In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
Okay. First of all I finished this book in one day after it was already 3 days overdue from the library. I know, I know, I’m bad haha. I brought this with me to the dentist while waiting for my sister to get her wisdom teeth extracted so I had a pretty good chunk of time to read it. Initially I thought it was a little bit slow but it could also be because the clinic made me sleepy as hell but it easily picked up speed about, halfway through the book (for me anyways). This is fantasy but I would say it also has a bit of a dystopian in it because the book is set in a world where original copies of books are forbidden by the Library, which is a sort of organization that protects and controls books and information from everybody. The citizens are only allowed to have ‘blanks’ and I’m imagining them to be like e-readers where texts/books can be read through them.
Rachel Caine did a great job at fleshing out how the world being run by the Library actually feels like. I could feel the frustration and oppression from reading and at some points I actually wanted to throw the book far, far away from me because the corruption and dirty politics was making me mad. Jess Brightwell is a pretty well developed character and I loved how consistent he is with his values and upbringing because you know how it is when they suddenly go out of character. The rest of the gang has a pretty good amount of diversity as well, ethnic and personality-wise although I kinda did wish some of them were explored a little bit more because their lives sounded fascinating. Thank goodness for sequels though.
I gave this book only four stars as opposed to five just because there were a few loose ends here and there that I hope would be answered in the next book because I really wanted answers lol. This had a pretty good amount of action in it which I know everyone will enjoy (well mostly) so if it sounds interesting please check it out and comment down below any of your thoughts!