16 August 2015

Ink and Bone

Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

A book about books?  A book about the great library?  Well, of course I had to read it!  Unfortunately, it appears that in Caine's alternate universe, the library is evil.

No!  Say it isn't so!  In this uniquely odd dystopian, The Great Library of Alexandra not only survived being burned and destroyed, but it has thrived, creating branches across the world.  The Great Library is in charge on controlling all the original works of literature ever written.  To do so, personal libraries were slowly destroyed over time.

This is how Jess's family makes its business.  They find, sometimes steal, original copies of books and sell them to the highest bidder.  The Great Library's stronghold on all works of literature also brings about the Burners - a group opposed to the Library's monopoly on literature and knowledge.

I guess I wasn't sure what, exactly, I expected from this novel.  I certainly didn't expect the technology of Mirroring or Translation, or the existence of Obscurists.  I thought this novel was going to be an alternate universe that still bordered on the realm of reality.  Instead, this fantastical inclusion of Caine's idea of "alchemy" pushed the book past the border, making it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief, which definitely took something away from the novel.

That being said, Ink and Bone has a great amount of action and suspense to keep the plot moving.  Unfortunately, it suffers slightly from character's development.  Relationships between characters are forced, quickly forming (it amazes me how quickly teenagers in YA novels these days find themselves 'in love') without the backbone of true development.  And while the characters themselves are interesting enough, the plot development is so heavy that the character development falls to the wayside, even of the more interesting characters (i.e. Jess and Wolfe for starters).

I think it's safe to say that this book didn't live up to my expectations, although my expectations were hardly reachable I suppose.  I expect any and every book about books to be an instant classic due to my literary obsession.  But while it wasn't all I thought it could be, it was certainly an interesting enough read.  And based on the ending, I'll be more than likely be picking up the next installment in the series when the time comes.

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