Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ink and Bone

by Rachel Caine

Story summary: Burners of books, hoarders of books, preservers of books, eaters of books. The world is now all about books and the flow of information, with the Great Library of Alexandria on top. You'd think that would be a good thing, wouldn't you?

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • BOOKS!!!
  • Schools for learning cool things!!
  • Relationships slowly growing from enmity to friendship!
  • And excitement and adventure and romance and mystery and conspiracy and all that.

And Why You Might Not:
  • It's hard to judge some of the aspects of this book until we see how it turns out in the sequels.
  • There is a important gay relationship present, if that bothers you.

Thoughts: There is almost nothing I like better than books with schools and the learning of special skills. When you combine that with a plot that's completely centred around books, and characters that love books so much, they will die for them.... man, does it work for me.

Plus I always love an interesting teacher, and Scholar Christopher Wolfe with his "fiercely intelligent face" and harsh standards was just my cup of tea. Or an interesting,evolving frenemy relationship, such as the main character's with fellow student Dario Santiago. Or just all the clever, interesting students you meet at such a prestigious school. Khalila Seif and Glain Wathen were my favourites, I think.

The war scenes were gripping, the chase scenes thrilling, and there were so many books. There is little to criticize except a lack of a connection to the main character (which is probably just me), and some lack of resolution (which makes sense because it's the first of a trilogy, but it makes it harder to judge the book itself).

An entertaining book. I recommend it.

P.S. Random note that isn't related to anything: On pg. 113 it says, "Right-handed people didn't generally look to the left when they were trying to avoid pursuit; they looked forward and back and toward their dominant side, unless something drew their eye." This was interesting, I wonder where she got it from? And I wonder if the dominant eye factors into it too? Because as far as I know, most right-handed people are also right-eyed. But would someone like me who is right-handed but left-eyed behave any differently? I don't have enough experience avoiding pursuit, unfortunately.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

If You Like This, You Might Also Like:
--Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson: because it also concerns a conspiracy of librarians. Drastically different in tone, but it was still funny reading them so close together when they both have a remarkably similar central conceit.
--The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: because it's the ultimate learning-cool-things-at-awesome-school series. It would be weird if you'd read this book and not HP, but just in case, here you go.

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