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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone

by Rachel Caine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Great Library (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1378010,830 (3.93)92
  1. 00
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Cecrow)
  2. 00
    Libyrinth by Pearl North (reconditereader)
    reconditereader: All-powerful libraries with arcane technology hide big social secrets.

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» See also 92 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
This is the first book in The Great Library series. I believe five books are planned in this series. This had some amazing world-building and wonderful characters. The story was really good as well. It was really the epic world-building that sold me on this book; such a creative alternate history that I just absolutely loved.

I listened to this on audiobook and Elfer did an amazing job narrating it. This is one of those book I would definitely recommend listening to on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks!

Jess grew up in a family of book smugglers but his dream comes true when he is sent to train for a position at the Great Library in Alexandria. Of course this opportunity comes with a price, Jess’s dad wants Jess to help out the smugglers from inside the library. Along the way Jess meets many amazing students and find out that the Great Library may not be what even his cynical mind thought it was.

All the characters were very well done. I loved Jess and all his classmates. The world-building was amazing and detailed. This is one of those alternate history/steampunk types of books and I was really impressed with the detail and thought that went into the world.

Overall I absolutely loved this. I thought it was a well done alternate history/steampunk book and was impressed with how creative it was. I am incredibly curious as to what will happen next. Can't wait to read the next book! I would recommend to those who enjoy alternate history/steampunk types of epic fantasy. ( )
  krau0098 | Feb 6, 2019 |
Ink and Bone - R. Caine
Audio performance by Julian Elfer
4 stars

The story starts off at a run. Ten year old Jess Brightwell is a runner. He belongs to a family of book smugglers. They smuggle books, real books, printed books, one-of-a-kind books. It is illegal for private citizens to own these books. So Jess risks his life to deliver a book to a wealthy buyer. It’s a page turning beginning.

The Great Library of Alexandria was never burned. Gutenberg did not invent his printing press (or perhaps he did, but no one knows about it). In this contemporary, steampunk world the library controls all information by means of devices that are eerily similar to Amazon kindles. It is such a fascinating premiss. In this world, ‘burners’ are rebels who burn books to protest the Library’s information and mind control. (Inevitably, I thought of Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451. I’m sure I was supposed to make that connection.)

Jess is unhappy with the risks involved with the family business. He has a chance to train for a scholar’s position within the Great Library. From here the book is clearly a young adult, boarding school story. Jess leaves home, competes for his class placement, makes friends, has adventures. They are very dark adventures and this is a very dark, dystopian world.

I liked the young characters in this story. I liked that they are a diverse group. Applause for Khalila, the intelligent Muslim girl in the hijab, the gay characters, and the important social questions that are underlying this dystopian setting. However, the story was very dark and very violent. It lacked any humor or a sense that there is even a tiny light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure that I will read any more of the series. ( )
  msjudy | Jan 31, 2019 |
Every time I see this series pop up in the blogosphere, the word "underrated" is attached, and I couldn't agree more. Ink and Bone is a dystopian world based on books, with a smidge of science and alchemy, a lot of war, and lots of adventure. It's definitely a series more YA bloggers need to read, because it deserves a lot of love for the idea and execution alone. I had problems with the book as a whole, but I STILL want to step into this world. However ill-advised that may be.

The idea behind this series is that not only did the Great Library of Alexandria survive, but it's now the force that governs the world. This is a world where information and the distribution of knowledge is highly policed and the written word is all but illegal, unless it is the words that the Library gives you. When we meet Jess Brightwell, he's a runner for his family's illegal book selling business. His father recognizes that Jess loves books more than he loves family and money, and so he gets his son a spot to serve the Library - if he can get in. Of course, from the inside, he can slid his father a few rare volumes to sell. Right?

It's so much more complicated than that. The treachery of the Library runs deep, and there is war. There's a lot that Jess doesn't know about the Library, but he's about to learn it. And what better place to learn than Alexandria?

I thought some characters were better developed than others. I agree with other reviewers who said that character development seemed to stagnate midway through the novel - I really would have liked to see more of an emotional tie between the characters at the very least, but any changes felt uneven and superficial. They were at best unbelievable, and altogether unimpressive. Also it should be noted that this is a very shabby book, so don't get too attached to anyone? They may well die.

I also felt that the plot was a bit scattered. There were some scenes that were so strong and really pulled me into the world, but the pacing jumped all around the story switched directions quickly. The changes upped the tension and adventure, but I found it a bit frustrating because just as I was beginning to settle in, we'd be off to something new and I missed what had been left behind. This is a personal preference, I think.

What I LOVED was the world building. I was so intrigued by the dystopian world that it was easy for me to put aside the shallow nature of some of the characters and the zigzagging of the plot. I wanted to drink in every small detail offered. At the end of the day, it was the world itself that drew me in, and because of it, I forgive the other nitpicks.

Overall - definitely needs more overall love in the community. I loved it, I'd recommend it, and I will probably read it again someday. ( )
  Morteana | Jan 21, 2019 |
4 1/2 stars

This is the kind of book that exerts an undeniable appeal on book lovers and compulsive readers like me. Appeal as well as horror, because the idea that books and their contents would be subject to a superior authority empowered to decide who can access the information and what kind of information can be accessed, is indeed the stuff of nightmares.

The premise: in Ink and Bone’s alternate history, the Great Library in Alexandria was never destroyed, all its precious cache of works and knowledge surviving and spreading all around the world with the creation of daughter-libraries. Sadly, a surplus of knowledge does not bring either wisdom or enlightenment [...]

Full review posted at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The general premise is that the library at Alexandria was never destroyed. Instead, it thrived and became The Library, a world power unto itself. It began as a shining ideal, to preserve all knowledge and make it available to everyone, through "blanks" (books) they supply. Over the years The Library began to care more for preserving and expanding its own power than its original mission.

Jess is a book smuggler. He's part of the underground that sells illegal original books to anyone who can pay. He fears The Library because they'd kill him if they caught him. Then he gets the chance--or the curse--to enter Library training.

There's a huge theme about paper books vs ebooks running through this story, with The Library's blanks taking the part of ebooks. Now, I was reading this as an ebook and didn't find it to be just "words on a page" that didn't move me, as Jess thinks about blanks. But that theme isn't alone; it's accompanied by that of who controls the knowledge. And that's where I really felt The Library's evil. (To sum up: all books good; suppressing knowledge bad.)

There's one piece of knowledge in particular The Library suppresses. A piece of knowledge that crops up in different places and times by different people, no matter how hard they try to erase it. It's the absolute perfect thing for The Library to suppress and it had me thinking about the tremendous changes the lack of this would have wrought on the world. Loved it.

Chapters of ephemera are interspersed with chapters of action, and that's a style choice that worked very well for this book. The ephemera is knowledge, of course, communications, books, etc. And it's there, underpinning the story even though our characters don't (yet) know it. It's also the foundation of The Library, and that foundation is rotten. It was a nice touch.

I'm in for this series. I love thinking and reading about communication and knowledge and stories, and this is right up my alley. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Caineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elfer, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Carrie Ryan and Kami Garcia. This one's for you, my friends.
First words
"Hold still and stop fighting me," his father said, and slapped him hard enough to leave a mark.
Imagine a world in which anyone, anywhere, could create and distribute their own words, however ignorant or flawed!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 045147239X, Hardcover)

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
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 he 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.…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:08 -0400)

The Vision wants to be human, and what's more human than family? So he heads back to the beginning, to the laboratory where Ultron created him and molded him into a weapon. The place where he first rebelled against his given destiny and imagined that he could be more -that he could be a man. There, he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition -or is that obsession? -the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold the Visions! COLLECTING: VISION 1-6.… (more)

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