Book Title:
The Library at Mount Char
Book Author:
Scott Hawkins
Publishing Date:
June 16, 2015
Date Read:
July 12, 2015


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

I’m really disappointed with how this book and I got along.

I’m usually pretty open minded, and I absolutely love fantasy.  The cover was gorgeous, the book synopsis was intriguing…so what happened?  I asked myself that the entire way through the book (and I really struggled to finish this one…it took me almost three weeks), and even after I finished it, I just kept asking myself why this book and I just didn’t click.

I think that for me, this book was just…boring.  The first three quarters of the book made pretty much no sense, and while it’s okay to keep a reader guessing until the end, it’s nice to at least have a hint as to what’s going on.  Sure, once I finished the book it made sense, but that was like 350 pages of me asking “What the heck did I just read?” before I got any answers.  The book also seemed kind of slower-paced (and that’s not the author or the book’s fault…I just have a tendency to read a lot of books that are full of action and something incredibly important happening every other page), and it kind of felt like it took forever to get anywhere.

The book itself wasn’t terrible…it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, so if I’m giving off that vibe, I don’t mean to be.  It just wasn’t for me.  I see tons of other great reviews for this book, so it’s obvious that I’m in the minority here, and that’s fine too.  I’m glad others were able to enjoy it.

I’m honestly not quite sure how to sum up the plot without giving out a lot of information that is kept secret for a good portion of the book, so I won’t try, but I will mention that a lot of the things that happen in this book are absolutely crazy.  Imagine…people who can bring each other back from the dead, talking lions, and a guy who can communicate better with animals (all animals, including sea life) better than he can with human beings.  Like I said…absolutely crazy.  Sometimes I just shook my head and had to wonder how the author could possibly stuff so many crazy, ridiculous things into one book and somehow make it work.  I have a lot of respect for Mr. Hawkins for being able to do this, as most authors would never be able to pull something like this off.

While I can’t say this is going on my favorites list, it isn’t something that I absolutely hated.  Now that I’ve finished it and had some time to reflect back on the book, I have to say that it was kind of interesting…just a little too long and drawn out for my taste.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars
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