Original Title: Ink and Bone
Year Published: 2015
Published by: Allison & Busby
Number of Pages: 410
First Sentence: ‘Hold still and stop fighting me’, his father said, and slapped him hard enough to leave a mark.
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.
In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.
Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.
Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .
This was a really good book. I was pleasantly surprised that the main character was male for once. Don’t get me wrong, I love that YA gives us so many different strong female characters, but sometimes you want good male main characters as well. So this book was a welcome break.
Jess was a brilliant character and I absolutely loved him. He was clever without being a know-it-all, and an overall good guy. He does have some extra powers but it doesn’t make him a badass superhero all of a sudden (like it does in some books). Instead, he struggles with it and actually fails with it sometimes and he totally doesn’t understand it.
We are also given a group of lovely supportive characters that both add depth to the book, but also gives us hell of a lot of representation. They are from different parts of the world and therefore we have different ethnic groups, a fact which was absolutely lovely.
The plot was both clever and entertaining. I think Caine has done a brilliant job of imagining what the world might have looked like if the library of Alexandria hadn’t burnt, and what the power struggles might have been. There are some parts of the story that isn’t as interesting as others, but overall it is an entertaining and fun book to read.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do.