Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book Review: Ink and Bone

What a gorgeous cover and fabulous premise! Imagine a world where a supreme library controls all the knowledge of the ages and it is illegal to own a book. Horror of horrors! Since knowledge is power, you are not allowed to access that without permission and strict controls in place. Of course, that would lead to book smuggling and a voracious appetite for the forbidden. I loved the idea behind The Great Library series. I just didn't love the book as much as I expected.

Booklist declared Ink and Bone "A thrill-a-minute adventure" and said it mirrors "the excitement and bitterness of The Hunger Games" and "the psychological elements of the Harry Potter books." Well, I can't say I was hooked in fully from the start. For me, it took quite a while to get engrossed to the point where I forgot that I was reading, but I did feel more compelled mid-way through the book.

Jess Brightwell is a runner for his father, smuggling illegal books to wealthy clients. His older brother lost his life in this job and Jess jumps at the chance to get out of it when his father sends him to train for the Library's service. Of course, the family hopes he will serve as a spy for them. But, Jess has his own personal reasons for wanting to work for the Library. He loves books. He cannot stand to see them fall into the wrong hands.

Training is more daunting than Jess imagined. He and his fellow postulates must learn under the tutelage of the strict and almost vindictive Scholar Wolfe. Yet even the training failed to fully entice me. I was finally hooked when the postulates are forced to follow Scholar Wolfe into a war zone to retrieve some rare books. Then, the action picked up and I ended the book with more desire to follow the series.

Perhaps it was more of a timing issue. I might not have been engrossed by any YA book since my mind is still churning over the first draft of a women's novel I completed only days ago. Still, most bibliophiles would find this premise enticing enough to bite and the action does pick up the further you get into the story. I'm pretty sure, I'll seek out the second book, Paper and Fire, at some point, just maybe not in the immediate future. For a more eloquent expression of my exact sentiments about the book, clearly articulated by an Amazon reviewer named Sarah, click here. She captured my intense desire to love the book and my regret over my initial disengagement.

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