The Library at Mount Char Review

Synopsis: A missing God.

A library with the secrets to the universe.

A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.

Carolyn’s not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.  

After all, she was a normal American herself once.

That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.

In the years since then, Carolyn hasn’t had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient customs. They’ve studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.

Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own.

But Carolyn has accounted for this.

And Carolyn has a plan.

The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she’s forgotten to protect the things that make her human.

Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy.

Review: 4/5 stars

Bonkers. Certifiably bonkers. (If anyone read that in Jason Mantzoukas’s voice, I’m in love with you.) One of the rare times that a super-long synopsis doesn’t make me wanna stab the jacket flap of a hardcover…because how do you even explain this book?

On a sidenote, I SWEAR SYNOPSES GET LONGER AT LONGER. Look at that thing! Yes, it’s a hard book to explain – but good lord, not THAT hard.

I’ve never read anything like this book before!! And I’m also pretty certain I never will again. It didn’t drip with gaudy description, but I could picture everything. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way. Also, I loved that like, the most insanely background characters were fuller than most YA protagonists. Because y’all know I’m a sucker for a good character.

I like to think I’m a pretty smart person, but I was pretty much confused for the entirety of those 388 pages. Granted, I’m not really an expert on space or math or anything (English, you may not be surprised to learn, is my main schtick) but I did feel stupid every once in awhile (usually when I felt like my lack of understanding was making me miss a major plot point). Sometimes that was fine, and sometimes it was too much.

388 pages may not seem like a lot, but they were huge pages and a fairly small font and this book did drag a bit sometimes. (May have to do with how hard it could be to read.)

But I’m still givin’ it the big 4, because it’s so insane and imaginative and unique and really more of an Experience than a book. And you can’t undermine that.

Bottom line: if you have a lot of energy, a not-too-busy week, and confidence in your own intelligence that can withstand this, get your hands on a copy!!

2 thoughts on “The Library at Mount Char Review

  1. Eslin says:

    I read this book around christmas, and it was totally not what I expected it to be in any way at all. I really enjoyed it though, because it was definitely like nothing else I had ever read before 🙂
    I really liked your line “really more of an Experience than a book” because that sums it up pretty well!


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