Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Thanks to alchemy everyone has access to every book in the world on his or her personal tablet called a codex.  But no one is allowed to own an actual copy of a book except for the Great Library which has controlled all the books since ancient Egyptian times.  Jess's family makes a living by selling books on the black market, a dangerous job when the Library's guards and robotic animals will kill anyone they find dealing with books.  Jess loves books and knowledge and is happy when his father arranges for him to enter training with the Library but dismayed when he finds out that he is to be a spy for the family.  Training is difficult and dangerous and people are eliminated every day by the Scholar assigned to be their teacher.  Jess's background helps him succeed at the rigorous training but the deeper he gets into the Library, the more he finds out about the danger they all face.

Jess's story starts off with a bang as he is running through the streets, attacked by a lion automaton, and encounters a person who eats books.  Then the pace slowed just a little which concerns me in terms of whether my students will keep reading.  I want them to keep reading because this is a unique story that I really loved.  The depth of the Library's corruption is revealed slowly and chillingly and the danger closes in on all sides for the recruits.  It's not often that I read something I haven't read before in some way but this book was different and great.

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