Author: Rachel Caine
Length: 407 Pages (Paperback)
Release: July 2015
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
The prologue to this book had me really worried. I honestly wasn't sure if I wanted to continue the book. I don't know exactly what it was, but I was not a fan of the first thirty pages of this book. It was different than what I was expecting, and not in a good way at first. After those thirty pages, however, I really enjoyed the story.
The overall concept of the novel was very intriguing. Basically the Library of Alexandria controls all knowledge that the world has access to. People aren't allowed to own original copies of books, no matter who wrote them. But our main character Jess comes from a family of black market book sellers. When he's sixteen, he heads off to become a librarian. Obviously a lot of crazy stuff is going to happen.
There were some things throughout this book that I didn't particularly enjoy, but it was more nit-picky stuff than anything else. If you've heard that this series is very similar to Harry Potter and other books, you've heard right. At times this was a bit frustrating, but the book and story stand so well on their own that it never really bothered me too badly.
Jess is an interesting main character. He's always had to pretend and hide certain aspects of himself from those around him. I loved when he made friends with Thomas and the other students. His relationship with Dario, his frenemy was also great.
The students are taught by Wolfe, who's basically this worlds version of Severus Snape. Different in many ways, but I saw so many similarities between these two. One of the things that I did love about this book were the letters and things inserted between chapters, because it made it sort of like a mystery that you had to piece together as it went. Nothing was ever quite what you thought.
There is a touch of romance in this novel, with definite hints for later developments. It was cute and really not overdone, which I appreciated. A little insta lovey, but not so much that this was a major drawback. The characters were fun, the magic intriguing, the world dark, and plenty of questions that make me want to pick up the next book as soon as it's out.
If you enjoy Harry Potter, magic school settings, and that sort of thing, then this is probably a book for you. Just be prepared to spot a lot of similarities and don't let that disappoint you. It really is worth it.