and are only held by the Library, an institution founded to preserve books. The Library has multiple bases around the world but is headquartered in Alexandria. The Library mandates that ordinary citizens cannot own, buy, sell or even hold physical books. Instead, the Library provides everyone with Blanks. These are blank digital book covers where any book can be downloaded at any time when requested.
When the Library was first established in the 1400's its initial intentions and goals were noble. However, as generations of leaders of the Library took their positions of power, their plans for the Library and ultimately the world, changed. They wanted nothing but to attain all power and will happily erase anyone who dares to challenge them from existence.
I immensely enjoyed the diversity the author offered in this book. There was an abundance of different races and ethnicities: There's Jess, the main character who's English, Khalila who's an Arab girl from Saudi Arabia and a character I particularly enjoyed because I'm Arab and we don't quite have enough books with Arab characters in the YA community, let alone prominent characters. There's also Dario a Spaniard, and Glain who's Welsh.

I recommend this to anyone who has the patience to get through a book that is a little slow-paced but worthwhile because this was the dilemma I faced with this one. It's quite slow at times, but everything else- the characters, the storyline, the plot, is great. Hence the 4-4.5 out of 5 stars.

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