Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
By Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
ISBN13: 9780451473134
Pages: 374
Genre: YA Fantasy


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. 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 his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life and soon both heretics and books will burn.

(New) Thoughts

I am utterly, completely hooked! This was my first encounter with Rachel Caine’s work and she has sunk her writing claws deep into my reading heart. I was up past the midnight hour finishing this book because I simply could not reach a point where I was ready to put it down.

The Great Library regulates the public’s access to knowledge through the use of alchemy and blanks (imagine e readers under the Library’s control).  To own an original work is strictly prohibited and comes with great risks. Jess Brightwell is a runner (deliverer of black market titles). Hi family supplies books to those who are willing to brave the potential threats if caught. When he is sent to the Great Library to train as part of his father’s efforts to place eyes and ears on the “inside”, he discovers his obedience and loyalty to his family will be put to the ultimate test. Jess thrives on knowledge and all that the Library aims to preserve. But when he uncovers just how far they will go and what they will sacrifice to protect this knowledge and their foothold, he will face the ultimate challenge.

Caine delivers a unique cast that is enduring and offers constant variety. There is a welcomed amount of diversity the works beautifully in engaging and connecting the reader. Jess Brightwell is intelligent and well-rounded but not without his own trials. His love for the written word and continuous struggle with family loyalty versus his morals and the Library provide a nice balance of tension and admiration that establishes him as credible, allowing a more personal link with the reader. The supporting characters are not without their own merit as they each contribute equally to the story.

While many of us are no stranger to dystopian worlds where books and reading are the center of conflict, Ink and Bone takes this familiar story and ups the ante to extreme heights. With an ever evolving plot that continues to thicken by the page, elements of a dynamic magic system and alchemy supply new facets that feed into what quickly becomes a truly original and compelling plot. Incorporating cultural factors and aspects of steampunk beautifully intermingled with libraries, black market books and even a war-zone in a constantly changing setting guarantee excitement.

I am including a note on the unabridged audio edition as I ended receiving this on audible as well, so I am reviewing both. Published by Recorded Books and narrated by Julian Elfer, it is approximately 10 hrs and 26 minutes in length. Elfer’s narration is outstanding and proved to add a deserved air and life to the story that only serves to enhance it. Accurately paced delivery and clear and concise dialog performance make this an ideal audiobook for fans.

Caine’s writing is clever and crisp. She sets a fluid and fast paced tone that fuels the adventure and creates an effortless experience. Events segue beautifully and her eye for detail leaves nothing for want other than the sequel! Ink and Bone is a fully immersive experience that promotes thought. It tackles and challenges the effects on society when governing systems attempt to manipulate or control knowledge. A must read for fans of dystopian fantasies who enjoy divergent stories!

*I would like to thank Blogging for Books and Crown Publishing Company for this book and opportunity. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.


Learn more about the author at

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Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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Goodreads Monday ~ Nod

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday  is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and add your own links!

My (Not so) Random Pick

By Adrian Barnes
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN13: 9781783298228
Pages: 261
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian


Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream.

After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead.

Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.

I am cheating again this week and featuring a not so random addition that I added after a trip to B&N on Saturday. I discovered this tucked within one of the fantasy shelves and was instantly smitten on the blurb. Needles to say, I brought it home and plan on starting it within the next month. Have you read Nod? What are your thoughts on this one?

What’s on you TBR?

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Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape

Manga (1)

Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape
By Jacques Lob
Illustrator: Jean-Marc Rochette
Translator: Virginie Selavy
Publisher: Titan Comics
ISBN13: 9781782761334
Pages: 110
Genre: Graphic Novel/Dystopian


Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.

In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.  

The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled…

My Thoughts:

This is a unique situation for myself. I have found that elusive case of a film actually superseding a book, or in this instance, a graphic novel. I discovered Snowpiercer on Netflix a few years ago and fell hard. The haunting cinematography and fast paced dystopian plot impressed. It also happens to boast a favorable cast. So I picked up the graphic novel with a pretty high standard in place.

The plot offers a potential that was better executed on-screen and failed to fully come to life within the pages of this first volume. The blurb is pretty definitive and there is no need to explore the concept in-depth. Perhaps the biggest barrier standing between myself and possible love for this post apocalyptic story would be dialog. It  leaned heavily towards dry and flat. There seemed to be a lack of real depth within the story, yet so much was  happening.

The artwork was the one element that actually carried me through to the end. Had it not been for the bold, grey-scale illustrations offering a simplistic yet fitting representation of this bleak and dismal situation, I may have shelved this one. I struggle to imagine this story unfolding in full colour. Even the film was visually drab in the best of ways.


The characters play their part but offer little in terms of interest. Again, I have to blame dialog. I found myself disappointed with the portrayal of women within this container like society, viewed more as sexual objects and contributing little of value. To be fair, that could be the result of the current societal structure in such confined spaces, but I could not get into or support the idea.

While this was certainly not a terrible read, it failed to be an impactful one. I do feel that the GN places more emphasis on the political aspect of the story and manages to convey this successfully which was appreciated. But there were a lot of lack luster moments that struggled to capture just how dire the situation has become. I have read that there are some translation issues that might be at fault, but I honestly cannot offer any insight into the truth of those comments.

The end result for myself was “okay”. I don’t believe I will pick up the second volume right now. This is a series that boasts a fascinating story-line but is moving at a very leisurely rate. If you don’t mind the pacing, perhaps test the waters. For now however, I recommend the film which happens to be a favorite of mine.

Here is a trailer for those of you who might be interested.

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