C.G. Drews's Reviews > Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2015, young-adult, steampunk, ya-male-narrators, read-2017, reread, dystopian, magical-fantasy
Read 2 times. Last read June 26, 2017 to July 10, 2017.

REREAD: June 2017

Because I remember NOTHING I decided to reread this before heading onwards with the series. And omg I'm so glad I did. This book is precious and so book-loving and the appreciation for novels is just giving me life. I nearly up it to 5-stars, but the romance still annoys me. #Alas.

Also fyi the audiobook is incredible. The narrator is British and Jess' London accent is my favourite thing. The narrator puts so so much emotion into it, it just made the book come really alive! Plus Wolfe has a Scottish accent and I'm 5000% a fan.

Quick Bucket Of New(ish) Thoughts:
• Jess is actually adorable and my favourite.
• I still wish we knew more about Brendan!!
• THE LEVEL OF BOOK LOVING IS AMAZING. Like Jess is traumatised from seeing someone eat a book.
• Same, son, same.
• I still don't really understand the entire magic system??
• The library sucks, man.
• Wolfe x Santi are the ultimate ship in this book.
• I still am peeved at how Jess gets so consumed with Morgan that he packs up his brain into a hollow bucket and posts it to Guadeloupe. I mean. Mate. Focus here.
• Morgan is also like one foot in the manic pixie dream girl grave.
• KAHLEELAAAAAAA. She wears a hijab and is the smartest and also the best. <3
• I find it ironic how opposed to "fake" books this is, and like I'm legit sitting here listening to an audio instead of an actual physical copy. HA.
• I forgot what Thomas did for Jess at the end. hoLD me I'm crying.
• DARK PSYCHO LIBRARY SYSTEMS. Bring me the sequel.



eXCuSE mE I CAn'T BrEAThE. It's a book about books. ABOUT BOOKS!!!! It's about book smuggling, and book burning, and book controlling. It's incredible...although, to be honest, I did have a rather long list of quibbles about it. But I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. The characters were complex (AND DIVERSE OMG I AM SO HAPPY) and the story was exciting and bookish and bloody. The last 50-pages gave me goosebumps AND made me squawk a laugh out loud. Although that might've been a trauma laugh??? Probably??? STILL. I love this book.

It's set in an Alternate Universe! So not dystopian! It's more like a fantasy world, set in 2025, where owning your own books is illegal. The Alexandria Library never got destroyed and kinda controls everything. And I mean, everything. It's got a very 19th century vibe to it, so I figure that's when the printing press SHOULD have been invented, but since it wasn't (they killed the dude who invented it, okay?!) everyone is really rather stuck in that era. Books = progression.

I have to admit, though, the world-building confused me. There's magic??? Maybe??? They can, like, send books/people/things with a kind of teleportation. And they have these "blank" books, that can be written in and wiped by the Weird Controlling Library People. SO IS THIS MAGIC, OR SCIENCE OR WHAT??? I was so confused. It actually soured the beginning of the book for me.

Like, in particular, the book starts off with Jess, as a 10yo, smuggling a book across town. BY RUNNING. Doesn't running draw attention to you? I have no idea why he wasn't sneaking, but instead running and I have no idea why when he passed this line, or something, everyone stopped chasing him. THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK MAKES 0% SENSE TO ME.

Buuuut...worldbuilding aside, I seriously loved it! I really loved Jess! He was a pretty non-nonsense sort of guy, but he liked books. Like LOVED books. Like, he-will-risk-bodily-harm-to-protect-a-book. Omg. I love you Jess. His family are all book smugglers, too, but his dad wanted him to sign up for the tricky task of getting hired by the Alexandria Library so...basically he'd have an inside mole. I love books about families! I only wish this was MORE about the smuggling side, but I think that'll come in later books?! Jess also has a twin, Brenden, who seems like a regular adorable psychopath. Exciting! I hope he features more in the next books too.

There's also a stack of other characters. Seriously, it's a BIG CAST. And they were all different and well developed and dynamic and interesting and AFJDSAKLFD I CANNOT LOVE THEM ALL ENOUGH.

(Jess meets most of these characters as his classmates when they're going through lessons to get into the library:)
+Thomas: He's German and huge and SUCH A SWEETIE! I loved Thomas. Although he was an inventor and, erm, the book starts off telling us they KILL inventors, so I was freaking out for Thomas so much. He was so naive and...genius.
+ Khalila: She was middle eastern and SUPER SMART. She's like the Hermoine. She scored 100%...like seriously?! The test was insanely hard. She had a softer side, but she was all tough and I-don't-need-your-help-I-am-not-a-damsel. I LOVE HER.
+ Dario: He's Spanish and he and Jess just have this unreasonable rivalry, which is hilarious.
+ Glain: She's Welsh, so she and Jess clashed on principle of their country's rivalry, and she didn't have as much interestingness as the others.
+ Wolfe: EXCUSE ME WHILE I SCREECH MY LOVE FOR WOLFE!! He's the super cranky instructor. You know the kind that nearly sets his classroom on fire in the first lesson. (Love 'im.) And he's MEAN and UNFAIR and such a really adorable softie inside...gah. He's like a coconut. And also I shipped him so hard with (view spoiler) I really wish there was a whole BOOK about Wolfe. Like an entire series. LIKE I WOULD READ ALL THE THINGS ABOUT WOLFE. I adore meanie softies.

It's quite exciting also! Lots of war (although I have no idea WHY there was a war...again...not sure if I'm just deluded and didn't get the world-building, or whether it was missing something) and bloodshed and pain and a bit of torture too. It wasn't super face paced though. Especially when they were learning and studying. But the writing was BEAUTIFUL and addictive. Although it's NOT a book you can breeze through. It took me 3 days to read, whereas a book usually takes ONE DAY for me.

I LOVED IT EVEN IF I HAVE QUIBBLES. I adored the characters and I luuuuurve books about books. It's so creative and interesting. I just hope either a) the next book explains the world better, or b) I reread it at some point and GET it this time. And, erm, prepare to be choked with feels at the ending. PREPARE FOR A WICKED CLIFFHANGER. I love this book so much I may need to sob.
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Quotes C.G. Liked

Rachel Caine
“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
Rachel Caine, Ink and Bone

Rachel Caine
“They've all got stories, Jess thought. I need to know them. Best of all, he could know them. He could learn anything here. It felt like limitless possibilities.”
Rachel Caine, Ink and Bone

Reading Progress

January 9, 2015 – Shelved
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 23, 2015 – Started Reading
August 23, 2015 –
page 50
14.2% "OH I LOVE THIS. But at the same time I'm super confused about the world-building. It's 2025, so they have technology, but...everything has a 19th century vibe?? Wut."
August 23, 2015 –
page 160
45.45% "I reeeeeally like the characters BUT WHAT THE HECK IS THE CODEX??? And is this world using magic or science?? I is confused still."
August 23, 2015 –
page 200
56.82% "Wolfe is actually a big SOFTIE. When he's not, ya know, being super mean."
August 24, 2015 –
page 254
72.16% "omg Wolfe and Santi... :')"
August 24, 2015 –
page 305
August 24, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
August 24, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 24, 2015 – Shelved as: steampunk
August 24, 2015 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
June 26, 2017 – Started Reading
June 28, 2017 –
page 52
14.77% "Jess: *sees someone destroy a book*
Jess: *has a panic attack and is traumatised for rest of life*
July 1, 2017 –
page 162
46.02% "I can't help but feel this book is subtly dissing anything that is not a physical real book. HA. I'M LISTENING TO IT ON AUDIO. #IRONY.

(fyi i do love this book. i'm just amused.)"
July 4, 2017 –
page 250
71.02% "Wolfe is like the most fiercest mother bear to ever exist. He will bite his students' heads off and yet protect them from everything and hug them close. WOLFE IS THE MOST PRECIOUS."
July 10, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
July 10, 2017 – Shelved as: reread
July 10, 2017 – Shelved as: dystopian
July 10, 2017 – Finished Reading
August 22, 2017 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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M F Me when reading about the war: "I feel like Wales is trying to tell us something. I've read three books recently where we're at war with them in an alternate universe. ARE THEY TRYING TO MAKE A POINT?"

Oh Wales. I love you, but apparently you don't love me. Despite me being partially Welsh.

(Mind you I'm partially a whole bunch of things, I mean, I'm almost as Russian as I am Welsh, so I don't even know what that would do.)


C.G. Drews I AGREE. Books about books are just superior in their greatness somehow. Plus = EVIL LIBRARY. MWAHAH WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
I mean, no.
Did it give a REASON England and Wales being at war? Or was it just because you guys have a secret death wish to each other that only comes out in AU books? ;)

Maxwell The book mentioned the reason for the war while the characters were in Oxford. It was something about the Welsh seeking retribution for the English King doing something that got a lot of welsh citizens killed

Maxwell The book mentioned the reason for the war while the characters were in Oxford. It was something about the Welsh seeking retribution for the English King doing something that got a lot of welsh citizens killed

M F Cait Grace wrote: "I AGREE. Books about books are just superior in their greatness somehow. Plus = EVIL LIBRARY. MWAHAH WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
I mean, no.
Did it give a REASON England and Wales being at war? Or w..."

I don't know as it's a secret death wish; they've hated us for years. Used to burn the cottages of English holidaymakers in Wales, occasionally with them in them. But that's somewhat distant history.

Nicky Well, before the burning of holiday cottages came years and years and years of oppression, with our language suppressed, our morals derided, our resources exploited... And that's just the 19th century! As I recall, the holiday cottages were burned because they ruined the local economies, and Welsh people got pushed off their own land for the sake of the English middle classes having a holiday home. The Welsh have had plenty of reason to be angry; still do, to some extent, given government funding biases and English attitudes.

M F Oh, absolutely. The way the Welsh language was treated is appalling, for a start -- though interestingly I read that in some ways it contributed to its survival. (Basically while speaking Welsh was an act of rebellion, people still did it; once it was allowed, it faded out of popularity again.) The Welsh are entirely justified in hating us to be honest.

Danielle N Excited to start this very soon!

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

MY SOUL IS OFFICIALLY BRENDAN's. he stole it in the sequel (which you must read now) I love khalila, SHE WAS SO AWESOME

message 10: by Gwen (new) - added it

Gwen Mitchell That has to be magic, right? I mean... I hope it is. When I first saw it and read the blurb, I assumed there was magic. Also, Rachel Cain.

may ➹ YOU WILL READ MORE ABOUT BRENDAN IN THE SEQUEL DON'T WORRY. Oh my freaking god WOLFE X SANTI. <333 And Thomas omgggg. Thank goodness for sequel excerpts in the backs of books. :')

message 12: by HanThePotato (new) - added it

HanThePotato **hyperventilates because *KAHLEELAAAAAAA. She wears a hijab and is the smartest and also the best. <3* When I read that I had a hard time breathing properly and now I'm just gonna go add that to my library hold list ♥

Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) Based on your comments on the audio book I will get it. I love great narrators. I've already read the book and I only get audios of books I have already read since I listen when driving and have to stop and start so often. That said, I have sat out in front of my house listening to an audio while my groceries sit waiting to go into the frig.

Jessi (Novel Heartbeat) Sooo I saw you gave the fifth book 5 stars so I came to read your review of the first book, then I saw you rec'd the audio, so I went to look it up and O M G it's Lysander's original narrator from Iron Gold and I was just bitching to myself that I missed him because they freaking changed his narrator for Dark Age. *deep breath* And that long winded thing was just to say I OBV NEED TO READ THIS BECAUSE THIS IS FATE

message 15: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews Jessi (Novel Heartbeat) wrote: "Sooo I saw you gave the fifth book 5 stars so I came to read your review of the first book, then I saw you rec'd the audio, so I went to look it up and O M G it's Lysander's original narrator from ..."

Oh I'm so glad this made your day then 😂(also I get so annoyed when they change audiobook narrators in a series too??? it just is confusing, pls don't do this, universe 😫)

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