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The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
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The Library at Mount Char (edition 2015)

by Scott Hawkins (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9361479,310 (3.99)80
Member:Jon_Hansen
Title:The Library at Mount Char
Authors:Scott Hawkins (Author)
Info:New York: Crown Publishers, 2015
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:read

Work details

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

  1. 30
    The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman (TFleet)
    TFleet: Both novels are centered in the modern real world, but with a set of young adults who have magical powers. The novels are different takes on the question, "What would the modern real world be like if there were magic?"
  2. 31
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
    sturlington: Hawkins' style reminds me of Neil Gaiman.
  3. 00
    Duplex: A Novel by Kathryn Davis (KatyBee)
    KatyBee: Unnerving and strange, dark literary writing that follows no rules.
  4. 11
    Lexicon by Max Barry (TFleet)
    TFleet: Both novels feature a female protagonist, whose ability with language is crucial, in a life-and-death struggle with antagonists of greater power.
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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
I liked some aspects of this book, and the story held my interest, but for some reason I didn’t completely connect with it.

This is a fantasy story set in the “real world”, in the present day. The basic premise, at least so far as we understand it at the beginning of the book, is that several orphaned children are adopted by a powerful man they call Father to be apprentices. They live in a ginormous library, and each child is assigned to a different “catalog” that they’re supposed to study. Our main character, Carolyn, is assigned to the catalog of languages. This isn’t a normal library, though; it’s full of knowledge that teaches them abilities that would seem magical to a normal human.

The story is a bit non-linear and a little twisty, which I enjoyed. I takes a while before all of the layers are revealed. It’s also darker than my description makes it sound. Father’s teaching methods aren’t very nice. The children are mostly adults throughout the story, except in some of the flashbacks, and they aren’t very nice either. I didn’t have any trouble with that aspect of it, but I would not recommend this to anybody bothered by reading gruesome descriptions, violence, or harsh language.

I think I enjoyed the book more in the beginning when I was still figuring out what was going on. The revelations as the story progressed were interesting, but they just made me like the characters less and I also thought some events felt too contrived, even within the context of the story. I never really connected with any of the characters, and I also felt disconnected from the humor. Sometimes the book made me smile or laugh, but there were more times when I would recognize that something was supposed to be funny but not feel the humor. I’m not usually that hard to please when it comes to humor, but for some reason I just didn’t really connect with it in this book.

So this was moderately entertaining for me, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Aug 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Definitely "gruesome" with "shuddering", but I fear I did not find the "wickedly comical" elements and nothing had me "chortling". These are all descriptions from the cover blurbs. I'm sorry, but this was simply too, too violent for me and that colored everything else in the book. Original, well-written, decent world-building, and I rushed through it simply to get it over with. YMMV. ( )
  ronincats | Aug 13, 2017 |
Do not listen to this on audio. Just don't. There is too much going on and you will miss things, no matter how hard you try.

I started out not understanding what was happening. It was hard to continue on in parts because the book doesn't really give you a proper setup. I'm clearly not alone in this, as the reviews are filled with "DNFs" and "Abandoned" and "I hated this book because it was frustrating and didn't make sense." But stick with it if you like complicated stories with a mostly satisfying payoff at the end. I will eventually go back and read this one, because I can't be sure I didn't miss something cool or relevant. It's just too complicated of a plot for my work commute.

I'm sticking with three stars because I liked it, but I have reservations about it as well. Fits a lot of genres so if you stick with it you will probably like it by the end. ( )
  GovMarley | Aug 6, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this. It never went anywhere I expected it to. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
I really, really loved this book. After reading the first chapter, I really wasn't sure what I thought. I wanted to see where things went, but I wasn't sure I actually liked it or not. Not only does the book drop you right into the middle of the action with no explanation, but everything that seems to be happening isn't what's happening at all, so while I was sort of meh about what seemed to be set up with the first chapter, the more I read, and the more I found out what was actually happening, the more I liked it. ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Jul 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Hawkinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my sweet-natured and extremely patient wife, Heather, with much love and many thanks.
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Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553418602, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:05 -0400)

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