Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows was my absolute favorite book of a few years ago, so when I saw her name I had to pick this up (or, you know, grab it off the library’s e-book loan system — getting out and about with a newborn is no easy task!).
The Library of Alexandria was never burnt. Guttenberg’s printer was never built. Books are a precious commodity, but the Great Library now controls all of the real books past and present. The ownership of books is illegal, but that hasn’t stopped smugglers like Jess’s family from making a tidy profit in transporting books to wealthy collectors. Now Jess’ father wants him to join the Library’s service to act as a contact within the facility itself. But earning a place turns out to be a lot more dangerous than expected.
I thought that this book could have been so much better. I gave it three stars. I am still eagerly awaiting the sequel, but…
This world was so incredibly interesting to me, and it just wasn’t developed and explored enough! I felt like the plot was so fast-paced that we never slowed down to really look at the world surrounding these characters. It’s set in the future without many of the technologies we have today, but also with a lot of new and different technologies that we probably will never have. The whole library hierarchy and who controlled what was interesting, but it was never really explained in-depth. I wanted to stop and look at these things more closely, and I feel like it could easily have been done if maybe the author was given just a few more pages to do it in.
Similarly, the characters were all quite interesting but there were quite a few of them and I don’t think they were explored deeply enough. There were a couple of deaths and to be honest, I just didn’t really care enough about them to… well… care. I’d like to know more about each character’s history, something that I hope will be explored more in the sequels.
But all that said, it was a very fun read and the plot kept me flipping pages. I think it’s a good thing that I wanted more, not necessarily a bad one! Can’t wait for Book 2.