Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Genre: YA Alternate magical reality/fantasy
Published: July 7th, 2015
Source: Checked out from high school library where I work
Okay, this book had a lot of great ideas, and very interesting themes. I'm not sure it was as good as I'd hoped though. I ended up giving it 4 stars on Goodreads, but I almost feel like I would only give it 3 now, because I can't remember quite why I ended up giving it the 4.
This is a very unique story, telling about kind of an alternate universe or history, where the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. First off, that would be so incredible if that was true. So many things that the world lost when that was burned. In this world though, there is also magic. Magic is used by the library, as it is kind of a governing body in a way. It controls what people can or can't read. Everyone has what I think is a tablet type of reader. On there they record a diary or journal of their own life, and when they die, their journal is added to the library.
The main character in this story is a boy named Jess. His parents are part of a family that is very big in the underground sale of actual, physical books. Something that is highly illegal, people are not allowed to actually own physical books. We start the book with a bit of a flashback to when Jess was young, and then we join back in when he is of the age that he can take a test and possibly go to work for the Great Library. While it seems that would not be something his family would want, or that they would feel he was betraying them, they actually encourage him to go, to be able to help them by giving them warning when there is about to be a raid, or even inside information on how to get or steal books that customers are willing to pay a lot of money.
When Jess gets selected to go be trained, things aren't quite what they seem. While there are some areas he does well in, there are others that he does not. He does seem to have one of the powers that are used to take books and send them back to the home location to be cataloged and put out in a way that the public is allowed to see and use them. But once there he first meets a new friend. A boy who thinks he has a great idea, a type of machine that can make the books more available to everyone, not just the librarians. Well, this may be a bit of treason here. And it may put Jess's friend in danger. He will also meet a girl who is being chased by the library for her own types of magical talents. They want to lock her up in the tower.
In this world there are book burners. They will set up to bomb an area, and in the bombing they do kill themselves, along with taking their own journal, so that the library will not have their record. It is all of these things, a war also going on, treachery within the library, that Jess will have to deal with. Along with a brother that he is not quite sure if he is on his side or not.
There's a lot in this story. And I will probably at some point go and read the sequel, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to.