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Ink and Bone

The Great Library
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,620 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
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Publisher's Summary

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times best-selling 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 he 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....

© 2015  Rachel Caine LLC (P) 2015  Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Poor, Poor Protagonist

If anything else this story if creative and imaginative on ways to beat the protagonist up. I did, in fact, like the story and the idea the library at Alexandra may exist in some alternative dimension. I just wasn't thrilled I had to go page after page watching this kid get used by his parents, brother, friends, and mentors. That's not very fun.

54 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cookiej
  • Temecula, CA, United States
  • 05-01-16

Outstanding - never a dull moment!

An intelligent, unique, and well written story! The narrator, Julian Elfer is possibly the best I've listened to ... As a former Drama teacher & current Teacher Librarian, I deeply appreciate the talent it takes to bring the story alive. Julian rocks it! Each character is distinct and believable. I didn't want to stop listening. It's one of those books that makes you take a longer route - walking or driving, appreciate long stoplights and disregard traffic jams - it's that absorbing. (oh and there is the occasional missed exit...)

45 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As a librarian.....

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Subplots well pursued and covered. Eagerly awaiting volume two. Interesting use of steampunk type elements.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

don't give up too soon.

REALLY slow start. Truthfully, if I hadn't been on a long drive, I wouldn't have listened past the first hour. I'm glad I did as the story turnes out to be very interesting.

67 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed

A new spin on things. A nice easy read u can finish fast. Hope book two is as good and they bring the characters back.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mostly nonsense

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. I think the story had too many characters that were difficult to follow and made it easily confusing. Sometimes they were referred to by their first name and other times by their last name.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I don't know if there was a lack of distinction between voices/tone for the characters, or the over abundance of them, but it was difficult to track.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. I never connected with this book, it seems like all of the other reviews are positive, but I never felt engaged and ended feeling indifferent.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Howard
  • Concord, MA, United States
  • 10-11-18

Passably good

and probably great if you have never read a coming of age fantasy book. No knock on the author who has developed an alternative history of earth (although I do wonder how in the world English and not Egyptian is the lingua franca (or perhaps Greek). Narrator is excellent, writing is very good as is character development- but the plot- oh the plot- well it has been done 1000x1000 times.
Boy who does not fit in with his family and cannot find his place (an almost urchin but not really) is sent to an institution (religious, magical, in this case a magical library for training) makes friends, is abused by his teacher who is then shown to be a really nice chap under that tough exterior- enter bad player (the head of the library) put in the oven and bake for four hours and you have any one of 1,000 high fantasy books full of tropes that have been over done.

However, if you can put all that aside- and don't mind spending hard earned cash for something that has been done many times over it is not a bad book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not The Great Library You're Looking For

What disappointed you about Ink and Bone?

What disappointed me in a book subtitled "The Great Library" and enthusiastically praised by my fellow bibiliophiles as a book about books is the minimal use of either The Great Library (of Alexandria) or books. At most, they're background props, distant background props.

The dramatic opening was nonsensical and pointless: Who sends their young teenage son (accompanied by a conspicuous gang of decoys) to run a deadly gauntlet of waiting police in broad daylight in order to smuggle a book that could have been quietly delivered without attention? The author's decision to introduce the novel's world felt silly.

The main character is mostly colorless. The other characters in the Alexandria Hogwarts Library school are almost all ciphers. The few that get names have simple traits; mean, kind, smart, etc. Most of them disappear without a trace.

The setting is generic boarding school. No sense of Egypt or Alexandria, the school could be anywhere. The school itself and its curriculum rather vague. The magnificent Great Library itself almost absent.

After the action opening, there's very little excitement. The new students are quickly whittled down to a chosen few by an almost random selection process. What they're learning is rather debatable. It's all just time-filling to get to the book's eye-rolling cliffhanger.

A competent but generic read all round.

Has Ink and Bone turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I like the "books about books" genre.

I like settings in libraries and bookstores. I enjoy the librarians, clerk, rare book dealers, magical codex collectors in the genre. Recent books like Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, The Invisible Library, etc. I've relished because they use the setting seamlessly.

Have you listened to any of Julian Elfer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Julian Elfer's performance saved the book for me. I was able to finish a book that I otherwise might have abandoned for lack of interest in its workmanlike mediocrity.

What character would you cut from Ink and Bone?

The characters, in themselves, weren't the problem. It was their generic two-dimensional portrayals made them eminently forgettable. The author cuts most of the cast out of Ink and Bone anyway but you'd hardly care.

Any additional comments?

This is a book that automatically gets a "I can't wait for It!" anticipation due to its appeal to nerdy afficionados (like myself) of books about books.

I'd recommend getting a Kindle sample first. There's less here than meets the eye.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not Caine's usual fare but wonderful

I've read most, if not all, of Rachel Caine's series, but this one is very different. It reminded me very much of Jim Butcher's fantasy style as in his Codex Alera and Cinder Spires series. Unlike Caine's other works, this series seems to be quite serious with not much noticeable levity. The only real lightness of story is represented by the subtly portrayed romances between characters. I loved the setting and the characters are not overabundance and carefully draw.
The narration was absolutely perfect for the story and style. The narrator's voice was light enough to be appropriate for the character through whose eyes we see the story, but grave enough to carry off the violence and loss of some characters.
Can't wait to read the next one.

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

silly, no merit

There is just no reason for this book to be read. It is awful. There is zero character development, chaotic story line. It is so bad I cannot rate the narrator. DEFINITELY DO NOT BUY/READ THIS BOOK.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful