Published: July 7th 2015 by: NAL
Series: The Great Library #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Alternate History, Dystopia
Format: ebook Source: Library
My Rating: 4 Stars
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…
I finally caved and read this book! I had borrowed it from the library 3 times, before I finally was able to dive in. I really enjoyed this book, and from the first few pages I was hooked. That old saying, Knowledge is power, is actually very real in this case. I was horrified by what people were doing to the precious books in this story. It was a very wild ride.
Part of what makes this book so good is the very likable Jess. I liked him from the very first page. His love of books touched me as a reader, and I was eager to unravel the mystery behind the Great Library of Alexandria. I can’t imagine living in this world where it’s forbidden to own books. Seriously, I’d die. And for Jess to have to sneak and read books was just unnerving. Add to that his snooper persona in the family business, and this made for an adventurous read. I love this world and what it entails. Think of the Great Library as President Snow, and the books are the people of the districts. The Great Library controls all knowledge – and as a result, controls the people, and it’s apparent that it’s abusing that power overall.
Why Should You Read This Book?
-If you love books, read this book.
-If you like your fantasy mixed with magic elements and mechanical technology, this is the book for you.
-If you love characters that represent different cultures and backgrounds, read this book. There’s no shortage of diversity within these pages. I love most of the characters, and I like the relationships formed.
-If you like dangerous missions in your reading, then Jess and company will have you on the edge of your seats. Even the first few pages are bursting with thrills!
Overall, this book wasn’t what I expected. I’m really mad at myself for not reading it sooner. The world building is fantastic, and there are plenty of characters to love. More importantly, Jess is a hero that you will fall in love with. I love his nonconformity to what the library stands for. That alone has me backing him 100%. I love this take on the fantasy and dystopian genres, and if you want something different to read, this book is it. Definitely recommended!