This book is well written and is full of action. It’s a dystopian book set in the not-to-distant future. The Great Library holds all the knowledge in the world and dispenses it to the world. Original books are contraband and are searched out and confiscated by the Library soldiers, called the Garda. The main character, Jess, is the son of a prominent book smuggler. Jess and his twin brother Brendan work for their father, who is an unloving and demanding father.
Jess’ father decides that Brendan will learn to run the business and Jess will go to the Great Library in Alexandria and train to be a member of the Library. Jess’ father intends him to be their businesses “inside” man and help them steal books. Jess is initially excited because he loves books, but dreads the role his father wants him to play. As Jess begins his training for the Library, he learns that things may not be as they seem. As war and civil unrest swirl throughout Europe, Jess and his fellow trainees face perils they never anticipated.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a dense book and while well-written, is not a quick and easy read. At times I really enjoyed it, but it is a much darker book than other YA dystopian novels, so at times it seemed like a drag to read. In the end, however, it was good enough that I will read the next book in the series.