Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: The Library at Mount Char

From Goodreads:
Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for. 

After all, she was a normal American herself, once. 

That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. 

In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. 

Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. 

Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation. 

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her. 

But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price—because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.
Writing
I seriously can't believe this is a debut.  It is SO imaginative, so original, and so unique.  The characters are original and the story line is just insane.  It's one of the first books I've read in a long time where I just had absolutely no idea where it could be leading.  In terms of fantasy, I usually gravitate towards the more medieval settings of high fantasy, but this one is set in our world.  I would compare Carolyn and her siblings to the Weasleys - a magical family that is thrust into the world of regular Americans and has no idea how to fit in.  But a twisted, psychotic, totally unhinged version of the Weasleys.  I don't want to say too much and reveal anything, but if you like having no idea what will happen next, this is a book you need.  And the fact that this is Hawkins' first novel is amazing, because the writing is spot on.  The perfect blend of funny and horrific.  I think the Neil Gaiman comparisons I've read are spot on, but this is more brutal than any of the Gaiman I've read.

Entertainment Value
Well, I stayed up till 2AM finishing this one, so you can certainly say I was entertained.  I couldn't stop listening.  Because the book is so dark, there were times when I felt like my brain maybe needed a break, but I just couldn't stop.  It's funny and has its moments of lightheartedness, but it's also a very dark book with its fair share of violence.  I can't wait to see what else this author writes - he's definitely on my must-read authors list now.

Overall
Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes.  This is maybe the best book I've read this year.  It's everything I didn't know I loved.  My words of caution are that it is violent and gruesome (if you can't handle Game of Thrones, maybe skip this one) and has its fair share of bad language.  It's not family listening.  Don't put it on in the car while you drive your kids to school or share it with your grandma.  But if you can handle some violence (including a scene or two of violence with animals) you absolutely must read this.  And when you're done, message me and let's discuss!

Thanks to NetGalley and to Hoopla for providing me with a copy to review.

1 comment:

  1. I read this around Halloween and really loved it. I couldn't stop reading it either, and when I was finished I went back and read some parts of it again immediately -- something I don't often do. The story line was nuts, darkly funny, gruesome -- overall just an awesome book.

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