I'm not sure what I expected from this book. Probably some sort of a YA version of The LIbrarian, if I have to put my finger on it. Or National Treasure, or something. A bunch of meddling kids hunting down artifacts/original manuscripts for the Great Library.
That's really not what this book is, though. It's vaguely dystopian, relying on alchemical lore for its magic system, but has some similarities to Percy Jackson or, even, Harry Potter. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it, except to say that I enjoyed it enough to absolutely read the next book.
The beginning dragged, with character introductions and scene setting. Once the book got going, though, it moved along, and the last 1/3 to the end was absolutely riveting. It broke at a reasonable point without unreasonably leaving any of the characters in immediate mortal peril.
I still don't entirely understand how the alchemy works, and I also don't understand how the small number of obscurists could be sufficient to power the library and all of the Codexes all over the world. But, I'm sure that the author has a plan for her story and I am pretty excited to see how it unfolds.