Review: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

CharThe Library at Mount Char
by Scott Hawkins

Goodreads Synopsis:

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:

4 of 5 Stars

Confused and shocked is how I felt for a vast majority of this novel.  It’s a bit surprising for me to say at the same time that I enjoyed that.  For a while I honestly wasn’t quite sure what was going on.  This isn’t one of those books that takes its time trying to explain things to you.  The author is abruptly throwing you into the many layers of the plot and it’s up to you to sink or swim.

I vaguely knew what might happen with Carolyn though not how or why.  I had guessed some basic elements not very far into my reading.  The journey though was something else entirely.  I’d expect one thing or think I knew what was happening only to find myself in another jaw dropping scene.

Close to the end there were a few scenes that had me in tears.  All of the confusing pieces started to come together.  What I loved most about this is that the characters in the book were experiencing some of the very same things.  Carolyn, Steve, Erwin were all growing and understanding more which was amazing to see.  Steve ended up being my favorite by far.

I was first pulled into the book by the idea of a library.  After reading the description I was a little worried because it was .. odd.  I was right about that.  This has to be one of the weirdest, oddest, out there books I’ve probably ever read.  I don’t think this book is for everyone.  You really need to be prepared for the very strange trip that you’ll go through while reading it.  For me though, I know I’ll never be able to look at librarians the same way again.

This novel was provided free from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion and I was compensated in no other manner.

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