"Ink and Bone" by Rachel Caine has been marketed as Harry Potter meets The Book Thief meets Fahrenheit 451, and I really do see all three of those aspects contained within this one book. It makes for a delicious reading experience. Show me one book lover who doesn't enjoy reading a book which is about books!
Imagine a world where physical copies of books are treasured above all else. You can read books using the Libraries 'blanks', a electronic device much like our ebooks of today, but reading or owning a physical copy of a book is illegal. In fact physical books are so rare that book smuggling, selling, and collecting is a problematic thing of the black market.
Meet Jess Brightwell. His father is a book smuggler, and Jess has throughout his childhood been running these books for his father on the streets of London to place them into the buyers hands. This is a extremely dangerous occupation. The high Garda forces are ever vigilant, and if caught your crime is punishable by death. Jess has already lost a older brother.
The high Garda are the soldiers of the Library. The Library claims to be the preservation of books, and they seek to claim up all physical books in order to archive them and ensure that all readers are able to enjoy them through the experience of blanks.
Book burners burn books to make a statement, and in rebellion against all that the Library stands for.
Jess's father places him into the Library recruitment in order to have a inside source within the society itself. His father being the cruel man that he is, tells Jess that there is no home for him to come home to if he should fail.
I vastly enjoyed this book and the entire premise behind it. It addresses my own fears of books someday becoming the thing of the past. The only thing that confused me was the obvious advancement of the Library through weapons, automatons, etc, but the oddly out of place use of steam carriages ... I was never certain of what time this was all supposed to be taking place.
My Rating: 4.25 Stars