The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins

It’s not often that a book completely surprises me. I’m notorious for spoiling the end of something–book, movie, whatever–long before I get there. I’m not aloud to speak during movies and TV shows, or talk to the Other about books we are both reading, until she’s finished it, because I inevitably give it away. I can’t help it! I’ve been trained over many decades of reading and a degree in what is essentially media to identify tropes, analyze plots, dissect character. Blame the Man.

The Library at Mount Char genuinely surprised me at almost every turn, right up until the end. Mr Hawkins has a gift of telling a compelling story completely without foreshadowing. I was carried along, sometimes wide-eyed, sometimes complacent and comfortable, like I was white-water rafting. Here, the current is calm, I’ll just enjoy the day, then BAM! Rocks ahead, outta nowhere, hang on to your hats, partners, here we go!

This was a weird, exciting, funny, horrifying novel. There is nothing meaty I can say that won’t spoil it, so I won’t say more than that, and even that is probably too much. Except it was wonderful.

2016 Hugo Eligibility: Yes, yes, yes! June 2015
Publisher: Crown, USA
Editorial: ???
Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, w/ Horror elements


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