Finished Reading on: 5th November 2015
Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series Status: 1st book in The Great Library series
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Number of Pages: 410
(Found on Goodreads)
Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.
In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.
Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar… but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.
Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life – and soon both heretics and books will burn…
I honestly thought I would adore this book. I mean, it’s a book…about books. And their importance. Which bookworm wouldn’t love that? I’d read so so many good reviews, making me pick up the book…but I must be one of the few who just couldn’t get into this book. At all.
Like I said before, the idea behind the book I found really interesting. In this world, books are the most important objects you can have…apart from you can’t have them, because they all belong to the library and having your own is a crime. The thought not not being able to own your own books makes me cringe – I can’t imagine it. My books are my pride and joy. So I was originally hooked by the idea, because I wanted to see how this world and system worked.
The thing is…I just couldn’t get into it. At first I thought it was just because the book was only just beginning, and it would take some time to be gripped, but then I hit the 100 page mark and I knew that might not be the case.
I didn’t have any issues with the writing style, but I also wasn’t bothered by it either. I didn’t find myself captivated, and the events seems to jump around from one to the other, like there wasn’t enough description for me. I don’t think the idea of books being so important was built up enough, because when something bad happened, the characters (to me) always seemed like they were over reacting. I personally don’t think much happened considering the amount of pages this book is. Also, I usually have no issue with romantic relationships in books, but the ones in here seemed slightly forced and hastily written, so they weren’t that believable considering the importance of the other events happening at the time.
Before each chapter, there are snippets of letters that have been sent between the officials. I think these added a nice touch to the story, since it gives you a small insight to the corruption hidden within the library. They sort of foreshadow the events coming, since you know that the officials will have an issue with what is happening with the main characters.
My main problem however, is that I just didn’t like the characters. There was ONE character I actually enjoyed reading about, and that was Khalila. I have no idea why. I just couldn’t connect to any of them. I think this is the main reason why I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I’d hoped, because when I don’t like reading about the characters…well, I don’t tend to care about what happens in the book. However, there is something I have to applaud Rachel Caine on, regarding the characters. There was so much diversity! The main group of people all originally came from different countries, so every single character had a different culture, language, appearance…I loved it! I think if this was touched upon more, I may have liked the characters more. There’s not many books (that I’ve read personally) that have such a wide range of cultures, and I think it is important that when a book like this does show diversity, it is highlighted and encouraged.
Even though I couldn’t get into the book, I did like the idea behind it and the wide range of character diversity, so they alone bumped up my rating. I don;t know if i’ll continue the series. At the moment I’d say no, but if the synopsis to the 2nd book sounds slightly more suited to my taste, and the reviews continue to be good, I might give it a chance.
Rated 2//5 stars.
I do want to add that if you were considering reading this book, check out other people’s review too, and don’t be put -off by my review. Even though I only rated it 2 stars, a lot of other people seem to adore this book, so I would say it is highly dependent on what you like to read. I would advise you to still give it a go if you are interested, because you may end up loving it. It was just not for me 🙂