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.… Goodreads.com
As a person who needs books as much as oxygen, the thought of a world where the ownership of books is illegal horrifies me – almost like my own personal hell. So I had to read this book.
First, this is a beautiful cover and it immediately caught my eye and made me want to know what kind of story lived inside, though I have to admit, it took me quite a while to be hooked. I even considered not finishing the book, but other reviewers had mentioned a slow start, and encouraged the reader to stick around and they would be rewarded. The story really didn’t take off for me until around the 50% mark, but then the pacing was nearly break-neck and I didn’t want to stop reading. Based on other reviews I’ve seen, I’m in the minority as far as having issues with the pacing.
The characterization in this book is outstanding. I liked Jess and the world he lives in and seeing him evolve from someone who never quite fit in with his family to a brave, confident, and persistent young man who sticks to his beliefs was so satisfying. This book contains an extensive and diverse list of characters, although some of them weren’t what they initially seemed and I enjoyed the way the author gradually reveals different facets of their personalities.
Much was said about the Obscurists, but I still don’t feel like I have good grasp on what they are exactly. I went back through the book again but, although they’re referenced numerous times, only bits and pieces of their function are revealed.
Although I had a difficult time getting into this book, I’m glad I stuck with it and I definitely plan on continuing with this series. Ink and Bone is scheduled for publication July 7th, 2015. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for the digital ARC.