Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Blurb from Goodreads:
Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill in this astonishingly original, terrifying, and darkly funny contemporary fantasy. 

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.

My Review:
This one took me a long time to read -- almost an entire week (although I was reading another book at the same time).  It may be because I haven't read a book blending fantasy and sci-fi in quite awhile but I think part of it was just the need to absorb all the language in this book.  For at least half of the book, I really had no clue what was going on -- you receive snippets here and there of the past and how the world came to be but it was hard to understand an overarching purpose and motivation.  But I'm so glad I kept reading because the book tied together at the end in ways I never could have imagined!  Carolyn, the protagonist, was easy for me to like -- sure, she was confusing but I loved her study of languages and I wanted to keep reading to find out how she was going to progress.  One last thing:  I love this cover!!

I would recommend this to fans of Emily St. John Mandel's books and, especially, if you have liked books by Donna Tartt or Neil Gaiman.  There is also some humor in this book that reminded me a bit of Chuck Palahniuk.  This book definitely defies genres but the writing is that on which I base those recommendations.  The Library at Mount Char came out this week, and you can purchase HERE!
I must send you into exile, that you may be the coal of her heart.  No real thing can be so perfect as memory, and she will need a perfect thing if she is to survive.  She will warm herself on the memory of you when there is nothing else, and be sustained.


  1. I agree the cover is pretty awesome. I am not sure if I could hold on not knowing what was going on but sounds like it finished on a high note - Great review!

  2. The cover is awesome! And trying to talk about anything in the book is so hard, but it's definitely worth reading.

  3. Great review! Yessss it was so confusing at first!! Definitely worth it in the end though.


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