Ink and Bone: The Great Library, by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine's new book Ink and Bone: The Great Library is set in an alternate universe where the world is (unofficially) ruled by the Great Library of Alexandria, a ruthless organization that controls all access to knowledge. Caine's protagonist is sixteen-year-old Jess Brightwell, the son of a successful book smuggler. Jess is a competent thief, but he has no desire to join the family business, so his father insists that he try out for one of the handful of positions offered each year at the Library—having insider knowledge of the Library's workings would be very useful. It will take all of Jess's skill and wit just to survive the Library's brutal selection process, and it's very possible that his coveted new job might be even more dangerous than his old one.

When I open a YA dystopian novel from a big-name author, I generally assume there's a movie adaptation in the works. Some books, like James Dashner's Maze Runner series, seem to have been written expressly to become movies. The Great Library, happily, is not one of these—Ms. Caine's world is too big, her conflict too involved, and her characters too complex to comfortably fit into a single film. I'm not saying they won't make this book into a movie (Hollywood is not big on self-restraint), but said movie will probably be terrible, and that's a tribute to the author: it's a rare pleasure to read a teen horror/fantasy that feels like a real novel, rather than the novelization of a film that hasn't been made yet.
Posted by: Julianka


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