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

23398607Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher:  NAL
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Source: ebook (bought)


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 his friend 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…

The library has taken over the world. Once a small organization,  now the Library of Alexandria rules the world. There are no more paper books for the common folk, only scholars can access them on the Library's buildings and only after obtaining a certain degree within its ranks.  People generally only have access to books (the ones that Library lets them read) in their Codex, a portable electronic device that lets you research and read, among other things.
Jess Brightwell was born in a family of smugglers in London. Contrarily on what the reader might be expecting, they sell books. Why would books be on the Black Market? Because they are illegal. Unlike most people, Jess values original copies, the smell of ink on the parchment pages. Even believing in the value of the library, most of his knowledge comes from the illegal books his family sells.
Jess's father sends him to the library. Having one of the Brightwells inside the library is supposed to be an advantage, maybe Jess can smuggle some books out and increase the profits. So he embarks on a journey to the Great Library of Alexandria to be trained and join the Library's Ranks. He finds a world of knowledge and order but he also realises that not everything is what it seems.
When a friend inadvertently commits heresy by doing something that would lead to the spread of printed books Jess finally sees what the Library is really able to do.
This is a book full of adventure and very interesting details. The thing that actually called to me the most of all was the underlying warning to the world. I am not going to disclose what this warning is but this book packs a punch. It has a deep meaningful message and, at the same time, it tells the tale of a brave group of teens that discover the world's horrors as they go along.
Another aspect to point out is that this book has a lot of representation for the various ethnicities in existence. That makes it a good and inclusive stories for younger audiences, helping the message of acceptance.
Even though all the characters in the main group come from different backgrounds each one of them knows different kinds of hardship and they all have something to teach one another. They teach the reader that everything that makes people successful requires effort and dedication. They teach the reader to accept and work hard and that life is not always fair.
The overall story has some holes in it, some parts are very slow and a bit tedious. Besides this, the characters all have their own voices and the story has an actual focal point and message.
I would advise everyone to read this book, it will teach you something meaningful. I really believe that this story touches a lot of people's hearts.

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