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The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char (edition 2015)

by Scott Hawkins

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1,4261798,130 (3.99)91
Title:The Library at Mount Char
Authors:Scott Hawkins
Info:Crown, Kindle Edition, 390 pages
Collections:Your library

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 91 mentions

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Software engineer and debut author Scott Hawkins surprises and amazes in his first novel, The Library at Mount Char. The writing of a novel is a tough cookie to crack, but Hawkins’ strong characters astound and startle, and his powerful imagery strikes to the heart. If you have a strong stomach and can tussle with these unconventional and dangerous Librarians, you will discover a mystical new world within our very own Earth.

Magic plays no role in this fantasy novel, despite what you may think. Carolyn, one of a family of orphans adopted and raised by an enigmatic man named Father, is quite adamant about that. Carolyn and her siblings must each devote their lives to one catalogue of knowledge in Father’s massive Library. This unique method of teaching gives them all a very specific skill set that they are forbidden to branch out from. The plot thickens when Father mysteriously disappears, and the family of misfits, now adults, must set out on their own to find him. Everyone that the motley family encounters on their mission should be very, very afraid.

Each individual character in the novel possesses a unique view of the world, even the characters who do not classify themselves as Librarians. While some authors would find this limiting, Hawkins thrives. He does not create stereotypes, but manages to build a vibrant sequence of characters with their own opinions and very specific eccentricities. How can you not be impressed by an author who can weave together a believable story with talking animals, god-like characters, and picnics on top of another universe?

Hawkins’ descriptions also impress immensely, although they can occasionally fall on the spectrum of too gritty for all readers to comfortably enjoy. There were moments when I was forced to put the book down because I was so physically and emotionally upset. This is a great sign of an effective narrative though, as I was clearly invested in the plot. Keeping that in mind, I would recommend for highly intuitive readers to be wary of reading in a public place or in a work atmosphere. And if you cannot stomach violence in a novel, be cognizant that there is a lot of it.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins is full of the wild imaginings of an author with a uniquely scientific background. His experiences add a lot of intriguing and bizarre moments to an already unconventional fantasy novel. I promise that you’ve never read anything like it before, and whether or not you end up as enthralled as me, you won’t walk away without being affected.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
Go into this book expecting nothing. Do not read reviews. Do not read too deeply into the summary. Let yourself fall into it, experiencing the strange as it happens. Think deeply about the words on the page, and believe in the story you are reading.

The Library at Mount Char is a book that has the potential to make you rethink your world, which is quite an accomplishment. It's incredibly unique, yet the world it creates feels highly believable, and the characters.... oh man, you know a book is good when you find yourself deeply in love with characters you know are "bad" and should therefore be unlikable. But then again, the book brings up the question on what is "good" and who deserves to be in power, and even if anyone should have power.

You are going to read this book and have no idea what's going on, and that's okay. Most of it comes together in the end, and it might take your breath away, just a little bit.

There's nothing else to say; this book is phenomenal. ( )
  ainjel | Jun 20, 2019 |
This is a difficult book to review. It is so different from any book I have read. There are some pretty horrific things that happen in the book. But also some pretty amazing things. The ending was one of those amazing things. Up until the end, the "why" of what's happening is pretty up in the air. At the end, we get a pretty good explanation. I loved that we were able to flashback to when Carolyn was a child and first met Father. I loved finding out what the sun was. So many magical and fascinating things. I definitely recommend this book, with the warning that there is a pretty strong horror element to it. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
Beautiful writing, well developed characters, and a unique story. A mix of violence, darkness, tears, and, laughter. Bewitching and fascinating, with an ending that is hopeful and fun. Also seriously bat-crap crazy. It's a wild, original book. ( )
  DGRachel | Jun 4, 2019 |
Holy shit. I won this ARC in a giveaway on Suvudu. It sounded like something that would be right up my alley. It was/is. Brutal, fantastic (in every sense of the word), horrifying, and so unique. I received in the mail yesterday and have done little else yesterday and today beside read it. I highly recommend you do that too. ( )
  liannecollins | Apr 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Hawkinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huber, HillaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my sweet-natured and extremely patient wife, Heather, with much love and many thanks.
First words
Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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)

After she and a dozen other children found them being raised by "Father," a cruel man with mysterious powers, Carolyn and her "siblings" begin to think he might be God; so when he dies, they square off against each other to determine who will inherit his library, which they believe holds the power to all Creation.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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HighBridge Audio

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