“Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine
SYNOPSIS: This book takes place in a world where the great library of Alexandria never bring down and now the library is the most powerful institution in the world! The main character Jess, who comes from a family of book smugglers, is chosen to train to become a librarian. But all is not as it seems…
I didn’t love it but I liked it enough to read the other books in this series. (Note: I didn’t know it was part of a series when I started reading 😜)
For a book about libraries it had both more and less action than I was expecting. Maybe that’s because both the plot and the action were different than what I had in mind going into this book. It was a little slow at the beginning but about a 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through the plot picks up. I didn’t think that the plot was incredibly original or shocking but it was well executed and the world was original. I have never before read a book that centred around both the issue of absolute authority and power as well as having that authority be a library, which are generally viewed as benevolent in both our society and the one in the book. The idea of knowledge is power is taken to the extreme in this novel and its an idea that i thoroughly enjoyed exploring.
There were things that I both liked and disliked in this book. I found the explanation of the technology confusing and vague which didn’t help immerse me in this world. That being said I did like the world this story took place in, it was very reminiscent of the world we live in today but just different enough to be interesting at the same time. I loved the concept of an institute having too much power and that institute being a library. This really challenged the concepts of knowledge is power, absolute power, and the value of human culture vs. human lives. I found the two main characters, Jess and Morgan, a little bland and didn’t have strong feelings about them – Morgan especially. I felt that I didn’t know anything about her, probably because the author was trying to make her mysterious, but it just made me not care about her. For me this also made the chemistry between Morgan and Jess non-existent, and I was not a big fan of their relationship. It felt like Insta-love to me and that it existed just for the sake of romance. I also thought that the end of their relationship/ their fight was just as unnecessary and cliche. On the other hand I was a big fan of Wolfe and Santi’s relationship, and both of their characters. I would love to see more of them in upcoming books, and hope that they remain together and alive! Next to them my favourite characters were Thomas, Dario, Khalila and then Glain. At first I really disliked Dario and Khalila’s relationship but by the end of the book I had come to accept it. I thought each of these four characters had more depth and layer than Morgan or Jess. Thomas was my favourite and I was (still am) utterly crushed that he died! I’m hoping that it’s not actually true and that he’ll somehow appear in the later books. I found the very ending (the last page) a little anticlimactic, it was a weak cliffhanger but I am desperate to see what happens to Wolfe, Santi and Dario (my remaining favourite now that Thomas is dead).