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The ruthless and all-powerful Great Library has a presence in every major city around the globe and it controls the dissemination of knowledge to the masses; via alchemy the Library can transfer history's greatest works anywhere instantly, but personal ownership of books is illegal. Jess Brightwell's has been involved in his family's black market book smuggling business since he was young boy, but he still believes in the Library's values. Then, his father makes the decision to send him into Library service as a spy, in order to have an inside man. He passes the difficult entrance exam with no problem and travels to the Library's headquarters in Alexandria with the rest of the applicants to undergo training in hopes of earning an official Library position. Now, he just has to worry about surviving until the final six applicants have been selected for Library service.
Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone easily ranks as one of my favorite reads so far of 2016! As a librarian, I was absolutely thrilled by this first installment of The Great Library series. From the moment I heard that the book is set in the near future of an alternate universe where the Great Library was never destroyed, I knew I had to get my hands on it and I was not disappointed. Rachel Caine really succeeds in creating and developing a cast of unique and diverse characters. Aside from Jess, my favorites are Thomas and Khalila, but Wolfe (who reminds me of Severus Snape) manages to steals every scene and so does Santi. The world-building is also pretty fantastic - there's still so much more I want to know about the Library itself, alchemy, and the wider world. After that ending, I can't wait to begin the sequel, the ARC of Paper and Fire that I luckily managed to win through the Goodreads Giveaway program.
Overall, I adored Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine - if you couldn't already tell. If you haven't already had the opportunity to read this novel, you definitely need to pick up a copy as soon as you can. If you're a bookworm, I guarantee that you'll enjoy it (or, at least, I really, really hope you do). I plan on trying Rachel Caine's other books in the future, and I've heard she has some good adult urban fantasy out there, too.
I read this book from May 24 - June 4, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.