The Library at Mount Char By Scott Hawkins
Audiobook Edition, Narrated by Hillary Huber
Finished on 2/20/2017
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Cosmic Horror
12 Horribly Abused ‘American’ Children, 1 Dubiously Divine Father, and Several End of the World Scenarios out of 5
God’s gone missing and his magic library is closed. His twelve adult ‘American’ children must find Father and save him, for if not the creatures which go bump in the night will come out and end the universe. The only trouble is that these twelve children are all more dangerous than the creatures which go bump in the night. If Father truly is dead it will be up to the ‘Americans’ to save, and rule, the universe.
Hot damn, this book was good. Far and away the best fiction book I’ve read (thus far) this year, and probably in my top 20 books of all time list. This is the only book this year I’ve stayed up late to read, and woke up early to read.
This book’s characterization was mostly top notch. Steve and Erwin popped off the page from the moment that they were introduced. Caroline’s personality was like an avalanche, slow building but when it finally goes off… boom. Jenny was a great character, her substance abuse seeming like a very sensible way to cope with her everyday life. David was a bit one track, but he had to be. Same with Margaret. Michael was an okay character, his distinctive voice patterns and strong emotion giving him weight, but his lack of variety held him back in terms of me liking him. The other 7 children were forgettable, just like the dwarves in ‘The Hobbit.’
The plot was fairly slow building, but very gripping. The moment the sun went out really upped the stakes, and dramatically demonstrated just how weird Caroline was due to her lack of reaction to the event. Steven’s attitude and repeated sacrifices after the sun went out just worked, at least in my perspective.
The setting (including this alternate version of America, Garrison Oaks and the flashbacks) were delightfully eerie at the beginning. The book transitioned into full-blown chaos after the sun went out. The Library itself was pretty good, but I was anticipating something weirder.
Here are the things I didn’t really like.
I wanted to see the Cosmic Horrors. The Duke, the tentacle men, The Forest God and the glacier with legs were all constantly alluded to throughout the book, but never seen.
Next, David died too soon. As the sort-of main antagonist he died at about the 2/3s mark in the book, and after that there was never any risk of outside forces causing the ‘good’ guys failure.
I loved this book, but some readers might find it a smidgen gory. A lot of people and animals are horribly murdered in this book.
This book was great, but I hope there are no sequels. Sometimes a story needs to finite to be perfect.
About the audiobook: it was great! The narrator did a great job. She gave some of the demigod-children a hilarious valley-girl accent, contrasting with the grim things the characters actually said. I would recommend this version to a friend.