by Rachel Caine
Released: July 7th 2015
Series: The Great Library #1
Published by NAL
Genres: Young Adult
“… I can’t wait to start reading the next book.”
~ Under the Covers
I don’t often pick up much YA, but, I decided after trying another book of Rachel Caine’s and really liking it, to give The Great Library series a go. The gorgeous cover may have also helped me along in my decision as well! Now that I’ve read it, I am really pleased that I decided to give this book a try. Caine has set up an interesting, almost steampunk type of world, where all knowledge is controlled by the Library. No one is allowed to own any original or print books, instead they basically have a kindle type of device which can bring up any item in the Library’s catalogue. As long as the library approves of it of course. Any new ideas and books they don’t like, and which may undermine their power, quickly gets locked away and the person who penned it disappears.
Enter Jess. He’s the son of a book smuggler who loves the books but isn’t so keen on the business. So his father make a strategic move and sends him to work for the Library, thinking an inside man might be useful. So, now Jess is an initiate into the Library, hoping to win a place there, only the class has 30 people in it and there are only 6 places. Lots of action, dark plots, friendships and a touch of romance ensue.
As I’ve said I haven’t read a lot of YA, so I am by no means an expert, but I really enjoyed this book. The world was really interesting and gives a new spin on the evils of censorship and the corrupting influence of absolute power. Jess, our hero was also a great protagonist, he was streetwise, tough, a little ruthless although not as ruthless as he needs to be to escape physically and mentally unscathed, he also had a massive love of books.
It also had a good cast of background characters, such as his class mates, his family and his teachers who we get to know through Jess’s eyes. Which make parts of this book a little more heart breaking. It all came to together to create a fantastic first instalment in The Great Library series and I can’t wait to start reading the next book.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?