The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I don’t even know what I just read.

The Library at Mount Char starts off with Carolyn walking down a stretch of road – she’s bloody, she’s holding the knife she just used to murder someone, and she’s smiling. She lies her ass off to a concerned driver, and goes about her business. Carolyn is actually pretty likable. She’s a Librarian, not really in the traditional sense, and she’s looking for her Father. He’s gone missing, and her and her adopted siblings – all taken by Father years ago and raised together in their particular specialties – are trying to find him. But Carolyn knows that with Father gone, the Library is up for grabs, and she has a plan to take claim over it and therefore all of existence.

I know, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. This book doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s written in a way to be kind of a mindfuck, and halfway through the book I was still saying “Geez, this book is bonkers”. I really liked the bizarre aspect of it that constantly kept me guessing. I liked Carolyn a lot – she’s not a character you’ll probably fangirl over, but she has a steely core about her that appealed to me. Steve, a kind-of friend of Carolyn’s, develops a sweet bond with a lion and I love strong human-animal relationships like that. People are killed but never really stay dead and there are basically human puppets running errands and the Librarian siblings can all work some funky magic that they say isn’t magic. Basically, this was a crazy, crazy ride and kind of perfect for fall/Halloween reading if you’re into that kind of thing.

But… I’m still not sure how I feel about this book though. It was good, it was weird. But I’m not sure if it’ll be one of those books that really sticks with me after another week or so. You don’t get to know most of Carolyn’s other siblings too well, and I think the author probably could have cut a few of them and been just fine. There were at least three that are mentioned once or twice but otherwise don’t really play a part, and their “specialties” didn’t really seem to add to the plot. The ending kind of gave the illusion that there could be a sequel if the author feels like it, and I don’t know if I’d be into that. I already ended this book with a little bit of a “what was the point of all that” kind of feeling.

So yeah. It was a good, but not my favorite. If you’re going to read it, I totally suggest doing it now with the cooler weather and falling leaves and spooky mood everyone tends to get in around now.

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2 comments

  1. I loved this book, but yes, it is a total mindfuck – which is half of its appeal. Weird, I know. I can see why others might be put off by it. As for the point, you could say that about so many books. For me, I say it is for pure entertainment.

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