Review – Ink and Bone

Posted May 12, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 6 Comments

Cover of Ink and Bone by Rachel CaineInk and Bone, Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone is an alternate history which starts with a simple change: the Library of Alexandria survived, and protecting it became the main focus of society. More than the church, the Library is the thing which holds society together, which has access and immunity, which controls technology. I thought there would be more about love of individual books, rather than books as a concept, since people talked about this as a book about books, but it isn’t, really. While the characters do read and study, and books are protected and valuable (and illegal to own an original copy of), it feels like the point is more the politics and the alternate history.

Which is fine: it turns out to be quite interesting. I found the supporting characters, like Wolf and Thomas, more interesting than Jess himself – and definitely wanted to see more of Jess’ twin, whose role and potential importance is kept very much in the background. The different way the world develops, with some types of technology (like the printing press) suppressed every time someone comes up with it, is pretty fascinating. The magic/technology is also pretty cool; I definitely want to know more about that, how it works and how much of it is magic, how much technology. The political background, with Wales’ war on England, is also pretty interesting, and I’d love to see Caine’s timeline of how exactly that would come about in the changed conditions of this Europe.

The end of the book leaves things very open; I’m quite impatient to read the next book and see where it all goes. I didn’t so much get involved with the characters as with the overall plot, so I won’t mind if the next book jumps POV. I just want it already!

Rating: 3/5

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6 responses to “Review – Ink and Bone

  1. majoline

    Huh, I wasn’t terribly interested in this book before, but your review’s interested me. Might have to pick this up the next time I hit the library.

    • It kept me interested, at least — I like the alternate universe, although the romance is definitely thin in retrospect.

  2. I was approved for the ARC via NetGalley for book 2. I’m about a 100 pages in and Caine wastes NO time jumping into the action.

    Personally, I connected with Jess and his love for books. Caine has a way of describing that love and feeling for books in a way I haven’t experienced before. I think I’ve highlighted about a dozen or more different quotes in 2nd book. (The same happened in book 1. I had to get the physical book just so I could pull the book off the shelf and read my favorite quotes.) I’m going to have a hard time picking a favorite, I think, for my review.
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    • Aww, it doesn’t look like it’s available to request on Netgalley. Boo, I was excited for a minute there!

      Cool! Sounds like the second book lives up to the first.

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