Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. A big thank you to Penguin/NAL for the opportunity!
In Ink and Bone, Rachel Caine imagines a world in which the Great Library of Alexandria still exists and has become a network of libraries around the world. Books are instantly available to people (through alchemy, not technology), but personal ownership of books is illegal. Jess comes from a family of book smugglers and when he tests high for service to the library, he’s sent to Alexandria for training to act as a spy, but the training tests his loyalty.
When I first read the synopsis I saw “Great Library of Alexandria still exists” and was instantly intrigued. I sent a friend a text telling her that she’d have to look at this book when I was only 100 pages in—I was that hooked. And while my family was gathering I was finding moments to pull out the book and read, not just because I said I’d post a review around the publication date, but because I really loved this book!
This book really caught my attention from the beginning and I was instantly intrigued by this world where books are so powerful that destruction of even a page is obscene. As the characters traveled from all over the world to Alexandria for their training it had a Harry Potter feel. It wasn’t like I could pick out aspects that really felt Harry Potter-esque, it just had the feel of the series as all of the characters journeyed to Alexandria for training. It definitely felt comfortable to settle in and open this book, even if I wouldn’t describe the world that I slipped into as a comfortable one to hang out in.
The writing was absolutely beautiful! There were many quotable phrases and Caine’s writing really brought the story and the different aspects of this world to life.
I loved reading along as all of the characters came together. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, too. I was invested in whether or not they stayed in training—even the characters that weren’t always pleasant. To be honest, I can’t think of a character that didn’t capture my attention, but some of my favorites were Jess (of course!), Khalila (the smartest of the trainees), Morgan (who has secrets of her own), Dario (Jess’s roommate, who’s a bit of a jerk) and Wolfe (their instructor).
I appreciated how this novel ended and I’m excited for the second book!
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