Published by NAL on July 7th 2015
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…
Jess wasn’t anyone special. I felt like he was average. Sure, he was smart. But he wasn’t extraordinary like Thomas or Khalila. He was pretty ordinary. Some will love Jess. I didn’t.
The first half of the book bored me. It was boring training stuff. I didn’t particularly care for it. It wasn’t action-y or even drama-y. It was quite dull and boring in my opinion. I know some people will like it if they like knowing how people train in these worlds. But I was bored. Nothing seemed to happen. We were introduced to the world and the characters. The second half excited me, though. It had action. They were on a mission, risking their lives. These kids endured loss and hardship. They were scarred and broken. But they kept going. I felt like their determination was amazing and admirable.
The romance was sweet and innocent like many first romances. It was so fluffy and sweet. I saw that there would be a romance the moment Morgan first arrived. Admittedly, the fluffiness made me smile. I thought that the romance was unnecessary, though. It wasn’t needed. Without it, Jess and Morgan could have had a great friendship instead. Their relationship muddied things and made things worse. (Especially on Morgan’s end.)
Ah…the world building was a bit lacking, but it was a stunning world to read.
There wasn’t a lot of explanation. I was annoyed by that. I wanted to know about the world. I wanted to know about the Codex. And the way the Library infiltrated the lives of every person. And why the Welsh and English fight. (I know that Wales doesn’t like being under English rule but still. There had to be some linchpin that set things into motion.) There were gaps in the world building.
The ending left me longing. I had started to like this book. The plot was starting to become more and more interesting.
I had some unanswered questions left. What about Wolfe? Morgan? What will Jess do with Thomas’s plans? Who is the Archivist? What does he/she do? What happens in the Iron Tower?